NTT DATA Business Solutions
Marc van den Berk | December 1, 2015

Digitization: How Universities and Colleges Can Step Up Their (Marketing) Game


Is your school ready to soar through digital transformation? To recruit and engage during the entire student journey? To find out more about a holistic omni-channel strategy designed specifically for the needs of post-secondary institutes, check out my brand-new white paper, “Fly Like an Eagle: How Institutions for Higher Education Can Reach New Heights in the Digital Age”. Gated link to download White Paper

The world is going digital, and it’s the students and graduates of post-secondary institutions who contribute to some of the greatest technological advances out there. What can universities do to recruit more of the brightest minds, and give those students the best student experience possible?

Our next generations of students are digital natives – always on the cusp of information. They are ambitious and competitive, and demand high-level services.  Therefore, colleges and universities need to keep pace with digital expectations and the possibilities that they themselves have enabled. I am convinced that a digital strategy based on omni-channel technology is a future-proof way to do so, and is the best strategy for staying at the head of the increasing global competition to win students.

Empowered Students

Today’s students want to be more than just a student number; they want their universities to know who they are and what they expect. But when an individual student’s data is scattered in multiple systems and databases, this can prove difficult – resulting in students not getting the tailored education or support they need.

Take for example when a student visits the financial aid office to inquire about scholarship opportunities. They’ve already called in to get an overview of what’s available to them, sharing information relating to their program of study and financial situation. An in-person visit should be a continuation of this process, but instead, the student has to provide this information all over again – and basically start the process from scratch. With an integrated, omni-channel system, that student’s data would have already been recorded in a central student profile and be available to any staff member helping them down the road.

Personalization From Click One

From a strategic or competitive perspective, an omni-channel approach is all about how higher education institutes market themselves. Highly important for today’s students, be they prospective, current or former, is a close and personal connection to their university. And they expect this connection to be supported via a complete set of channels, including social media, email, apps, blogs, online shops and in-person interactions. A school simply making use of those channels is not enough. The content needs to be up to date, consistent, and targeted beyond just the student’s status or program of study.

With the right kind of marketing and profiling software, schools can begin building a profile of each student from the first moment a student calls for information or checks out the website, adding rich detail and insight after every subsequent interaction. These profiles are essential to market effectively to students, providing content that is actually relevant to each of their individual needs. It’s effective at drawing in prospective students who were “just browsing”, to getting alumni to return for a graduate program or individual courses paid for by their employer.

In my white paper, you’ll find out how you can meet the needs and expectations of students in today’s digital world. Gated link to download White Paper If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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