Before jumping into strategy development, it was important for Swim to gain a firm understanding of BC’s historical reasoning to processes and their approach to marketing and enrollment. It was also critical to understand how BC was currently navigating in such a competitive market.
The College stakeholder’s desired outcomes:
• Ability to track inquiries and conversions
• Method for tracking communications
• A strategy for timely and relevant communications
To do this, Swim held multiple meetings with cross-departmental stakeholders to begin reviewing the current processes and technologies, and also began outlining the critical path to enrollment and the ideal student experience. Based on the ideal student experience and onboarding process, Swim worked to create solutions that could be executed within the existing software. This was done over a period of time to ensure Swim had new students who just underwent the process, students who dropped out of the institution for various reasons, internal faculty, and staff as well as community members. Swim also knew that in order to deliver recommendations to such complex challenges, they needed to experience the process first hand. Below is the approach taken:
Since the Colleges started using the first phase of the plan: More than 3,500 prospects completed the RIF or prospect card. Recruiters are completing their monthly calls to prospects and they have seen their enrollment conversion grow over 25%.
Broward College (BC) is ranked among the top 3 colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, with an annual enrollment of more than 63,000, from more than 180 countries. They offer over 140 programs for certificates, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. They also service more than 11 locations within the Fort Lauderdale area.
Like many schools across the country, Broward College was facing enrollment challenges prior to engaging Swim. Additionally, it was difficult to identify the gaps, because there were inconsistencies in tracking conversions and measuring data. Their admissions team was using a separate system and inquiry to application conversions that weren’t being tracked; roles and responsibilities for college recruiting and prospect conversions were also unclear.
Based on experience and an understanding of the College, the student body, and Broward County, Swim was asked to help the Enrollment Services, Marketing, and IT departments. By leveraging the existing digital platforms and technologies, Swim was to create a solution for their decreasing enrollment.
Through this work, Swim came to multiple solutions that would immediately address the
• Project Kickoff: Swim held multiple meetings with cross-departmental stakeholders to begin reviewing the current processes and technologies, and began outlining the critical path to enrollment and the ideal student experience.
• Process Re-engineering: Before implementing any of the desired solutions, Broward and Swim had to map the ideal process, agnostic from any current technology and systems.
• Student Funnel Development: Implementation began with defining the College’s student onboarding funnel. In collaboration with college constituents, Swim defined their Suspects, Prospects, Respondents, Applicants, and Enrolled students.
• Request for Information Form: All digital marketing and recruiting efforts directed to a redesigned form.
• Marketing Efforts: Developed criteria to track leads from the very first point of contact through all marketing campaigns leveraging unique URLs for traditional advertising and digital campaigns using UTM codes.
• Communications Plan Development: Created and coded a strategic communications plan, based on the desired outcomes within the process and enrollment funnel.