Allison Turcio, EdD, assistant vice president for enrollment and marketing at Siena College, sits down with FYI Host, Gil Rogers, to discuss the biggest challenges facing enrollment marketers today. Allison and Gil discuss struggles among enrollment departments, including balancing the now vs. planning long-term, your budgets, measuring the success of digital advertising, and more.
To go along with her assistant vice president for enrollment and marketing title and responsibilities at Siena (a post she’s held for 17 years), she also serves as an adjunct professor of marketing at the college. Allison is also the host of The Application Podcast, which focuses on solutions to typical problems among higher ed professionals.
WHO IS ALLISON TURCIO?
In this episode…
Gil and Allison discuss the balance of ensuring the enrollment goals for the current class year are met while also preparing for future years. “When you’re feeling that pressure of (hitting your goals), it’s tough to be forward-looking,” says Allison.
Gil added that being so caught up in the current moment can cause a ripple effect of being unable to plan appropriately for the future. “You’re constantly playing catchup,” he says. Allison and Gil agree that this pressure is especially felt by institutions primarily supported by undergraduate tuition revenue.
Post-pandemic, institutions are now also facing the decision of juggling what was proving to work in the digital realm and returning to in-person events that worked before COVID-19. “It’s about finding what is still working and being very intentional about that data so that you’re not doing everything under the sun,” says Allison. “We don’t have the resources. So you have to be really intentional about what you’re choosing to do.”
Allison also explains the need to consider your audience when planning virtual events. “We’re very audience-driven with the topics we choose,” she says. “Really make sure that they’re student or parent-driven and choosing topics that are on their minds and not just things we want to say. It’s more about trying to help them with whatever they’re worried about.”
When discussing competition in the market, both Gil and Allison agree that schools aren’t just competing with each other but against brands like Netflix and Nike. With the increase in spending on advertising by colleges and universities, Allison says it’s not something to throw more money at without a strategy.
Gil goes on to talk about the importance of measuring the impact of your digital ads and having a call to action behind them. “All it takes is one bad enrollment cycle for that ad budget to get slashed because you don’t have any data to demonstrate that it’s actually working.”
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