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Every Recruitment Strategy Needs a Pumpkin Spice Latte
Shane Kehl: [00:00:00] It's Friday. Energy is high, and we're ready to dive in. I'm Shane Keel, chief Entertainment Officer at Enroll pfi, and every other week, Mickey Baes and I will discuss how institutions can take high level strategies and tactics and implement them into their enrollment marketing strategy in a practical way, grab your coffee, open your notes.
It's time for fanatical Fridays.
Episode 57. We're back. We're entering fall season.
Mickey Baines: We're about to end, end, fall, season end.
Shane Kehl: That's right. We're moving into winter. I just think of Thanksgiving as fall season. Fall season to me is like three weeks long. It's just part of November and that's it. Mm-hmm. .
Mickey Baines: I definitely don't think that way falls my favorite season, although I, I very rarely get out other than when I get to go camping and I don't get to camp quite as much in the fall.
But yeah. Um, I [00:01:00] love the fall. I love the leaves. I love cooling off. Although as we're recording this, I feel like it's 30 degrees outside. Yeah. Before Thanksgiving. Yes. I live in Pennsylvania. It does get a little colder in Pennsylvania than some places in the country. But before Thanksgiving to be 30 or below is not Yeah.
Ideal for me. All
Shane Kehl: right, before we jump in, favorite Thanksgiving side?
Mickey Baines: You did not tell me we were talking about this. I know. I did not prepare. Um, I gotta screen one on you at least every episode. So, um, I will say the sweet potato casserole. But it has to have the pecan brown sugar butter topping that you bake it in so it gets crusty.
Uh, I would say that would be my favorite.
Shane Kehl: Awesome. Speaking of foods, flavors, things that are tasty, it's, you know, it's, it gets exaggerated I think every year by more and more days, but pumpkin spice latte season. We're kind of in, in the middle of it, in the heart of it, [00:02:00] and thinking about, you know, the craze fall around pumpkin spice lattes.
Why is there a craze? It's a seasonal thing. It's good. You could theoretically get it whenever you want, but it's only special when it's that season. So how do we take the pumpkin spice latte concept? The just obsession with it and turn something around In the student recruitment space, that feels like a pumpkin spice latte.
It's once a year, but it's, people almost look forward to it, even though, you know, it's kind of always available. You could get it if you want it, but it's special because it's the time of year and it's feels like it's supposed to be.
Mickey Baines: So let, why don't we take a minute, just a minute longer. Let's talk about that part of it.
What draws you into those single things that really hype it up, because it's a, it's available September, October, November, December, January, and part of February, so it's available for almost half the year. Yeah, raise my hand. I love the pumpkin spice latte [00:03:00] in fact. Um, pre pandemic when I traveled all the time.
Um, you know, I, I, I earned my gold level status as a Starbucks member and I earned. 90% of it is in the pumpkin cause spice latte season. Yeah. Cause that's what I go in order. Uh, unless they're out, which sometimes happens and you get, I get a caramel macchiato. Um, and so, but what makes that, and, and the part of it is the idea that it's limited mm-hmm.
to a very specific period in time. That has a lot to it. I think that it's a flavor that ties into the season. Mm-hmm. , um, it helps you look forward to starting the season. A lot of people like fall. I, I just said I, this is my favorite season. A lot of people really like it, and so lead you're starting it and leading into it helps you look forward to it.
There's a lot of things you can do to help market and promote it. Um, And so I, I, you know, I think that's key. I don't know what else in your mind stands out about that, that draws people
Shane Kehl: in? Yeah, I, I think there [00:04:00] is a, it's multifaceted, but it's, it's also become like the social component. Like everybody, once it's that season where it's fall, the second one, leaf turns orange.
I feel like I see my first pumpkin spice latte on Instagram. Um, and I think it's one of those things that it's. , if you're not doing it, you're out of the crowd. Um, and it almost feels like uncomfortable to be like, eh, I don't really like it. It's like mm-hmm. , you know? And so people almost maybe just force themselves to have it and then they grow to like and appreciate it.
And so when I was thinking about this, I was thinking, you know, what's something that's super cool, unique and different, but it really just sets the tempo for a. Longer period of time you're rolling from fall into winter. Um, you know, going out in winter isn't the best, but you're sitting at home, you know, you're comfortable.
It's snowing outside, you have a fire going. It's just, it's cozy. Um, you're kind of teeing that up. You're teeing up a really good experience. [00:05:00] And this is kind of the segue into that, that teed up. Really awesome, fun experience.
Mickey Baines: Um, well, I'll say the other thing that I, that I'll point out about it, you know, you've got pumpkins, spice latte.
Yeah. It might be six months of the year, but that doesn't mean there's not some other special drink that's rolling out or drinks. Yeah. Because what's out now is the holiday drinks or the winter drinks. Yeah. And so it, it is seasonal sorts. The drink availability might be open beyond that true season, but it kind of gives you something to drive.
And, and I think where, where we can segue this to higher ed. You know, what are, what, what happens in your recruitment season? What are the phases of that season? And then what is your center point for that? Because I believe, and I haven't looked at the numbers, I should have looked at this before this call, to, to see what, what does Starbucks sales look like, um, when that rolls out, and what does the sales of that drink look like compared to the other sales in the store?
Because. One of the things that makes the Starbucks experience special is that they are, you know, really KPI focused. Yeah. [00:06:00] Um, and they, they look at those and that's the, the home determination of when it starts and ends for that season is based on the performance of that drink, uh, and other fall related items.
They're very special about it. So, you know, when you look at your. Recruitment season, what are the big moments within that season that really impact conversion? Mm-hmm. and, and when we say conversion, we don't mean enrollment, we don't necessarily mean application conversion from that stage that a student may be in at that point in time in the season.
Yeah. Um, you know, there are, I'm gonna, I've gotta grab something real quick and show you this. So, in, in the old, old. Seasonally and there's, I say old days, schools still do it. Few too many do it. This is a dinner bell. Seasonally around August one, community colleges used to get the dinner bill out and say, you know, we're open , it's August 1st, everybody come on in and enroll.
Yeah. And they do that. And to an extent they do [00:07:00] this because we have application days. And you try to roll those out and you try not to have too many of them. And there are other events of those application days that you have that aren't really application days, but based on the season, it could be your financial aid day, those types of things.
Now, That's not necessarily hopefully your your only pumpkin spice. But there are certain things and, and what I would say about those types of events is just having them at the right time. Mm-hmm. is important. So if you have Aafsa Day come to campus, we're gonna help you walk you through the fafsa.
When's the right time you, should you be doing that? You know, are you doing that before people have completed their. I don't know if you should. Um, right. How does that time, um, are you gonna do it the 13th of April? Because isn't tax day the 15th? Right. So I don't know if that's the. I can't tell you the exact right day.
It's gotta be right for you. And it's gotta be right about what's going, what else is going on on campus, determining when you have those, and you know, whether that's in person or virtual, you know, that's, that I think is a part of it. The thinking [00:08:00] about the timing. If you have a, like to your institutions, they still like to have, uh, these come on campus, choir a apply, get advised, register, enroll, pay, get it all done in one day.
Yep. So many community college students are coming in local, that that is a local thing. And so doing it in person still makes sense a lot of times, but determining when to do it. Or if you have more than one, you know, are you doing it in the evening? Are you doing it? How do you rotate it? I can't tell you.
Sometimes I see schools that are like, yeah, we, we do this. Yeah. And it's, and we do it on a Friday from nine to one. Mm-hmm. . Well, why you do it on Friday, nine to one? Well, that's our. 70% of your students are non-traditional students. Are any of them working? Most? Most of 'em. Are they working from nine to one?
Maybe. Well, hmm. Well, yeah. Should we think about that? What are you doing to attract this other? So how do you expand your pumpkin spice to have pumpkin bread? [00:09:00] Pumpkin cookies. Yeah. Uh, and, and I, I've got a good friend of mine who's not listening to this cuz he's not in any way related to higher ed, but he, he's adamantly opposed to anything pumpkin.
Oh. Because of a lot to do with pumpkins, spice latte. But, uh, and so he would really gag at that thought, um, process. But, but you know, how do we expand on it? So, so, uh, That's not necessarily what I would say is my premier pumpkin spice example, but, but schools have those, and some schools don't have a pumpkin spice example.
And I, so I just wanna say, Hey, you can have one. And just think about that in terms of the timing, thinking about in terms of, uh, the frequency, how you build off of it to have related items. I think I use this as my example when we keyed up, uh, was it last episode or two episode ago? We, we, we said, we're gonna be talking about this, and I gave an example.
Uh, and so if you didn't hear it, I wanna say go back and listen to that. But I'm just gonna tell you anyway what I said , I, I was overseeing a non-traditional student. We had [00:10:00] locations in central and southeastern Pennsylvania. We had some online stuff too. Um, but most of that time, most of that enrollment really was focused around in class accelerated programs.
At the undergraduate level. We had some graduate stuff, but at the undergraduate level, and so we created a premier event to bring the transfer advisors that worked with non-traditional students to our campus in the fall for. Because we saw the schools kind of doing this for traditional missions. They do have a luncheon and all that kind of stuff.
Mm-hmm. , we made a conference, made it a professional development conference, made it free, um, so that we could talk about how to better advise and coach and support non-traditional students. Year one, we had like 35 or 40 people come in, um, from like nine or maybe seven. Community colleges, you know, five years after I left, still having that event, 150 people on there.
Wow. 15, 20 community colleges. Uh, and and we didn't just at that point bring in community college advisors. We brought in faculty from [00:11:00] this. Yeah. We brought in our faculty so the faculty could begin to network and, and meet each other, whether the full-time or adjuncts, because our adjunct faculty wanted to know more and do better and, and improve.
This was. Professional development opportunity to learn from their colleagues at other institutions, for those other institutions and those faculty members. Because faculty still have an influence on the students when they're considering where to go. Right. That they know. So what we were doing to invest in our faculty to ensure that we were doing the right thing for our students, that effort, because so many of our students came from the community colleges, we did give value.
But we also got value from that. Yeah. And so that was a mar, we spent marketing dollars on it. Um, I, I think, you know, early on it was five or 6,000. I'm sure it was probably around 10 by the time, maybe 15. But I don't know that there's a better return on that investment Yeah. Than having that event. Um, that really bought it and you should see the evaluations, you [00:12:00] know, and, and at the time, you know, I was at an institution that started with the letter A and I always joked with our team, like, we're gonna be at the front of the filing cabinet when the student says, Hey, where should I go?
Um, but I want 'em to be more reason than that. For us to be the first name that pops in their mind. Mm-hmm. , that's what I wanted and I didn't wanna do it just. To be the first, I wanted to show value because of what, how we cared and what our commitment was to the students. Yeah. And to the value of our program.
I mean, if you, if you aren't in a non-traditional student, higher ed, you may or may not recognize that sometimes those programs and the people working in those programs feel like the stepchild on a campus, especially if you're at a traditional, more residential focused institution. Those programs. Or aside, we're on the side because really the bread and butter Yeah.
Was was that liberal arts education or that four year institution, that residential experience. And so to show these other institutions that if you're working with non-traditional students, we are an option. Yes, we have this residential thing, but. [00:13:00] Look at what we're doing for this. That made a difference and that was by far, became a pumpkin spice moment.
Shane Kehl: Um, I think you were saying earlier too, it's, it's super important to have, you can't just serve pumpkin spice lattes if you're a, a coffee shop that only has those, it's not special. And it's not particularly interesting. Yes. Um, so you
Mickey Baines: need to make, and sales in the spring are gonna be pretty crappy, right?
Shane Kehl: Exactly. Right. And so you need your regular coffee. You need, you know, in December you need your peppermint mochas. Yes. You need those other things that there's some, you know, smaller hitters in there too that are, that are uber successful. They're not the pumpkin spice latte, but you can't have.
That's just not everybody has their, you know, thing, that's their kind best seller. You can't have five equally bestsellers that are all
Mickey Baines: record breaking. It's too hard to invest that much effort. Right. To have five key things. Yeah, exactly. You know, and so like from our goals and strategies, I, I'm a, I'm a person of three, so I like to have, you know, these are the three goals or three priorities in the coming year.
And that [00:14:00] event was not one of the goals that. Helped us achieve. Mm-hmm. some part of all three of those goals. Right? All three of 'em. That's why that event was core of what we did because it helped in the recruitment side, it helped in the professional development and expansion of our faculty. Right. It helped in our ability to better service students.
You know, those, you know, if those are our three core elements, things we're focused on every year that achieved. Yeah. Um, you know, and, and I think one of our shining moments is, you know, I think my last year, it was our second or third year, my last year, there was like our last year there was like our second or third year of the event.
You know, to see the dean's, VPs and even a president of one institution's deciding to attend that event Yeah. Was really important, right? Like, it showed that they saw value and to commit to their time to be there. Uh, in addition to that and that, that they, because we didn't have a huge marketing campaign to draw people there.
Their teams told them of the value. Yeah, and that's why they attended. [00:15:00] Hey, everybody at Zach from RFI here. So it's that time of year when your favorite brand released the best deals on your favorite products, and for the very first time, RFI is joining party. So between now and the end of the year, you can get 50% off.
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Shane Kehl: Both sides getting value out of it is just what? Yes. Again, it, it has that snowball effect when that's the case of every year you just pick up a couple more, pick up a couple more. Because your retention, I'm imagine, was probably really high for those events. Yeah. Um, because everybody, you know, each year is different and you're getting more connections, new connections.
You're seeing new faces, old faces. It really is kind of that. Just let's keep building this thing, which I think is super awesome and it kind of leads into, so mine is a little bit more of a theoretical, I wanna throw out. It is value on both sides. So I think this is a great segue, but one of the things I was thinking about was how a school could almost host a, let's call it a mock trial for people on [00:17:00] their wait list.
So they're gonna let a hundred more students in and they have you. A day or couple days, or even some type of video submission essentially, where you are pitching yourself to the school. So again, if you are having to do this, you're probably somebody. Like teetering on what they're looking for academically.
GPA is, you know, little below average SATs, little below average, you know, didn't take tons of aps. Mm-hmm. right on the cusp. And so you think like, I, I've personally felt this way cause I think this resonates with, you know, how I am, I'm much better in an interview than I am on paper. And so I want to be able to answer questions, show I can be dynamic.
I have all these, you know, creative thoughts. I'm a critical thinker. How can I kind of pitch that to the school? So I feel like instantly for the institution, you have a hundred people that you provide this opportunity to. 50, take it. Well, you've weeded out 50. You want the people that are gonna take the initiative and want to come to your school and they're gonna go the extra mile for you.
I think for the student, you get a chance to [00:18:00] really show who you are, pitch your value, and if you do get accepted, it almost feels like, nice. I won them over. Like they really loved me. I'm here because, you know, those people thought I was awesome. And I think you grow an affinity for the school and then the school is getting people that are, you know, more qualified.
They're people that are gonna contribute a little bit more maybe to the community of the school. Um, or you know, Have a career there, somebody that's just invested and maybe matured late. And so they're really gonna come into their own in college. And really, again, be a like an alumni that you're gonna be really proud of and is gonna do something for you all because you kind of gave them maybe a different opportunity than, you know, write down why you're good.
Show us your scores. It's, it's very like, just look at me on the surface rather than let me kind of show you who I am. Um, and I think that provides value on both. Again and builds that affinity for the school that, you know, is, is super important all the way through and, and even post-graduation.
Mickey Baines: I, I like that idea.
Um, [00:19:00] for, for, for several reasons. I, I think it is kind of what you said. Um, you know, if you've got a, say you've got 10 spots, you got a hundred people for them, 50 show up, you know who's care and you know who not to spend time on. Uh, cause I'm always looking at, you know, what type of first party. You have data that you're not buying mm-hmm.
um, that you have that help you identify who's really interested. And when we think of like third party data and you're buying a list and you think of what that data is that you get is periphery information. Mm-hmm. , it's just information that says maybe about what their interests are and contact information.
But what this type of first party data give you, uh, is here's someone who decides not to show. If you're looking for a way to factor out people that are not interested and you say You're on a wait list, we're really interested in you. We'd love to invite you in so we can determine if we move you up.
Yeah. You know, I think, [00:20:00] and they decide not to come, then they're not all that interested. Um, And I think that's important so that what that data tells you about their intent, their interest. I'm also tempted as you talk about that, to say, if I know I'm gonna have 50 wait list spots and I've got a hundred people on 'em, I might just say to get people there, 10 of those wait list spots will be given out on the day.
Yeah. Yeah. That's super cool. Right? And that way there's also more incentive for the student, right. To say, I'm gonna go all this and I still may not get in. Well, 10 of you're gonna get in right away that day. Yeah. And that, because we wanna talk about urgency. And if you time it right, cuz timing's of importance as well.
They're making decisions. They meaning the students are making decisions about where they want to enroll. So from the institution, if I time it right, it's before they've committed somewhere else because of their disappointment and not being accepted with us. Right. And so if I time that right and then [00:21:00] put on the urgency to say 10 people are getting in that extra little incentive, um, they show up.
They're more on their game to really show you who they are. Pretend sometimes they're all gonna, you know, there's the salespeople in all of us, salesperson in all of us. Um, but we get that, and I think that's, you know, something I might throw out there to spice it up a little bit. Mm-hmm.
Shane Kehl: Pumpkin spice.
Nice. Very nice. Took me half a second too long. , you know why
Mickey Baines: dad joke right here, , um, gotta throw out a dad joke. Um, so I, I was able to slip it right in there. Uh, but no, that's, I, so I, I like those, those components of it. Um, and so I think that's a, a really good idea. Yeah. Um, and it, you know, whether it's for everybody, if it's on specific programming, I mean, there's gonna be some nuances to each institution mm-hmm.
um, that's thinking about it. But I, I really think that's something that folks could build on. Yeah.
Shane Kehl: Yeah. And I think, again, it, it's some that it'll work for some schools and for others, you know, depending on how large your institution is, that might, that number might be so large where you just [00:22:00] don't have the resources to be able to make that kind of thing happen.
But if you're also, that, that massive, that's probably less of a challenge for you than it is for some of those smaller schools. You could really benefit from this. And the also the impact that one student is gonna have on your community for those schools where it is gonna work out is gonna be much larger.
And it seems like it's way more worth the investment of time. Yep. Um, again, because pound per pound, that's just, it's such a huge lift to have somebody that's energetic, passionate comes across as just like wanting and loving to be there, rather than somebody who's like, I got in, I didn't get into my other school.
I'm kind of reluctantly here because you know, mom and dad told me I have to go to college and you know, that's. Great. They, your average GPA might be higher with that person, but that if that's really what you're after, you're, you're kind of chasing the wrong things.
Mickey Baines: So, so I'm going segue into an idea that I had, but it connects to this and I didn't plan on it, obviously.
Cause I didn't know you were gonna say, didn't connect. Um, and, and so I'm gonna change. So, well, I guess my first, I was, was connecting to other institutions and so I, [00:23:00] this next one is not about students, still it's about something else, but it's internal. So what can you do to ent. Other faculty to be involved in the recruitment process.
Mm, love that. Um, I've had several conversations in the past, actually this week, uh, about my thoughts on faculty involvement in the recruitment process. Yeah. Cause it's, there's a lot of thoughts to have about it. One is there, there are faculty that are interested and wanna be helpful is', um, two, um, some of the faculty do it begrudging.
And there's a reason they do it begrudgingly and it's because they don't understand the value and they don't see the benefit from that. And sometimes it's because we're not thinking about what type of event or what type of way can I engage the faculty member so that they get the value out of it. And we also get something from it as well, sharing in that, uh, because they have an interest.
Let me tie it to what your event is. Imagine that's a good way to get faculty involved because there's an [00:24:00] opportunity, because one of the things we always hear from faculty is, I don't know about the quality of students that admission team's bringing in. Yeah. How many times have you if, if you're in higher ed and you're in admissions, you've heard that if you're on the academic side, you've said that , like that's, that's okay.
That is a good question to have and to ask. What better way to be involved in recruit. And at the same time be involved and in shaping that class. Mm-hmm. , by looking at those students that we said maybe, but we're not so sure you bring those students to campus, let's get those faculty involved. Let them be some of the determining factors that make the decisions for those that day.
Mm-hmm. , you know, let's, let's say faculty, the U five that are attending. We appreciate your attendance. You each get one pick of a person we're gonna accept. Yeah. Now they may not want that. That might be. Bit of pressure on them, but still, you know, I think that's a great way to get them involved and have an impact on something that does matter to them.
Mm. Um, and [00:25:00] so, so pumpkin spice moment when we think about getting faculty involved, the timing and the other one saying, I would say about it, you know, how do you appreciate faculty and show them that what they did mattered and helped. One of the things I've heard from faculty over the years that where they get frustrated, like, I'm always asked to help.
I say, I'm willing to help. And when I say I'm willing to help, they put me at a table at a fair and I've got three people that come up. Yeah. The whole day. You know, I get that. Cuz I can tell you I'm happy that the fact as an admissions person, I'm also often happy they're willing to help because then I don't have to Right.
Because I'm tired of having to do all that all the time. Yeah. Um, but that's not good for the faculty. That's not their job. Right. Uh, so finding other ways for them to. Sometimes I've had faculty, uh, that have come up and said, Hey, I wanna help, you know, I, I'm willing to make some phone calls to prospective students.
Oh, awesome. That's great. Um, but when you go check on the phone calls, a, you gave 'em a list of 10 people that called four. Mm-hmm. , or they called eight second. [00:26:00] When did they call 'em? I, well, I, I called 'em between, I had a good hour between classes yesterday. Uh, so Thursday between 12 and two, you called prospective students.
Where do you think they were? Between 12 and two. Oh, they were in school. Hmm. Was that the right time to like Yeah, so the way to ensure that you're getting shared value, because at the end when they call, there's like, nobody ever picks up. Yeah. Why am I calling? Right? Well, well, yeah. They don't pick up, so let's, let's decide whether or not we should call second.
You call 'em when they're at school, so even if they want it to, I don't know many schools that say, Hey, Feel free to have your phones out on your desk. Yeah, yeah. Like there's rules against it already. Yeah. Right. So, so like that's not the right way. So giving that information to faculty to say, you know what, professor Smith, I think that's awesome that you wanna call, our students aren't picking up our calls, so I don't know why they would pick up yours.
Mm-hmm. . So I don't know that that's the best way. Can we work together, figure out the right way? [00:27:00] Or if you're going to do it, I, I just want you to know, professor Jones tried this. Yeah. And this is when Professor Jones and that didn't call, so can you do it in the evening? Would that be okay? Awesome. But I think fighting for your pumpkin spice tie in here, how do you pull that together and collectively time it right?
Yeah. So that it has the best value. I had a president who wanted make phone calls to students. Well, how the hell do you pick out which students to call? Yeah. The president said, I can call eight students a week for this. awesome. , but I don't want that president making a phone call to, you know, cuz you're gonna give 'em a list of eight.
Yeah. Even if they call the right time, the students aren't picking up. So how do you make it worthwhile? Right. Well that's a whole campaign you gotta put into place. One of the things you're gonna do is you gotta be sure that the students know that they're gonna get a special call and they need to be around to get it.
Mm-hmm. and that they're telling you, well yeah, I can be around Tuesday night. Sure. How do you build that into a campaign that's still a little bit of one to one? And then how do you pick which of the right students. [00:28:00] Maybe it's students who you're trying to get in your honors program. Maybe it's students you wanna follow up with that attended this, uh, wait list event and the president wants to personally call and accept them.
Yeah. And so taking an idea and turning it into a pumpkin spice moment, it, it requires being at the right time, make, making it of high value and like it's a special thing. So how do you pull that together? So bringing those faculty members together, providing value to them. Is providing value and it's making it extra special.
It's making it, turning it into a pumpkin spice moment for them. It may not be core to what you do, but it's core to their experience and they look forward to it because that's part of it. Right, right. Making them look forward to it. So that was the one of my ideas. Yeah.
Shane Kehl: And I, and I think too, why, why that's great.
And what we hear a lot is, you know, um, Faculty wanna get involved, but faculty aren't marketers, so they don't mm-hmm. really know how to get involved and they want like, hey, point the gun for me and I'll pull the trigger type of thing. [00:29:00] Um, that can just be tough, especially when you're trying to handle your own marketing campaigns and, and, you know, doing all this stuff.
And so I think going back to kind of the original idea there of, you know, hosting these. Like mock trial session things is ideally if they're picking out students, um, if they wanna be involved, I think they would be willing to pick out students. I think that's just part of the criteria. They come, they show up.
They're maybe even picking students for the programs, you know, that they're applying for, that are in line with what they teach. You know, who they're involved with. And I think why that kind of, it again, they don't often see the return. Right. So if they do help out, if they do. And they called Johnny who's in another program or whatever, and it's like, okay, Johnny ended up enrolling, but you have no idea Johnny enrolled.
So you feel like you wasted your time, but you didn't. Um, whereas if they kind of say like, yes, I want this person, you know, Mickey was amazing. His presentation was great. His grades are lower than you know. Zachs. Um, but he's way more dynamic of a student. He's somebody I want in my classroom, like we're a Socratic seminar style.
He's [00:30:00] gonna fit in perfectly here. Um, and so I think that also builds kind of an initial relationship between you and that professor. Hey, this professor just accepted you on the spot. You're gonna see them in class. The first semester, you kind of already have that like, oh, nice, I'm so excited to chat with X and I, you already feel kind of like part of the school.
And I think that's, you know, some of the hard things for freshmen. Um, you know, beyond just meeting up with, with friends your own age is establishing relationships with professors in your, in your major, um, and feeling comfortable asking questions, doing those things, whereas you kind of already built one at least that you can kind of work off of.
Um, that I think again, helps with that. Retention helps, you know, they almost become. An advisor of sorts because you kind of have that special bond. And I think that would be, you know, super cool. Particularly again for those maybe smaller institutions where the classrooms are smaller and you really, you get to know your professors well if you, you know, put in a little bit of that effort and the professor feels like that was worth my time because now Mickey's in my class and Mickey's great.
Mickey Baines: It. I like where, [00:31:00] where you're going with that. Um, I think that taking that effort and that planning to, that extra little detail to talk about, you know, that professor, prospective student relationship even that it's starting to build there and thinking about that as as a moment. So if that's key and critical to you, how does that get formed through an event like this?
Mm-hmm. . . Um, because I think we all know when you start to develop that relationship with, with a student as an institution, and when I say as an institution, it could be the admissions counselor, it could be the faculty member, it could be someone they met with on campus for a campus tour. When you start to develop that, that builds that affinity and that desire and attraction to the institution with that prospective student.
So if, if a part of that is the faculty to perspective, student relationship, you know, physically meeting and spending time together on, on an event like. And I say physically it could be virtual. Yeah. Um, but in a real live moment maybe that is a great way to do it. And so knowing that core to what [00:32:00] you do is relationships.
Which I think we all say we do, but if that really is at core, uh, in what you do, how do you embed that into the event? Yeah. To ensure that you're achieving that. And to me, like to me, I, I like to talk about alignment. How do we get all this together? Taking a moment and a core principle of what we do of relationships and ensuring that that is a part of this event.
Mm-hmm. . And that's one of the reasons we do it. Yep. Identify the right students that are on the cusp, but also to start building that relationship so that they don't, they lose that disappointment they felt when they got a wait list letter. Yeah. We're flipping it right back around because in a customer service world where we say it takes 10 positives to offset one negative, Yeah.
Well, I don't, it doesn't always have to take 10 positives. It's gotta be a lot of effort. Mm-hmm. and coming to campus and building that relationship is a big effort. That is a big way to change that negative opinion or feeling you got when you got wait listed. Mm-hmm. . Um, and so that, you know, [00:33:00] I'm always thinking of how do we, how does this tie together and how do we make that's the best we can?
And that is one of those things when you said that just really rung true for me.
Shane Kehl: Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's what, what too is. It's like, well, it's, it's, you know, you're wait listed, but you still have an opportunity. Like, we want you to succeed. We want you to come here. Yeah. We need you to kind of like, you know, prove it to us.
And not in that like, you know, sell your soul so that you're exactly what we want out of a student. But giving them that opportunity, I think is just, it. It lightens the blow a little bit. Mm-hmm. . And then if things don't work out, I think it's a little less like, oh no, gut wrenching. Like, you just, you kind of don't hear back.
It just, it fizzles. Rather than this hard, like, nah, it's not gonna work out for us. Um, which I think is, is great for both parties too. Cause I'm sure it can be hard, you know, denying students, especially when you do build a relationship and you really like this person, but they're just not a good fit for your institution.
Um, and I feel like, you know, you can almost use that opportunity to be like, Hey, you know, I don't think you're gonna end up being a good fit [00:34:00] here for X, Y, and z reasons. Academically, this is, I think, gonna be too challenging for you, or, you know, you're interested in these things. We don't really do that really well.
I recommend you. Do X, do Y, go to community college and go take these courses instead. And then maybe you can come here or just, there's another institution for you and I, and I think schools should be okay and comfortable with being transparent about when they might not be a good fit for a student, um, and directing them somewhere else.
I know everybody has numbers they want to hit, but it's just not, I think it's a bad look for an institution just to try and make it work for every single student. They're not necessarily a good fit. And how do you do what's, you know, right by the student first, and if it works out for you, that's, that's a win-win.
But I think that's, you know, it's a big mentality shift and it, it's tough in times when numbers are low and you're getting a lot of pressure. But, um, I think the institutions that start to take that rough approach, you know, we'll see a lot of long-term success.
Mickey Baines: I've got one more idea that I wanna throw out there, and it's, and it's, and it's, it's a niche.
It's really, it's very niche, but [00:35:00] this is for an art school I have in mind. Okay. But I was reflecting back, I, I got to spend a year working at an art school. Uh, I was an undergrad theater major, so it's, pardon me. So I'm just thinking like, if we had some, and I, and I, and I don't like that my ideas are very event focused, so I'll say that.
I'll come down on myself a little bit for that. But this one is, Uh, and it's not necessarily the event, it's what you might do inside of the event to make it even more special. But let's just say we, we've got an event, um, an applicant, applicant's day or acceptance student day. Mm-hmm. , and we're bringing 'em in in the spring.
What if we had a film set set up on campus and we, as part of that process, it could be even almost like part of orientation, we put students together. Create their own film and then we film it and they get to have that experience on that same film set. I think, you know, you talk about a moment where a, you're starting to build those bonds with those students.
Yeah. Um, you're letting them get involved, and that doesn't mean like you've got only performers. You've gotta have somebody behind the camera. Mm-hmm. , you gotta have somebody directing it. You gotta have people in front of the camera acting like you [00:36:00] could build, you know, say you've got a hundred kids coming in, what if you.
Three groups. You might only have 15 kids. Yeah. You might have two groups, you know, and you create your own script as part of the fun of the day and you get to make that film. Yeah. Um, and you might have, uh, an undergraduate student doing their internship or taking a film course where they have to then take what's filmed and edit it Yeah.
As part of their assignment. Yeah. Um, And then you give those students back, uh, over the summer. We were trying to prevent melt over the summer. Hey, we edited your film. Check this out. This was, this was you. Yeah. I think that, you know, I'm looking for ways to engage people to get them further bought in and it's that extra special moment.
I think that'd be blast. Yeah. Um, for
Shane Kehl: kids doing something that, yeah. And I think, I mean, that's why students go to schools where their friends go so often. You know, the thought of going to school, you know, nobody is a little daunting as a, you know, 17, 18 year old kid. And so if you're getting this almost like team building activities mm-hmm.
you know, it's just, it's like, wow, that was really fun. I really like those people. I could totally see [00:37:00] myself here versus like, oh, I'm just gonna apply to these other schools. Oh, it's a better school. Doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best school for you. Um, and I feel like that, you know, that idea really gives you a sense of like, alright, was that fun?
Did I enjoy that? Did I enjoy those people? And again, back to my earlier point, if you didn't, Don't go, like, it's not gonna be wildly different when you're in school and it, you now, you know that was definitely worth your time.
Mickey Baines: Yep. Well, and for the accepted student day, this is my mind for like the time of, of the year of doing that.
Cuz you could do that over like an orientation period too, right? Um, I think it's great to do orientation. The reason I picked accepted student day, something you have in the spring because then you're going back to school on Monday and the, and their friends been like, what'd you do this weekend? I shot a movie.
Yeah. That's a great buzz that's happening right there. So, um, I just think, you know, there's, there's a lot of outcomes that you get from that. Yeah. Um, that really bring the student in and then also start to spread the word of how fun and how cool
Shane Kehl: that fit was. Have your editors go make trailers and use those in marketing material [00:38:00] easy.
Yeah. Yeah. You could do that. A hundred things with that. That's, yeah. So brilliant.
Mickey Baines: Awesome. Know, I think we've got a few, uh, I think we have a few special drinks. We discreted?
Shane Kehl: Yeah, there we go. Sell 'em to Starbucks. See how much they'll pay for 'em. Um, awesome.
Mickey Baines: Maybe if nothing else it mean sponsor
Shane Kehl: the show
Yeah, there we go. We'll take that free pumpkin spice for us. Yes. Awesome. Cool. All right. Thanks everybody for listening. Yep. Thanks for listening.
Mickey Baines: Hey y’all, Zach from Enrollify here. I hope you enjoyed this episode of Fanatical Fridays with Mickey Baines. If you like this episode, do us a huge favor and hit that follow and subscribe button below. Furthermore, if you've got just two minutes to spare, we would greatly appreciate you leaving a rating and a review of this show on Apple Podcasts.
Our podcast network is growing by the month, and we've got a [00:39:00] plethora of marketing admissions and higher ed technology shows that are jam packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks that are all designed to empower you to become a better higher ed professional. But Enrllify is far more than just a podcast network.
Enrollify is where higher ed comes to learn new marketing skills, discover new products and services, and find their next job. We're a growing learning community of 4,000 members, and we love to welcome you into the. You can access our free blog, articles, newsletters, e-courses, and more, or purchase our master course on how to market a university with Terry Flannery at Enrollify.org.
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About the Episode
The what's what...
It’s that time again… Pumpkin Spice Latte season! Everyone loves a good PSL; they’re seasonal, highly coveted, and widely sought after.
Do you have a recruitment campaign that you would consider your Pumpkin Spice Latte? Shane and Mickey break down a few ideas of what your PSL could be, how you could implement it, and even how you could use the materials from that campaign for future marketing efforts throughout the year.
About Fanatical Friday's
Fanatical Fridays is brought to you by Enrollify. Enrollify is where higher ed comes to learn new marketing skills, discover new software and services, network with the best minds, and find their next gig.
About the Enrollify Podcast Network
If you like this podcast, chances are you’ll like other Enrollify shows too!
Our podcast network is growing by the month and we’ve got a plethora of marketing, admissions, and higher ed technology shows that are jam-packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks all designed to empower you to be a better higher ed professional.
Our shows feature a selection of the industry’s best as your hosts. Learn from Mickey Baines, Jeremy Tiers, Jaime Hunt, Corynn Myers, Jaime Gleason, and many more.
Learn more about The Enrollify Podcast Network at podcasts.enrollify.org. Our shows help higher ed marketers and admissions professionals find their next big idea — come and find yours!
About the Podcast
Shane is the Chief Edutainment Officer for Enrollify. He takes any opportunity to make marketing fun and enjoyable while maintaining a healthy level of helpfulness and data-backed information. When he’s not being sarcastic or irritating Zach, he’s enjoying a sports game or nice brunch – mimosa, hold the OJ. His goal is to make higher ed even more fun and lively by injecting new ideas wherever he can.
Mickey Baines leads the technology services practice at Kennedy & Company. Kennedy & Co assists colleges and universities in the selection, implementation, customization and integration of various CRM technologies, including Salesforce, TargetX, Slate and others. They lead projects of all sizes for public and private two and four-year institutions. Whether he's working hands-on in an enrollment strategy project, leading a CRM implementation or speaking at a conference, the goal is the same - to help higher ed professionals implement technologies, strategies & tactics that engage and enroll more students.
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