Sales and Marketing Health Check – How Do You Shape Up?

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=50&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Product Management

At Candlefox, we’re experts at helping education providers attract quality students and maximise student enrolments. Our leading education marketplace attracts over 500,000 visitors each month, so we’re experts on the Australian education industry.

When we help our partners through the full end to end student acquisition journey, we’re always keen to understand how our providers get students through the front door, what marketing tactics they use, and how their Sales teams service student enquiries.

Our previous article on Optimising Your Post Enquiry Processes detailed how to optimise your contact strategy to maximise enrolments. We’ve now put together some thoughts on what you should do to Attract students and build out your Marketing and Sales function.

Lead acquisition and student recruitment are hard, but getting it right will future-proof your business.

Download our free Sales and marketing Health Checklist today

Download our free Sales and marketing Health Check today

1) Building Your Provider Brand

As an education provider, educating students is the most important part of the student journey. It’s what education institutions do best.

That said, it’s important that prospective students understand who you are before they embark on their education, and what your institute stands for.

  • Have a dedicated Marketing Department that sits separately to your Sales Team. Your Marketing Team should build your student acquisition strategy, your Sales Team will utilise your brand materials and content. to nurture student prospects and ultimately enrol students
  • Build you brand value proposition so that prospective students will identify with your institution and what you stand for. How are you unique and why should students choose you?
  • Communicate your brand across all of your offline and online channels with consistent branding assets and messaging

2) Your Online Presence

It’s not just tech savvy millennials who will expect you to have a solid online presence – in this day and age, being digital first and having an online presence is key to brand awareness.

  • Be a digital first organisation and a digitally friendly brand. Your course information and materials should all be online.
  • Optimise your website and make it mobile responsive. User experience is key, and optimising your UX so that your website is easy to navigate will help prospective students more than you think.
  • Build your brand on multiple channels and leverage these platforms to engage with prospective students. Being an omnichannel organisation is key to reaching the full student market. Be active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and leverage these different platforms to engage with prospective students. (1)
  • Having an effective SEO strategy will help prospective students find you.

marketing channels cf

Types of online marketing channels

3) Digital Marketing Strategy

Building a digital marketing strategy seems like a daunting prospect, but it’s important to understand what you’re setting out to achieve, what your key performance indicators are and what your cost per student acquisition is.

  • For a true understanding of your marketing costs, familiarise yourselves with metrics beyond conversion rates, and look at your overall ROMI.
  • Be agile and responsive, and not afraid to change your digital strategy and messaging–be mindful of seasonality and marketplace trends will impact how prospective students respond to the market. The beginning of the calendar year is peak time for the education industry, but so is the middle of the year.
  • Data analysis and segmentation: Understand how users reach your brand, how they engage with it and who is enrolling through data analysis and segmentation. Use tools such as Google Analytics to track user behaviour and shape your content and messaging accordingly to different user groups.
  • Diversify your channels. Don’t rely on just Adwords and Facebook as the only paid marketing channels you use to attract students. Think about email, retargeting technology and the Candlefox marketplace to drive your student acquisition strategy.

4) Content Marketing

We’ve written about this before, but putting to use an effective content strategy will to attract students is very important. Harnessing an effective content marketing strategy is one of the best ways for your prospective student audience to explore your brand and your course offering through their decision making journey, and shape their perception of you as a trusted educator. An effective content marketing strategy should align with your overall digital marketing strategy.

  • Devise a content calendar to plan and map out your content strategy
  • Have an active and up-to-date presence on your website’s blog, on your social platform and across all of your channels
  • Use content as a valuable way to retarget prospective students who have already engaged with you, informing them with industry or career related content that is relevant to your courses or institution. Outcome based content seems to resonate the most with student prospects.
  • Social proof goes a long way: devise methods to create content with student stories, student interviews and testimonials to create content that is highly relevant.
  • Consider video content. No only is it more engaging, it will help your search ranking and people retain more information after watching videos.

Download our free Sales and marketing Health Check today

Download our free Sales and marketing Health Check today

5) The Marketing Funnel

Unfamiliar with the traditional marketing funnel? Don’t let the acquisition funnel confuse you – we’ve reverted to the marketing flywheel here at Candlefox, which symbolises customer acquisition and business growth with the customer (or student) at the centre of the flywheel.

When building out a student acquisition strategy and evaluating your paid and unpaid marketing channels, just remember the following:

  • icon attract


    Getting students through your door

  • icon enrol


    Enrolling them in the right courses

  • icon retain


    Enhancing the overall student experience


6) Understanding the Student Journey

Nurture your student leads. Help prospective students understand who you are, what courses you offer and how you are going to ultimately help their career outcomes.

  • Build out highly relevant information to help prospective students to progress through their decision making journey, reinforcing your brand and credibility at each interaction
  • Use a CRM to build out effective communications and track student acquisition.
  • Use market automation to effectively nurture student prospects. A marketing automation platform that sits on top of your CRM will help you inform, education and nurture your student prospects over time.
  • Marketing automation. We’ve mentioned it before, but to effectively nurture student prospects, a marketing automation platform that sits on top of your CRM will help you inform, educate and nurture your student prospects over time.
Screen Shot 2019 03 14 at 3.34.03 pm

7) Sales – The Post Enquiry Process

We’ve covered this off before in our Optimise your Success article, but for a quick recap on optimising your team’s Contact Strategy to maximise your student enrolments:

  • Speed to response is important get to your leads as quickly as possible to maximise contactSpeed to response is important get to your leads as quickly as possible to maximise contact
  • Nurture your leads
  • Manage your pipeline effectively
  • Resource your sales team effectively to manage student leads
  • Train your team to have the right conversations

This is by no means exhaustive, and aimed at giving your Sales and Marketing functions an idea of what needs to be done to effectively attract students and work through a successful education marketing strategy. Candlefox can assist through all stages of the student acquisition journey.

For more information on how you can use the Candlefox and the Candlefox Marketplace to attract more student enquiries and maximise student enrolments, get in touch with us today.

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=100&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Product Management

As Head of Product Management at Candlefox, Claudia is responsible for defining our product strategy so that we can continue to build and deliver innovative solutions for both our B2C Marketplace visitors and B2B partners.

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