Validating ROI of Enrollment Management Plans

September 11th, 2009 by Bob Longmire Leave a reply »

Not too long ago, as part of a consulting engagement, I was meeting with the head of enrollment and we were reviewing the many strategies and tactics that make up their marketing and recruiting plan. A number of items caught my attention. Frankly, I wondered if they were working effectively for this institution.

I pointed to one and asked, “How is this working for you.” She replied that it was not working very well at all, especially given the amount of time and energy they put into it. I asked her why they continue to do it if the ROI is so weak. “Because we have always done it,” she said, “and it’s too deeply rooted in our process to stop now.”

Unfortunately, this mind set is all too common. It is the nature of most departments to add even more strategies and tactics to the marketing plan while failing to eliminate the ineffective ones.

Through our consulting engagements and on campus Interactive Training Workshops, we stress the importance of using systems thinking to evaluate which strategies and tactics need to be added and deleted from an institution’s playbook. The “5 Whys” and root cause analysis used in systems thinking is a quick way to validate or invalidate any current or proposed strategy or tactic. The process gets at the root of the need and forces you to take a completely objective view of ROI.

The video below was recorded at a recent Interactive Training Workshop that Longmire and Company conducted for a university in Michigan. As you can see, the benefit of systems thinking was clearly evident to the attendees and, even more importantly, so was the importance of following through on the conclusions derived from the exercise.

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