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Driving Global Recruitment with Advanced CRM

By employing a flexible, configurable CRM system, university administrators can better manage employees and maximize recruitment potential
University Business, March 2013

With the goal of attracting high numbers of international students, Arizona State University needed a solution to interest prospective students on multiple levels. With Campus Management’s Talisma CRM system, ASU was able to transform its admissions and marketing processes by streamlining and automating certain communications. In this web seminar, originally presented on January 17, 2013, an administrator from ASU described how the institution optimized recruiter productivity, as well as maximized student engagement through the utilization of multiple communications channels.

Jason Soffer
Talisma CRM Product Manager
Campus Management Corp.

Campus Management was established in 1988 and is based in Boca Raton, Florida. We’re viewed as a visionary leader in enterprise software and services. Our client roster includes large and small institutions, as well as nonprofits and for-profits in the higher ed space. Our school base is both U.S. and internationally driven. When looking at the evolution of a student’s life cycle through the institution’s eyes, he or she starts in the prospect phase. He or she hopefully continues as a student and alumni, and then, ideally, eventually to a continuing learner.

Of course, the ultimate goal is lifelong engagement. This process begins in the admissions office, with lead identification, marketing campaigns, and prospecting. Many other departments will also touch the prospect in this first stage, so a central system for tracking and organizing communications just makes sense. In the end, the value proposition is to ensure the student arrives at the right career, but is also nurtured so that as an alumnus, they maintain strong ties to the school. The benefits include continued enrollment in programs, legacy enrollment for children, and fundraising.

Ten years ago, colleges were faced with the file-folder system, where critical information sat in a file folder on someone’s desk and it was virtually impossible to have a 360-degree view of an applicant or student. When CRM first came into play, it wasn’t seen as a value-add to the organization holistically; it was adopted only in certain departments or on certain campuses. There was a picture being painted, but there were still individual silos of information. The Talisma CRM system allows you to break down these silos, start small and quickly scale up.

We believe the only way to support the needs of an organization is to centralize data, provide security around it, and allow departments the flexibility to implement the processes they need to achieve their goals. The CRM should be an enabling technology, and not prevent staff members from doing their jobs. If an enterprise CRM strategy is adopted throughout a school, to maintain relationships with all constituents, it must support a diverse set of communication channels.

Today, those channels are email, SMS, social media, and call centers. The chosen method of communication is supported by custom predictions and analytics, to ensure that the right messaging is communicated to the right audience. We must keep in mind, an applicant may spend much of their day on Facebook or Twitter, while an alumnus who is also a continuing learner may be better targeted by LinkedIn. Keeping this in mind will allow your CRM strategy to maximize the reach into and value of the constituent relationship. When implementing a CRM strategy, an institution must examine the value proposition, and the return on investment.

Are you communicating with those who have asked for it or need it? Are you communicating in a timely manner and through an effective means? Can you measure worker productivity or service level? Is your platform solution adaptable to your organization and able to support data-driven decisions? Enterprise CRM, whether domestic or international, or small scale or large scale, is no longer just about outbound communication issue management. Effective CRM is about communicating and operating efficiently and using data points to drive actions and behavior.

David Burge
Executive Director
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Arizona State University

Arizona State University is relatively new to the focused international recruitment space. We expanded staffing dramatically and functionally. Prior, we had one staffer focused on application processing for international students; now we have six. As we look at engaging global enrollment and driving global recruitment, the CRM system is necessary, but so are the staff members that the technology will support.

Our international enrollment has been growing 40-45 percent per year through our focused recruitment efforts. Our previous recruitment technology had been stable and comfortable, but we desired more customization. We needed an enterprisewide solution, and now have one centrally supported system. A key part of the migration was redefining all processes on paper before implementation.

One of the biggest mistakes we wanted to avoid was running the new system the way we ran the old one. Once we went live with the product in August 2011, we made our old system read-only during Week One. During Week Three, we received emails into the system; in Week Four, we sent our first outgoing emails from the system. The most important part anyone who looks to expand their CRM system needs to consider is what post-launch consulting services need to be engaged.

Arguably, a CRM implementation is an 18- to-24 month process and tweaking needs to be done along the way. As we looked to expand our global reach, Talisma’s workspace function definitely helped account for our success. Upper level management can give priorities for the week, day or hour, and those decisions are immediately pushed out to those who need to implement those priorities. Talisma also allows for full email integration, which was not possible with our old system. This is incredible when you are trying to build thousands of relationships over 18-24 months.

Talisma’s customization component allows for a more sophisticated recruitment process. We knew we wanted to create different marketing campaigns based on geography, scholarship eligibility, and other factors. We want our recruiting to feel personal and for the prospect to feel they are receiving a message directly from the recruiter. What’s nice about our systemic approach is that we get great data into the system from all of the functional users. In the end, you are putting more students into the system, centralizing all available information on them, and are able to do more with them as a result. We have recruiters traveling across the globe, so it was important for the system to be available remotely. When a recruiter logs in, they can look up their leads, a particular student or those interested in a particular academic program, or those located in a particular geographic location, and see all available information.

While some features are user-driven, we also use Talisma for automated marketing. All recruitment lists come out of the CRM. We can automate processes; for example, seven days after an admissions letter is sent, a follow-up letter is automatically sent out. All event communication is automated—from the moment someone signs up for an event, to the confirmation, to the thank you for attending, to the follow-up survey. All of this is driven through predictive modeling, where we can update the predictive analytics that drive our funnel. My biggest piece of advice regarding the Talisa CRM is that the more you can automate in the system, the more effective you can be in the global market. Building that effective automation takes time, patience, and the right staff.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, please go to