The Learning Strategy: What is a Cold Call?: In my next series of blogs, I need to learn and get a better understanding of traditional terms and definitions in combining the new age...
Friday, May 6, 2016
The Learning Strategy: Top Five Ways to Market Higher Education to Busine...: With the increasing pressure for Higher Education to meet business educational needs, the label of “off-the-shelf” traditional classes...
Posted by Jeff Roth at 6:04 AM
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The Learning Strategy - B Harmony: A place where Businesses and Colleges Meet... We serve and represent a wide range of businesses and colleges in sales training, industry research, customer profiling, setting appointments and needs assessments and analysis. We can help you develop, customize and even execute a sales and marketing solution for your ideal customers!
Posted by Jeff Roth at 4:45 PM
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
With the increasing pressure for Higher Education to meet business educational needs, the label of “off-the-shelf” traditional classes has flipped. Rather than meeting the needs of its faculty, it’s now meeting the needs of a dynamic, rapidly changing business environment. Is this even possible, given the college’s resources and experience?
There are plenty of college institutions out there that have workforce development, corporate training, contract training and continuing education departments who are more than eager to offer the ideal customized solution to a business. For-profit and non-profit institutions alike are becoming increasingly savvy at delivering need assessments/analysis, cobranding curriculum design/development and delivering non-traditional learning platforms (i.e. blended, hybrid, virtual, webinars, online, etc.). Just send out a flyer, email blast, and make some phone calls or lately, an invitation to chat with a live representative. Will those messages aim to educate or persuade a business? Just as education providers are becoming better in marketing, so are the prospective businesses. So the question becomes-do you have their attention-will you sell them or will you serve them? The following are the top 5 ways to market Higher Education to Businesses:
1. Provide a business-friendly website experience.
Many colleges ignore business program information as an afterthought to their traditional student-centric marketing. Off-the-shelf and traditional programs are less complex and are simply what college instructors know best, so they tend to dominate traditional catalogs that migrate to their website for students. Don’t make it difficult for a business find out what is available to them with an experience that speaks to their needs. Create value added content messaging and linking throughout the experience.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – seek B2B professional help.
Adding a few meta-tags is simply not going to cut it if you want to be a thought leader in education and be on top of the search results of businesses. Your key pages, keywords, blogs, podcasts, social media, must be targeted and handled by professionals who know business. Do-it-yourself SEO is a dangerous way handle a critical element of your digital marketing strategy. This is especially true due to the fact that many institutions of higher education have minimal marketing budgets that try to cover students, community and business organizations. Identify areas where you offer a business solution and optimize your content to get businesses there quickly. You’ll better serve the business and your institution.
3. Use a B2B Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System – A traditional Student Information CRM won’t suffice.
If you plan to provide an efficient and effective experience for businesses interested in learning about your programs, it will most likely be a combination of automation and personalization. A CRM helps you to collect information from businesses, industries, employee-students, grant programs in an organized way. Marketing automation enables you to respond to their needs immediately, track your interactions and offer them valuable feedback on what’s working and what’s not working. This is a different dynamic compared to information data gathering. Determine what communication is valuable to the business so you can automate and make the time required for relationship building.
4. Integrate traditional customer service and content-rich self-service resources.
Businesses, more than any other segment, are constantly being sold to before they even inquire. By incorporating interactive tools and self-service elements to your website and landing pages, you give them the opportunity to feel in control to educate themselves on your educational options. Video testimonials, program previews, CEU-credit transfers, grant programs, live chat, and unfiltered social media conversations provide a way for the prospective business to get to know you on their terms. We found an increasing number of businesses that know about their local colleges but don’t know how they, as a business, can benefit from their programs and services.
5. Most importantly, proactively reach out to businesses – The Personal Touch.
While website, email blasts, and social media of the business shopping experience are important to learn about your programs, there is no replacement for proactive, personal business outreach. Businesses know about your college and want explore more about information regarding new trends in education, customized training, partnerships, grant opportunities, campus career fairs, community and foundation events, sponsorships, etc.
It’s a win-win relationship and both parties will learn more by meeting each other….
We, www.thelearningstrategy.com help colleges and universities guide these strategies and tactics in an informed way that will lead to a more relevant, useful experience for businesses. When businesses can make a balanced and informed decision about the best ways in serving their educational needs, this is a critical first step in trusting and valuing an educational partner in accomplishing their educational goals and objectives.
Posted by Jeff Roth at 1:38 PM
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
One specific community college’s workforce department representative placed a call to a Joe Smith, the Vice President of an energy company who didn’t have time to talk, but was interested in scheduling an appointment. The VP explained to the corporate college representative that their son recently graduated from college and had received his two year Associates degree at the college. However, he didn’t know anything about the college’s corporate college and required more information to guide his comprehension during the meeting.
As the meeting took place, the corporate college representative established rapport with the VP, which permitted him to provide a brief introduction of the corporate college. The VP intently listened, and when the corporate college representative began to delve into a need assessment, the VP responded by stating that much of the training was handled internally at the facility or through his headquarters in Atlanta. While there may have been a need, at present, it wasn’t pressing. However, the VP continued to explain that he did have some needs for which the college seemed to be a great fit. He continued to express that he wanted to have better exposure in the community and wanted to know about any events at the college which he could sponsor. In essence, he was looking to be part of a foundation or an advisory board because he is as a big believer in helping students to get ahead. At that time, the VP was ready to develop a recruiting relationships with colleges.
The corporate college representative nodded his head and explained that he would check back with the VP. Unfortunately, the representative didn’t see an immediate revenue opportunity for his department or motivation to direct Joe to the right departments— nor could he predict the time it would detract from his main responsibilities. The representative determined that the meeting would not be valuable to him or his workforce development training products and services; therefore he didn’t pursue further or follow-up with Mr. Smith.
1. Could there have been a better way to proactively capture the community college’s total value proposition with an employer before the meeting was contracted?
2. Since the VP didn’t know anything about the college’s corporate college, was it worthwhile to visit and educate him? Why or why not?
3. At present, it appears that the VP’s priorities do not lie in corporate training, but rather, in understanding how the college’s capabilities could help his own business. Was this a productive meeting for the college’s corporate training department? Why or why not?
4. As a result of not following up on the VP’s needs, what impact on the employer’s trust and credibility with the community college and the corporate college division could you foresee occurring?
Given the work that you do at the Community College, what were your big takeaways? What messages spoke loudest to you? Or which ones prompted more questions or concerns? I'd love to know! Email me at http://www.thelearningstrategy.com/contact.html and write "Community College - Employer Case Study #1" in the subject line.
Posted by Jeff Roth at 7:57 PM