John Copeland, CEOThe surge in high graduates over the last decade has led colleges and universities globally to adopt the Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) software while dealing with the subsequent enrollment demand. Recognizing the needs of “post-traditional” students, institution are faced with differentiating their message to a variety of audiences. CRM investments have not yielded the anticipated benefits and remain largely disconnected from the campus systems—Student Information, Financial Aid, to name a few—that provide real insight into the student relationship. In fact, studies have consistently shown no real increase in colleges messaging their prospective students and targeting of those messages through a CRM solution. According to John Copeland, CEO at DemandEngine, “The main reason why colleges go for CRM is to automate messages but their only advantage ends up being able to send e-mails faster, which is not the way it was designed to be used. Students should receive relevant, actionable information that will guide them to one of the most important decisions about their future.”
This is where DemandEngine steps in. With a stellar portfolio which includes a leading-edge marketing automation platform, consulting services, and “turn-key” eCRM, the company sees things differently. Until recently, colleges have largely not understood the connection between CRM and marketing automation. In fact, the two platforms are integral to the other. DemandEngine considers marketing automation “a process of planning and executing digital conversation workflows through the use of cloud-based software” applicable at any enrollment intake point. Copeland strongly believes that follow-up enrollment communication is fundamental in helping students make life-changing decisions through education. “Engaging a student at the right time in their decision cycle with appropriate content helps them evaluate the choices ahead,” he notes.
By utilizing Oracle’s Bronto platform, DemandEngine has created EduConverse, a cloud-based marketing automation software which steps away from generic e-mail communication and takes an authentic, individualized approach that truly guides students through every step of their educational journey. “It is a marketing system of record,” says Copeland. Since 2003, EduConverse has been the catalyst for over 300 colleges and universities worldwide, including Georgia Tech, LSU, and Harvard.
EduConverse takes an authentic, individualized approach that truly enables students to make life-changing decisions through every step of their educational journey
It efficiently captures enrollment demand and engages students, alumni, and other constituents in digital conversations through its self-service and managed service options. The cross-channel marketing platform supports four primary use cases: Campaign Management, Digital Marketing, CRM Database Marketing, and Conversation Workflows.
The platform’s mobile-friendly and easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface allows colleges to reach their prospects at any given time in a painless manner, making sophisticated enrollment marketing automation as simple as it gets. What is more, its real-time ROI measurement capability provides transparency into the true conversion level of programs paint a realistic picture of how students are moving throughout the institutional lifecycle. Building on that, any necessary adjustments going forward can be made to truly create the most effective campaign on top of the demand. In addition, it can directly connect to most existing student information or CRM systems. One such example involves UNC-Charlotte which was able to combine all their previous development and fundraising communication through different tools into a unified platform which gave them the visibility into every single message going out to their alumni base.
“We take what we learn from our industry research and directly put into our products and services,” says Copeland in regards to the future. Whatever the next trend in the CRM space may be, the DemandEngine CEO stresses out the company’s core focus that will certainly not change―to help students make lifelong decisions through education, whether that be prospective, current students or alumni and other constituents.