Transcript 51: The Benefits of a 3-Year Marketing Plan, with Allison Lanier and Scott Fogleman


Intro:

You’re listening to Undeclared the podcast that provides strategies to overcome the challenges that higher education institutions face. We help colleges and universities attract the right students because we know an educated planet is a better place for everyone. Please welcome your host, Scott Fogleman and Allison Lanier.

Allison Lanier:

Hi, I’m Allison.

Scott Fogleman:

And I’m Scott. You’re listening to Undeclared a podcast for higher education problem solvers, where we discuss all things higher ed with university and college professionals, as well as industry experts.

Allison Lanier:

Guess what? We have a webinar series. On April 22nd we covered the benefits of a three year plan and in case you missed it, we wanted to go ahead and provide some highlights to encourage you to go download and watch it now. Actually, what I mean by that is after you listened to our podcast episode.

Scott Fogleman:

Yeah, not right now, we got just a few things to share, but then go download. So yeah, we are really excited to continue offering our webinars series because we really want to take you behind the curtain of what we do and what we offer, our processes as well, and an effort to help elevate you and your team and give you some additional outlets for professional development opportunities. Knowing that this year is a little weird with our current environments, so those opportunities have been limited. So we wanted to make sure you have an offer to learn and learn as much as you can so much like we did in our last duo-cast today, we’re going to walk you through some of the points of the three year plan benefits, high level. We’re not going to get too deep in the weeds, but as you have questions, we’d love to hear your feedback and we’d love to do a one-on-one and walk you through it as well.

Scott Fogleman:

So with that said, let’s kind of kick off. So we’ve seen a lot of needs for three year plan. We’ve seen a lot of benefits around it as well, but we all know that there’s a lot of things in our current environment going on. So outside of just the landscape of COVID-19 and other things happening in our country today, there’s still the anticipated enrollment cliff that is coming for the 2025, 2026 academic years. So we’ve got to prepare now.

Scott Fogleman:

There are shifting demographics, we’ve got to ensure that our brand and our offerings are welcoming and inclusive to this more diverse cohort of students that are soon going to be graduating and joining our rankings. Also, we have to prepare for that nontraditional student that is becoming more prevalent and understanding what are those changes in demographics? How do we best meet their needs of an adult learner or someone who’s coming back to continue their education? So there’s a lot of changes in our environment that are happening today. There’s going to be even more happening in the next few years. So having a plan to address it now is going to help give you the leg up that you need as these other changes come down the pipe.

Scott Fogleman:

So we’ve also identified that within higher ed, there’s typically a need for three projects that are happening on a revolving basis. So within that is going to be research. You’ve got to keep your ears to the ground. You’ve got to understand, again, as we mentioned in our previous duo-cast around brand, what are people saying on your campus? What are people saying outside of your campus about your offerings? What are your alumni saying? What are your faculty and staff, what are the sentiments? We’ve got to do research to understand. We also need to understand what are your competitors doing? What’s happening in the field that you need to be aware of.

Scott Fogleman:

That research is then going to influence these major projects, which include websites. So typically you want to do your website, maybe a refresh every three to five years, but you really want to focus on a brand platform that is going to give you three years of longevity. So start with that brand strategy as well. Look at that longterm benefit and then how your web can change three to five years. That’s really updates on messaging, look and feel.

Scott Fogleman:

Then lastly, there’s other main projects that are going to happen on a consistent basis are going to be your marketing campaigns. That’s where you’re going to drive your brand awareness promotions. You’re going to offer your enrollment campaigns. You’re going to do your nurture efforts. So within the three year period, we know that these projects are likely going to be on your radar, we want to help bring them to the forefront of your mind in offer a solution that makes these easily digestible and give you a plan that allows you to start with what your priority needs to be, and then move through all of these projects to again, make sure that you’re prepared for what we all know is about to happen with this enrollment cliff.

Allison Lanier:

How many of you are shaking your heads right now and they’re just going, yes, yes, I have all of these projects.

Scott Fogleman:

I need one of them.

Allison Lanier:

I need one of, all of these in the next three years. Well, one of the roadblocks that you may run into is budget planning and what you typically see in higher ed is budget planning that occurs each year and you’re scrambling to find the funds needed for each project that we just identified. Well, what if we could go ahead and map out your needs, attach a budget and then break it down into monthly installments? Shameless plug here, we have developed that solution and call it our marketing subscription, but it really does make sense to think this way, because if you’ve identified the need, then go ahead and remove any obstacles that you may come across and budget is a huge one.

Scott Fogleman:

Absolutely. Some of the other obstacles, excuse me, that this new plan will help you address is consistency. If you do need to leverage the partnership, make sure that you’re doing it in a consistent way. So this work is building upon itself. Also, the consistency of just making sure the information is flowing back to your stakeholders and letting them see the progress, letting them see what your plans are and then also giving you the consistency of having a plan for where you’re going to go in three years, understanding, okay, these are the steps that need to happen. Now, there may be flex needs in between. Yes, we get that things happen. But in terms of high level, very large projects, this will help you identify that, create a plan and make it something that is actually attainable and so just dream.

Allison Lanier:

Well, we covered the benefits of a three year plan and much more in the webinars. So be sure to download it after this episode, we’re also be sure to provide the link in our show notes as well, but as always, thank you so much for joining us today and be sure to subscribe to our show in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. If you don’t mind giving us a little rating and review, that would be greatly appreciated. Also be sure to visit us at theundeclaredpodcast.com. We would love for you to leave us your feedback, send us your questions, or even just check in to see what we’re all about.

Scott Fogleman:

Absolutely. So until next time continue the great work out there, solving the problems of higher ed and if the marketing subscription sounds like an offer for you, please reach out to Allison and I will gladly do a needs assessment.

Outro:

Thank you for listening to this episode of Undeclared, the podcast that guides colleges and universities through their greatest challenges. Please leave us a rating and review and go to the Undeclaredpodcast.com to tell us how we can help your college or university succeed. Remember an educated planet is a better place for everyone.