CASE STUDY

CHALLENGE

As Rockland Community College (RCC) was faced with the need to take a new approach to their brand and their enrollment efforts. They wanted to shift from a PR & Communications model to a strategic marketing and enrollment model. To make this shift, they needed to examine their current marketing and recruiting efforts, so they engaged Swim to analyze current processes from the prospective student’s view point, the infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing and expanding institution, as well as the overall enrollment pipeline.

APPROACH & SOLUTIONS

To do this, Swim embarked on journey with RCC that included multiple phases and facets:

Phase 1: Research and Analysis

We gained an in-depth understanding of their Communications team, their roles and responsibilities as well as what role their team played on the college stage in context of acquisition of new leads and the development of new programs.

Through multiple deep dive sessions, focus groups and discovery sessions, we wanted to map our current processes to identify gaps and opportunities for prospective students to fall out of their enrollment funnel.

Through extensive time with their research team, we gained a firm understanding of the composition of their student enrollment and their needs.

From this data gathering, we provided extensive findings and recommendations that lead to the restructuring to a Strategic Marketing and Student Services model. Some of these recommendations included:

Restructuring of the Communications Department to build a strategic marketing department; charged with elevating the brand position for the institution within the service area. 

Engaging in Enrollment Management Consulting that ensures that each enrollment cycle is laser focused on re-enrollment of existing students and the acquisition of new/prospective students. 

Developing process maps and strategic Communications Plans, as they implement a new ERP. 

Redesign their website, to a user friendly look and feel, designed to convert perspective students.

Phase 2: Implementation

With their infrastructure in place to being implementation of
transformative work, Swim partnered with RCC to:

List harvesting for prospective students who have never applied to RCC before 

Developing communication and intervention strategies for students along the entire lifecycle of the enrollment funnel 

Digital marketing strategies that are catered to students and prospects based on their current status within the enrollment funnel 

Text message and phone call campaigns for students

The development of “user-friendly,” “interactive,” “modern,” and “easy to edit” website that can serve as a marketing tool as well as a lasting first impression for potential students. Keeping in mind that this site would be the primary marketing tool for RCC, laying out a solid framework for the website design was an important first step for this project. Elements of the website include (but not limited to):

Web Design

Responsive platform

HTML5/CSS

CMS Development

Website Hosting Recommendations

Photo Galleries

Create and Edit Calendars

Staff Directory

News and Media Center

RESULTS

After assessing all of the content and graphic requirements for the site, our designers went to work to provide a mobile responsive interface that included areas for marketing messages, news, calendars, and social media. Just like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, it’s a delicate task that our professional designers tackled with ease to get all the components of the concept to fit together nicely with ease. Additionally, the refinement in RCC’s communication and enrollment funnel strategy helped the institution exceed enrollment goals by 3%, for the first time in 5 years. A great deal since this was the first enrollment campaign that used a fresh approach to data collection for the service areas , allowing RCC to recognize their target group and establish effective , productive communications that drove success.