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May 24, 2022

Being Competitive With Bold Marketing

Being Competitive With Bold Marketing

A small liberal arts college education comes with many benefits, but most also come with an expensive price tag. Does it have to be that way? 

In this episode, Dr. Scott Feller, President at Wabash College, shares how to provide an elite education without an elite price tag. Dr. Feller explains the benefits leading with student outcomes, embracing comparison, and building a philanthropic alumni network. 

We discuss:

  • Why to lead with outcomes
  • How philanthropy becomes self-perpetuating 
  • How to be competitive with larger schools  

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform.  

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The Higher Ed Marketer podcast is sponsored by Caylor Solutions, an Education Marketing and Branding Agency, and by Think Patented, a Marketing Execution, Printing and Mailing provider of Higher Ed solutions.

    

 

Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:00.160 --> 00:00:06.440 The High Red Marketer podcast is sponsored by the ZEMI APP enabling colleges and universities 2 00:00:06.480 --> 00:00:12.759 to engage interested students before the even apply. You were listening to the Higher 3 00:00:12.880 --> 00:00:18.079 Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals in higher education. This show 4 00:00:18.120 --> 00:00:22.879 will tackle all sorts of questions related to student recruitment, don'tor relations, marketing 5 00:00:22.879 --> 00:00:27.199 trends, new technologies and so much more. If you are looking for conversation 6 00:00:27.320 --> 00:00:31.760 centered around where the industry is going, this podcast is for you. Let's 7 00:00:31.800 --> 00:00:40.479 get into the show. Welcome to the High Reed Marketer podcast. I'm troy 8 00:00:40.560 --> 00:00:45.399 singer here with Bart Taylor and this week we speak with Dr Scott Feller. 9 00:00:45.439 --> 00:00:49.759 He's the president of Wabash College. It is an all men's college in the 10 00:00:49.759 --> 00:00:55.759 State of Indiana, and we talked to Dr Feller about leaning in and marketing 11 00:00:55.759 --> 00:01:00.479 your distinctives and he brings his message very boldly and very dynamically. Yeah, 12 00:01:00.600 --> 00:01:04.120 Troy, it's a great conversation. I was really excited to have Dr Feller 13 00:01:04.159 --> 00:01:08.439 on the on the podcast today. He was an introduction via Ethan Braden from 14 00:01:08.439 --> 00:01:12.079 purdue, and so Ethan really encourage me to reach out to Dr Feller. 15 00:01:12.120 --> 00:01:15.319 He had heard him talk about, you know, trying to switch the emphasis 16 00:01:15.319 --> 00:01:21.120 to outcomes as opposed to, you know, selling the academics necessarily, and 17 00:01:21.120 --> 00:01:25.159 I think that Scott does a great job of articulating that and explaining how he 18 00:01:25.239 --> 00:01:30.319 leverages those distinctives of a small private men's college into really the benefit that that 19 00:01:30.439 --> 00:01:36.959 students and families can understand. I'm excited to get into this conversation with Dr 20 00:01:37.079 --> 00:01:42.920 Scott Feller. It's our pleasure to welcome Dr Scott Feller, president of Wabash 21 00:01:42.040 --> 00:01:47.120 College, to the High Red Marketer podcast. And Scott, before we get 22 00:01:47.159 --> 00:01:51.040 into some of the uniqueness of how your marketing Wabash, if you could give 23 00:01:51.079 --> 00:01:57.280 our listeners a little bit about the college and some of the unique things about 24 00:01:57.400 --> 00:02:00.359 it if for some of them that are not familiar that they should know? 25 00:02:00.599 --> 00:02:04.159 Thank you very much. Yeah, we're very unique college. We're one of 26 00:02:04.200 --> 00:02:08.599 only three all male liberal arts colleges in the country. So we're locating Crawford 27 00:02:08.639 --> 00:02:14.520 Zool, Indiana, with a hundred percent residential campus. It consists of about 28 00:02:14.599 --> 00:02:19.120 eight hundred and fifty young men. I've been the president here for about eighteen, 29 00:02:19.280 --> 00:02:23.400 nineteen months, but I've spent this my twenty four year at Wall Bays. 30 00:02:23.520 --> 00:02:28.360 I began my career as a faculty member, served as the college is 31 00:02:28.400 --> 00:02:32.240 chief academic officer and July of two thousand and twenty I moved over to the 32 00:02:32.240 --> 00:02:37.000 president's room. Thank you, Scott. And one of the things that sticks 33 00:02:37.039 --> 00:02:40.319 out to me as we speak to you and reading about the college is that 34 00:02:40.400 --> 00:02:47.639 the college is unapologetically a residential Liberal Arts College for men in Indiana. That 35 00:02:47.800 --> 00:02:52.919 very much right. We're we have a unique mission. We know it. 36 00:02:53.319 --> 00:02:58.280 Every student, Faculty and staff member knows our mission. We're very committed to 37 00:02:58.319 --> 00:03:02.000 it. We know it's not for everyone, but we think that for many 38 00:03:02.080 --> 00:03:08.080 young men it's a really excellent option and and we're very committed to you know, 39 00:03:08.159 --> 00:03:15.599 traditional liberal arts. The education here is both timeless in terms of based 40 00:03:15.719 --> 00:03:22.319 on a liberal arts curriculum that emphasizes clear written in oral communication, critical thinking, 41 00:03:22.319 --> 00:03:27.199 moral reasoning the ability to work with others, but it's also timely in 42 00:03:27.240 --> 00:03:32.319 that it's very much focused on sending young men from Wabash college out into the 43 00:03:32.360 --> 00:03:37.360 world. Thank you. I think some would even say that some of your 44 00:03:37.400 --> 00:03:40.919 marketing and how you compare yourself to the others could be bold so if we 45 00:03:40.960 --> 00:03:46.639 can start out our conversation by how wabash leads with the great outcomes. Yeah, 46 00:03:46.719 --> 00:03:53.280 we've probably been about three or four years in a model where we really 47 00:03:53.400 --> 00:03:59.800 lead with outcomes. I think traditionally small liberal arts colleges we tend to lead 48 00:03:59.840 --> 00:04:03.080 with what we are, not what we get done. Everyone says they're a 49 00:04:03.240 --> 00:04:08.360 unique small community and they're right, but at the end of the day I 50 00:04:08.360 --> 00:04:14.240 think students and their families want to know what is going to be my experience 51 00:04:14.560 --> 00:04:19.920 through an after Wabash College. So we talked a lot about graduation rates. 52 00:04:20.000 --> 00:04:25.839 Young men are not graduating from college at great rates, so we're very proud. 53 00:04:25.839 --> 00:04:30.639 We think our focus on young men and their success gives us an advantage 54 00:04:30.759 --> 00:04:36.240 there. We also know that families are concerned about the return on their investment. 55 00:04:36.480 --> 00:04:43.360 Wabash is quite an affordable option for families, but we're still asking people 56 00:04:43.399 --> 00:04:47.160 to invest their time and their money. So we're very proud. We lead 57 00:04:47.160 --> 00:04:51.720 with the fact that ninety eight to a hundred percent of our graduates are settled 58 00:04:51.879 --> 00:04:59.800 in their first destination a couple of months passed graduation. We lead with our 59 00:04:59.800 --> 00:05:03.800 position in national rankings. We end up at the top of some very good 60 00:05:03.839 --> 00:05:10.319 lists. One that were particularly proud of is that we have the number one 61 00:05:10.439 --> 00:05:14.639 alumni network in the country as part of the secret and how we get these 62 00:05:14.720 --> 00:05:20.680 guys placed in internships and jobs. We also have some really enviable numbers from, 63 00:05:20.680 --> 00:05:26.000 for example, pay scale on the salary data ten years out, salary 64 00:05:26.079 --> 00:05:31.279 data, big career where we're among the top liberal arts colleges in the Midwest. 65 00:05:31.439 --> 00:05:36.240 So student can come to Wallbash, student can get a liberal arts education 66 00:05:36.279 --> 00:05:43.480 and the student can set themselves up for a lifetime of both satisfaction and professional 67 00:05:43.560 --> 00:05:46.040 success. As far as we're concerned, that's great. And I really like 68 00:05:46.360 --> 00:05:50.040 this idea of outcomes because, I mean, I've been in high red marketing 69 00:05:50.040 --> 00:05:54.560 for number of years and you know consistently over at least the less last five 70 00:05:54.639 --> 00:05:58.519 or ten years that whenever you look at the surveys from parents or even just 71 00:05:58.600 --> 00:06:01.480 from from students them solves, they always want to know that return on the 72 00:06:01.519 --> 00:06:04.439 investment. What what is it going to be for the outcome? And I 73 00:06:04.480 --> 00:06:08.959 know that we've talked with Jeff Fanter, used to be the executive vice president, 74 00:06:08.959 --> 00:06:13.000 and I've I've at Ivy Tech here in Indiana, the community college network 75 00:06:13.040 --> 00:06:15.160 he was really pushing outcomes because their data was showing the same thing that a 76 00:06:15.240 --> 00:06:19.839 lot of high school students and even nontraditional adults who are likely to go to 77 00:06:20.040 --> 00:06:25.959 community colleges looking for that outcome data and actually are. We were introduced through 78 00:06:25.959 --> 00:06:29.639 Ethan Braden, a friend of ours from Purdue University that that has been on 79 00:06:29.680 --> 00:06:31.600 the podcast a couple times, and he said, you know, you really 80 00:06:31.639 --> 00:06:35.800 need to talk to to Scott at wabash because they're doing some really great things 81 00:06:35.800 --> 00:06:40.439 with outcomes, and I'm just always fascinated with that because I do think you've 82 00:06:40.480 --> 00:06:45.120 got something there. Is that people want to understand where they're where they're going 83 00:06:45.120 --> 00:06:49.040 to be after this investment, and I think that colleges, especially traditional liberal 84 00:06:49.160 --> 00:06:56.240 arts colleges like wabash. Is Been Easy for us as academics to emphasize learning 85 00:06:56.240 --> 00:07:01.639 for the sake of learning, right the the many benefits that accrue from studying 86 00:07:02.079 --> 00:07:06.079 the liberal arts. But you know, we actually have to make sure that 87 00:07:06.279 --> 00:07:10.839 those of us who are not true believers, those of us who are not 88 00:07:10.920 --> 00:07:17.920 from the inside, we've got to translate this into the objective measures of success 89 00:07:17.959 --> 00:07:24.240 of a college. So we are we think that learned we think a lifelong 90 00:07:24.319 --> 00:07:29.560 love of learning is something that we impart in every student. But I guess 91 00:07:29.560 --> 00:07:32.439 at the end the day we don't maybe lead with that right we lead with 92 00:07:32.560 --> 00:07:40.319 things like graduation rate, first destination rate, salaries, awards that our students 93 00:07:40.480 --> 00:07:44.360 went. Yeah, I think that's interesting because I've also seen a lot of 94 00:07:44.360 --> 00:07:46.600 schools that are making a little bit of a pivot to you know, it's 95 00:07:46.600 --> 00:07:49.680 called kind of story branding, in the idea that you make the student the 96 00:07:49.680 --> 00:07:53.879 hero of the story. Traditionally, I think a lot of time schools try 97 00:07:53.920 --> 00:07:56.519 to make themselves the hero, to say hey, look at us, look 98 00:07:56.519 --> 00:07:59.480 at what we've done, look at our accolades or rankings, and not that 99 00:07:59.480 --> 00:08:01.480 you're doing that at any way. You were actually making this the student, 100 00:08:01.519 --> 00:08:05.560 the hero, by telling them what they can expect out of their out of 101 00:08:05.600 --> 00:08:11.199 their experience. That's exactly right. On Friday I spoke to about a hundred 102 00:08:11.199 --> 00:08:16.160 perspective students at a visit day we had there, and my message to them 103 00:08:16.279 --> 00:08:22.759 was to talk to Babash students, current students, so that they could understand 104 00:08:22.800 --> 00:08:26.000 the trajectory they could be on next year, because we do. We want 105 00:08:26.040 --> 00:08:31.840 the students to imagine themselves as a successful wabash student and that, at the 106 00:08:31.919 --> 00:08:35.159 end of the day, is very important us. We're very proud that we 107 00:08:35.200 --> 00:08:41.799 meet each student where he is and and so the student story is the important 108 00:08:41.840 --> 00:08:46.000 story. The student outcome is the most important story. That's great. Thank 109 00:08:46.080 --> 00:08:52.399 you. Along with outcomes, you also have the philosophy about embracing comparison and 110 00:08:52.440 --> 00:08:56.600 would like to know if you could share that philosophy with our listeners. Yeah, 111 00:08:56.080 --> 00:09:00.440 we've decided we're going to be pretty bold and put this stuff out there. 112 00:09:00.480 --> 00:09:05.519 I think there are it's a crowded market residential liberal arts colleges in the 113 00:09:05.559 --> 00:09:11.679 Midwest where we're located, and we've got to distinguish ourselves from others. So 114 00:09:11.759 --> 00:09:20.360 we emphasize often are are placing rankings, you know, most accessible faculty, 115 00:09:20.399 --> 00:09:26.240 top career center, best athletic facilities, a lot of metrics like that where 116 00:09:26.279 --> 00:09:33.559 you can see wabash ranked among the top colleges in the nation. So and 117 00:09:33.559 --> 00:09:37.320 when we look at something like we look at pay scale and we look at 118 00:09:37.360 --> 00:09:43.879 those salary data, they are incredible on their own, but I think what's 119 00:09:43.960 --> 00:09:48.720 really incredible is to look and see the neighborhood of other colleges that were with. 120 00:09:50.279 --> 00:09:54.720 It's the top colleges in the country and, quite frankly, those colleges 121 00:09:54.759 --> 00:10:00.039 they roll a lot more students who had a pretty good head start in life. 122 00:10:00.279 --> 00:10:05.480 We continue to draw students, lot of pilgrim recipients, lot of first 123 00:10:05.519 --> 00:10:11.279 generation college students. So the fact that our value ad is really high and 124 00:10:11.320 --> 00:10:15.559 we're not afraid to put that up and compare it with another college. We're 125 00:10:15.559 --> 00:10:20.559 also very transparent. All our retention data, all our graduation rate data, 126 00:10:20.679 --> 00:10:26.840 everything about student of factory ratios, you name it. We put pages and 127 00:10:26.879 --> 00:10:31.240 pages of that out there and that we share with people because we're quite friendly. 128 00:10:31.320 --> 00:10:35.279 Were pretty proud and you should be, and I think that that's I 129 00:10:35.279 --> 00:10:39.600 think that would be a good note for our listeners. There's always something that 130 00:10:39.639 --> 00:10:43.360 you can share that's distinctive about your school. You know, we've talked to 131 00:10:43.480 --> 00:10:46.399 here wabashes, a small men's Liberal Arts College, and you can say, 132 00:10:46.480 --> 00:10:50.120 well, you know, they're special because there are men's only. Well, 133 00:10:50.240 --> 00:10:52.320 yes, they are, but that also adds a general that as as some 134 00:10:52.399 --> 00:10:56.360 challenges because you just cut your market place and half. So I think that 135 00:10:56.399 --> 00:11:00.480 one of the things, though, that I'm kind of thinking through. Scott 136 00:11:00.519 --> 00:11:01.720 that you've talked about. That I just want to kind of emphasize a little 137 00:11:01.759 --> 00:11:05.720 bit is this whole nature of really kind of leaning into who you are and 138 00:11:05.759 --> 00:11:09.000 then making the most of it and then you know and then being bold about 139 00:11:09.039 --> 00:11:11.320 that. I mean, I love the fact that you might be the Best 140 00:11:11.320 --> 00:11:15.840 College in America. You kind of claim that and I think that takes some 141 00:11:15.840 --> 00:11:18.080 some hood spot to do that. But I think you also have some things 142 00:11:18.120 --> 00:11:22.600 that you can vary articulately put out there and say this is why we think 143 00:11:22.639 --> 00:11:24.679 so and this is the data that supports it, and I think that I 144 00:11:24.720 --> 00:11:28.200 would really challenge a lot of schools to look at your data and find where 145 00:11:28.240 --> 00:11:33.399 are those places that set you apart from everyone else and try to stop being 146 00:11:33.480 --> 00:11:35.559 the me too in your marketing and start trying to be a little bit more 147 00:11:35.559 --> 00:11:39.320 of this is who we are, and I think you're going to find more 148 00:11:39.320 --> 00:11:41.919 mission fit students because they want to, they're drawn to the places that they 149 00:11:41.960 --> 00:11:46.879 want to be. Yes, certainly we are looking for the mission fit students. 150 00:11:46.919 --> 00:11:48.519 You know, Bart, when you say we, when we describe ourselves 151 00:11:48.559 --> 00:11:52.200 as Liberal Arts College for men, now we lose a lot more than half 152 00:11:52.200 --> 00:11:56.360 of the market with that state backly. Yeah, all right, we definitely 153 00:11:56.399 --> 00:12:01.919 lose sixty percent at least of the Liberal Arts College market. And then the 154 00:12:01.919 --> 00:12:05.000 fact is that a single sex college is not whatever the experience. Everyone is 155 00:12:05.039 --> 00:12:11.080 looking for. So we're going after a particular student who is driven, who 156 00:12:11.159 --> 00:12:16.440 wants to get somewhere, and so that's why I think our comparative approach to 157 00:12:16.519 --> 00:12:22.159 marketing fins so well with who we are. We're also very competitive here. 158 00:12:22.200 --> 00:12:26.840 So we're celebrating on this campus last week. Are Wrestling team play second in 159 00:12:26.879 --> 00:12:31.039 the nation and division three and our basketball team played the final four. This 160 00:12:31.080 --> 00:12:37.120 place is competitive. That's part of in our DNA. So what we tell 161 00:12:37.240 --> 00:12:41.600 students is we're going to compare with others. We tell students you're going to 162 00:12:41.679 --> 00:12:45.559 learn more, you're going to earn more, you're going to lead more and 163 00:12:45.600 --> 00:12:50.320 you're going to play more. And so that's our that's our promise to students 164 00:12:50.360 --> 00:12:52.080 and, as you say, we work. We work hard to back it 165 00:12:52.200 --> 00:12:56.799 up. Yeah, well, being a alumni of Anderson University, I can 166 00:12:56.879 --> 00:13:00.879 attest to the competitiveness because we always played wabash in in football. I was 167 00:13:00.919 --> 00:13:03.960 not on the team, but I was in the stands cheering during those games. 168 00:13:03.960 --> 00:13:09.600 So that was that's exciting. Scott. A conversation that I've had the 169 00:13:09.639 --> 00:13:15.759 privilege of being privy to that Bart has with schools is for liberal arts colleges 170 00:13:15.919 --> 00:13:22.000 to really realize who the real competition is, and it might not necessarily be 171 00:13:22.080 --> 00:13:26.360 the other liberal arts colleges around you. Well, like to know your thoughts 172 00:13:26.360 --> 00:13:31.720 about that and your approach to the school saying who you consider is your competition. 173 00:13:33.399 --> 00:13:35.600 Yeah, try, you're exactly right. You know, we we have 174 00:13:35.639 --> 00:13:41.759 some crossover with the Paul and early for example, but that is dwarfed by 175 00:13:41.840 --> 00:13:50.320 our crossover applications with Purdue University and Indiana University. The competition is about drawing 176 00:13:50.399 --> 00:13:56.000 students to private residential colleges away from, you know, let's say, the 177 00:13:56.759 --> 00:14:03.639 familiar names, the the large are one flagships in their state. In Indiana 178 00:14:03.039 --> 00:14:11.120 that happens to be particularly tough competition because in Purdue University in Indiana University we 179 00:14:11.159 --> 00:14:15.840 really are competing against two very strong flagships and we know it. But when 180 00:14:15.919 --> 00:14:18.960 we go out of state, when we go to Texas again, we're not 181 00:14:20.000 --> 00:14:24.759 necessarily competing with a Texas Liberal Arts College. Were more likely competing with the 182 00:14:24.840 --> 00:14:33.759 University of Texas at Austin were competing with, you know, university Texas southwest. 183 00:14:33.879 --> 00:14:37.480 So that for us is we know that's where we lose the students. 184 00:14:37.679 --> 00:14:43.759 We have to differentiate the college experience here. We think that we're in a 185 00:14:43.799 --> 00:14:48.840 great position to differentiate that, but we also know we have to work really 186 00:14:48.879 --> 00:14:54.000 hard to get people's attention perdue and I you have such great built in ways 187 00:14:54.080 --> 00:14:58.679 to grab a student's attention. You know, if I could be on ESPN 188 00:14:58.759 --> 00:15:03.639 game a day, everyone's blow, I think I'd feel pretty good about our 189 00:15:03.720 --> 00:15:07.799 jets is with seventy year old young men. But that's all the way the 190 00:15:07.799 --> 00:15:11.600 worlds. That's right and I think I think you're so right in that because, 191 00:15:11.600 --> 00:15:15.399 I mean, I've often told a lot of my clients who are small 192 00:15:15.440 --> 00:15:18.120 faith based institutions here in Indiana. I know you can drive up interstate sixty 193 00:15:18.200 --> 00:15:22.399 nine and hit five or six schools that maybe appear to be similar. They're 194 00:15:22.480 --> 00:15:26.720 very different, but I've often told them that you're not competing a guest one 195 00:15:26.720 --> 00:15:28.919 another. You might cross APP with each other, but at the end of 196 00:15:28.919 --> 00:15:31.799 the day you're competing against, you know, the the state schools, and 197 00:15:31.879 --> 00:15:35.039 sometimes you're even a competing against life itself. More and more students are looking 198 00:15:35.039 --> 00:15:41.600 at gap years. More and more students and families are considering other creative ways 199 00:15:41.960 --> 00:15:45.200 of looking at it because, I mean, you know, let's be honest, 200 00:15:45.480 --> 00:15:50.200 even though schools make it affordable for students, the public, many times, 201 00:15:50.279 --> 00:15:58.120 especially Firstgen students and pell grant recipient family households don't quite understand how everything 202 00:15:58.159 --> 00:16:02.200 works, with with discount rates, with with scholarships, with financial aid, 203 00:16:02.240 --> 00:16:04.720 with grants, and so I think that part of it is recognizing who the 204 00:16:04.759 --> 00:16:10.799 true competition is and many times that's just life itself and and what I would 205 00:16:10.799 --> 00:16:15.440 consider a little bit of just Nativity with with some of the families that they 206 00:16:15.480 --> 00:16:18.879 just don't understand and they think I could never afford a private college because that 207 00:16:18.919 --> 00:16:22.759 sounds elite and expensive. I'm going to have to go either to a public 208 00:16:22.799 --> 00:16:26.759 school or to a community college. How do you address those types of questions? 209 00:16:26.799 --> 00:16:30.960 You know what I talked with the family. I trying to share with 210 00:16:30.000 --> 00:16:34.840 them that we offer an elite education without any elitism. Right. We want 211 00:16:34.919 --> 00:16:40.440 to bring everybody to the table. So we've worked really hard at a couple 212 00:16:40.440 --> 00:16:44.879 of things. Transparency and financial aid is one of the ways that we go 213 00:16:44.919 --> 00:16:49.519 about we're very straightforward. With an Indiana student WHO's a pell grant recipient, 214 00:16:49.600 --> 00:16:55.200 for example, of He's been receiving free introduced lunch. He's going to receive 215 00:16:55.240 --> 00:16:57.679 pell grant, he's going to receive a grant from the State of Indiana and 216 00:16:57.720 --> 00:17:03.480 Wabash is going to write off the rest of the tuition with scholarship. So 217 00:17:03.639 --> 00:17:07.200 we say that from day one you're admitted to Wabash College, tuition is covered, 218 00:17:07.319 --> 00:17:11.319 and so that's been a big part of our messaging, as well as 219 00:17:11.319 --> 00:17:18.119 emphasizing our net price calculator or people can find out what the cost it is 220 00:17:18.119 --> 00:17:22.400 is going to be. I don't know what the answer is in terms of 221 00:17:22.400 --> 00:17:29.640 a sticker price versus the net price and the depth counting I feel that are. 222 00:17:30.720 --> 00:17:33.839 I guess I like our net price because it reflects how much we spend 223 00:17:33.960 --> 00:17:37.319 on students. Yeah, and that's not true in every college, but if 224 00:17:37.359 --> 00:17:42.160 you take our college's budgets, around forty five million dollars and you divided it 225 00:17:42.160 --> 00:17:48.839 by eight hundred eight under fifty students, you get our staker price. Now. 226 00:17:48.880 --> 00:17:52.440 Now the fact is that our students are paying a fraction of that because 227 00:17:52.559 --> 00:17:59.079 of philanthropy. You know that our students are typically, if they have any 228 00:17:59.160 --> 00:18:02.640 kind of financial lead, they're not really going to pay much more here than 229 00:18:02.680 --> 00:18:06.680 they would to go to produce or I you, because the this college runs 230 00:18:06.720 --> 00:18:11.680 on philanthropy. But admittedly it took me a long time to explain that in 231 00:18:11.720 --> 00:18:18.519 this podcast. It's not a sound bite, it's it involves developing a relationship 232 00:18:18.640 --> 00:18:22.079 with a family and and trying to explain it. So I wish there was 233 00:18:22.119 --> 00:18:30.440 a slogan that would help people see through the fog of scholarship and pricing. 234 00:18:30.480 --> 00:18:34.680 But on the other hand I want people to know this is an elite education. 235 00:18:34.920 --> 00:18:41.160 Somebody is going to spend more than Fiftyzero on your education at Wabash. 236 00:18:41.319 --> 00:18:45.480 Around two thirds of that is going to come for our alumni and friends in 237 00:18:45.480 --> 00:18:51.279 philanthropy, either the accumulated philanthropy of our endowment or hand you will give it 238 00:18:51.400 --> 00:18:56.079 right. So that's the tricky one. How do I explain to people this 239 00:18:56.119 --> 00:19:00.680 college is different? We're going to invest in you like no one else and 240 00:19:00.839 --> 00:19:04.000 and someone that you don't know is going to slap down two dollars for every 241 00:19:04.079 --> 00:19:07.359 one dollar that you and your family bring to the table. I love that 242 00:19:07.480 --> 00:19:10.880 right there at the very end. I think that's great and I think also 243 00:19:11.000 --> 00:19:14.440 just it plays in so well to your alumni. I mean you talked about 244 00:19:14.480 --> 00:19:18.920 that earlier, how that alumni network and and the job placement in the in 245 00:19:18.000 --> 00:19:22.839 the you know, the you know after the outcomes with things. I mean 246 00:19:22.920 --> 00:19:26.759 you've got alumni that are engaged with your students even before they even set foot 247 00:19:26.839 --> 00:19:29.759 on campus because of of all of this, and I think that's just a 248 00:19:29.759 --> 00:19:33.319 one full story. A few years ago, at the breakfast before graduation, 249 00:19:33.400 --> 00:19:37.920 I address the students and I asked the students to stand if a Wabash, 250 00:19:37.960 --> 00:19:42.000 a lamb, had been part of their process to get to Wallbash. Every 251 00:19:42.000 --> 00:19:48.000 single student who wasn't an international student stood up at that breakfast. That's great. 252 00:19:48.039 --> 00:19:52.799 That's that's really great. We talked a lot about it on the show. 253 00:19:52.960 --> 00:19:57.200 Schools are really struggling today to make the same ads been work. Cepms 254 00:19:57.200 --> 00:20:02.440 are up eighty nine percent you over year. On facebook and Instagram, our 255 00:20:02.440 --> 00:20:06.920 college clients are no longer looking for rented audiences. They're looking for an owned 256 00:20:06.920 --> 00:20:11.400 community where they can engage students even before they apply. This is why Zeemi 257 00:20:11.440 --> 00:20:15.880 has become so crucial for our clients. With over one million students, close 258 00:20:15.960 --> 00:20:19.960 to tenzero five star ratings, consistently ranked as one of the top social laps 259 00:20:19.960 --> 00:20:23.880 and recently one of apples hot APPs of the week, there is simply isn't 260 00:20:23.920 --> 00:20:27.400 anything out there like it, and we have seen it all. Zeemi not 261 00:20:27.440 --> 00:20:32.680 only provides the best space for student engagement, but the most unique in action 262 00:20:32.720 --> 00:20:37.079 will data for their one hundred and sixty college and university partners. We know 263 00:20:37.519 --> 00:20:41.279 firsthand from our clients that Zee me is a must have strategy for Gen Z. 264 00:20:41.000 --> 00:20:48.880 Check them out now at colleges dot Zee mecom. That's colleges dot Zee 265 00:20:48.079 --> 00:20:56.240 m eecom. And yes, tell them Barton Troy sent you. Scott. 266 00:20:56.279 --> 00:21:00.839 Being a all men's college, would like to know if you've heard heard of 267 00:21:00.319 --> 00:21:06.160 the where are the men or where the men are and, if you have, 268 00:21:06.240 --> 00:21:11.799 with the shortage of men going and participating in higher education, how you 269 00:21:11.839 --> 00:21:15.599 are responding as a college or how you address that. Would like to hear 270 00:21:15.720 --> 00:21:19.039 your thoughts and approaches to that. You can't be the president of Walbash College 271 00:21:19.160 --> 00:21:25.960 without having people send you every editorial and news story about where are the men. 272 00:21:26.160 --> 00:21:30.880 So I wish I wasn't quite so familiar with that literature and I think 273 00:21:30.920 --> 00:21:37.400 I'd say two things. First is often when we disaggregate the data on men's 274 00:21:37.480 --> 00:21:41.640 college attendance, what we see is that there is a substantial part of that 275 00:21:41.880 --> 00:21:48.759 loss that's happening in community colleges, for example, and is not directly relevant 276 00:21:48.799 --> 00:21:55.039 to Wabash College. But even in the private residential college sphere, on most 277 00:21:55.119 --> 00:22:02.400 campuses women outnumber men. So our response to it is again to double down 278 00:22:02.440 --> 00:22:07.079 on who we are where a college for men. Everybody here is focused on 279 00:22:07.160 --> 00:22:15.039 young men's success and getting them to a graduation and getting them to a job. 280 00:22:15.160 --> 00:22:21.119 So what we can offer is perhaps an antidote to the observation that young 281 00:22:21.160 --> 00:22:26.000 men are not thriving in higher education. Then come to Walbash college and this 282 00:22:26.119 --> 00:22:30.279 is the one place that that's completely committed to you on been thriving. If 283 00:22:30.359 --> 00:22:34.039 you women don't thrive at Wabash, you know there is no future for Wabash 284 00:22:34.079 --> 00:22:42.680 College. We produced graduates, because graduates are who primarily funds our philanthropy. 285 00:22:44.119 --> 00:22:49.519 Like to tell the perspective students that the relationship between a student and the college 286 00:22:49.680 --> 00:22:56.480 is a little different at wabash. It's not transactional we are necessarily looking for 287 00:22:56.599 --> 00:23:02.240 your tuition check right. We're looking for you to come and have a great 288 00:23:02.279 --> 00:23:07.599 experience and a decade down the road, for you to give back Philanth philanthropically, 289 00:23:07.839 --> 00:23:12.720 for you to complete that virtuous cycle. So I'm on the hook to 290 00:23:12.839 --> 00:23:18.559 give every student a great experience and you know they we don't just cash people's 291 00:23:18.640 --> 00:23:23.880 check and and have them walk away, because we lose money on every student. 292 00:23:23.880 --> 00:23:29.920 We've got to produce graduates, because the payoff for Wabash college it's not 293 00:23:30.000 --> 00:23:33.680 the tuition that comes in in the fall, it's the philanthropy that comes in. 294 00:23:33.759 --> 00:23:37.400 Your wrath. Great. That's very good and I think that that's so 295 00:23:37.480 --> 00:23:41.599 important that even there, I think a lot of other schools could learn from 296 00:23:41.599 --> 00:23:48.000 that because I think that it is important to create that experience. Not only 297 00:23:48.000 --> 00:23:52.000 will that produce retention, because I mean, I think a lot of schools 298 00:23:52.000 --> 00:23:55.759 fall into the trap of, and Nate Simpson from the gates foundation made a 299 00:23:55.759 --> 00:23:59.400 comment on one of the podcasts, that we work so hard to recruit them 300 00:23:59.400 --> 00:24:02.759 and then we when we hand them off to student life, we just hope 301 00:24:02.799 --> 00:24:06.279 they do well and we don't do much beyond that. And especially at risk 302 00:24:06.319 --> 00:24:10.039 groups like first Gen and pel grant recipients. I think that we need to 303 00:24:10.039 --> 00:24:12.440 do a little extra work and I'm so encouraged to hear the work that Wabash 304 00:24:12.519 --> 00:24:15.759 is doing, not only because it's the right thing to do and it helps 305 00:24:15.799 --> 00:24:18.720 with three tension, but also it's going to it's going to build that legacy 306 00:24:18.799 --> 00:24:22.000 for the future. I mean you're talking about, you know, generation Alpha, 307 00:24:22.119 --> 00:24:26.079 the kids that are under eleven years old, are going to benefit from 308 00:24:26.319 --> 00:24:30.559 the senior that's in in Wabash right now that in another six seven years might 309 00:24:30.640 --> 00:24:34.359 start giving to the annual fund that's going to impact that generation Alpha student, 310 00:24:34.440 --> 00:24:38.200 and so I really love the way that that works at Wabash. Yeah, 311 00:24:38.440 --> 00:24:44.440 we're trying to be very intentional about that cycle. So my Luve's time meeting 312 00:24:44.559 --> 00:24:51.119 today was with a foundation that provides US substantial financial aid for Indiana students and 313 00:24:51.160 --> 00:24:55.480 we had twenty nine of our students there who are recipients of these awards to 314 00:24:55.480 --> 00:25:00.880 meet the folks that run this foundation, and that was as much we obviously 315 00:25:00.920 --> 00:25:04.680 we wanted the foundation to see the results of their philanthropy. But when I 316 00:25:04.680 --> 00:25:11.200 address the students, I asked them to for them to reflect on how philanthropy 317 00:25:11.319 --> 00:25:17.640 is affecting them so that down the road they'll understand. Okay, yeah, 318 00:25:17.680 --> 00:25:19.480 well, I stu did a lot for me. I'm going to find a 319 00:25:19.519 --> 00:25:23.720 way to support Wallbash. God, that's Great. That's very good. We 320 00:25:23.799 --> 00:25:30.119 wind every episode of the podcast up with a question to our guests and it's 321 00:25:30.160 --> 00:25:34.880 if they have something, an idea, anything that they would like to share 322 00:25:34.880 --> 00:25:40.559 that could be impactful for our listeners soon after, maybe even immediately. Do 323 00:25:40.599 --> 00:25:42.279 you have something that you can share as we pose that question to you, 324 00:25:42.359 --> 00:25:47.359 Scott, I do. I'm going to I'm going to use something and bartment 325 00:25:47.440 --> 00:25:51.279 reference to it at the very beginning. I think the message is you've got 326 00:25:51.319 --> 00:25:55.079 to be bold. Okay, I think the most college leaders, and I 327 00:25:55.119 --> 00:25:59.400 count myself among them, you know, come up through the academy, where 328 00:25:59.440 --> 00:26:04.720 we tend to getting it right tends to take precedence over getting the work done 329 00:26:04.839 --> 00:26:11.400 quickly, right and making an impact. I think also academics, you know, 330 00:26:11.519 --> 00:26:15.759 we also always often assume our work stands on its own, but the 331 00:26:15.759 --> 00:26:21.799 fact is, students and families want to know what makes you great right. 332 00:26:22.119 --> 00:26:26.920 They don't want to have to figure out how is wabash different from de Paul 333 00:26:26.039 --> 00:26:33.000 or how is wabash different from perdue? So I think be bold, differentiate. 334 00:26:33.039 --> 00:26:37.880 These are the things that your families need to hear so that they can 335 00:26:37.920 --> 00:26:44.160 understand. Don't expect them to figure out what the outcome is a great liberal 336 00:26:44.240 --> 00:26:48.880 artification. tellent to thank you, Scott. Well said. How would one 337 00:26:48.920 --> 00:26:52.880 get in touch with you if, after listening to the PODCAST, they would 338 00:26:52.920 --> 00:26:56.960 like to reach out? Oh, the easiest way as email me and president 339 00:26:56.039 --> 00:27:00.240 at Wabash doted. You go to the wabash email noll or what they slip 340 00:27:00.279 --> 00:27:03.720 page, you can find my phone number, but President at wall based, 341 00:27:03.759 --> 00:27:07.480 I need to use a great way to reach out. Thank you, Scott. 342 00:27:07.559 --> 00:27:10.920 Thank you for your time and thank you for the wisdom that you were 343 00:27:11.079 --> 00:27:15.279 so generous with today. Bart, any last comments or thoughts from you? 344 00:27:15.839 --> 00:27:19.119 Yeah, I just want to kind of pull back and kind of you highlight 345 00:27:19.160 --> 00:27:22.640 a couple things at Scott said that I think is really important for audience to 346 00:27:22.759 --> 00:27:26.480 walk away with. And I really love the fact that Wabash has done such 347 00:27:26.519 --> 00:27:30.279 a great job of leaning into the distinctiveness that they bring to the market place 348 00:27:30.279 --> 00:27:32.880 and I think that every school can do that. You don't have to. 349 00:27:33.039 --> 00:27:37.039 You don't have to have a special everybody has a special element. You have 350 00:27:37.079 --> 00:27:38.759 to discover that, figure that out and be able to start promoting that, 351 00:27:38.839 --> 00:27:41.720 and so I would really encourage you to do that. Once you understand what 352 00:27:41.759 --> 00:27:45.240 that distinctiveness is, be bold in that. You know, don't don't hide 353 00:27:45.279 --> 00:27:49.559 it, don't don't apologize for it. Lead with it and lead well with 354 00:27:49.599 --> 00:27:52.559 it, because I think that that's going to allow you to start comparing yourselves 355 00:27:52.599 --> 00:27:57.599 and contrasting yourself to other options and it's also going to give you that value 356 00:27:57.640 --> 00:28:00.200 add that, you know, somebody looks at and says, I think I 357 00:28:00.240 --> 00:28:04.319 need that, and I think I would also really applaud wabash and Scott on 358 00:28:04.359 --> 00:28:08.279 this legacy building that they do from day one, even at even in the 359 00:28:08.519 --> 00:28:11.720 you know, as he mentioned, he had the prospective students on campus recently 360 00:28:11.759 --> 00:28:15.160 and had them stand up on those who were influenced by alumni, and a 361 00:28:15.200 --> 00:28:18.640 lot of them were doing that. Don't take your alumni for granted if your 362 00:28:18.680 --> 00:28:22.480 marketing doesn't include your alumni and you're not talking with them and you're not building 363 00:28:22.519 --> 00:28:26.799 a relationship with them, and all they hear from you as the annual gift, 364 00:28:26.799 --> 00:28:29.880 you know, bell go off in November. Be Sure you're doing more 365 00:28:30.000 --> 00:28:33.880 more with your alumni. Make it friend building rather than fundraising. It's a 366 00:28:33.920 --> 00:28:36.960 friend friend raising, I think it's what they call it, rather than fundraising. 367 00:28:36.960 --> 00:28:38.880 You have to do both. And so you know, a smaller school 368 00:28:38.920 --> 00:28:44.640 like wabash that you have, you know, not as big alumni network, 369 00:28:44.720 --> 00:28:48.559 but even if you're alumni network is really big. I'm sure Wabash is living 370 00:28:48.559 --> 00:28:52.680 in alumni network is in the T s. If you have more than that 371 00:28:52.759 --> 00:28:56.519 or if you have less, it's something that's worth doing and something to kind 372 00:28:56.559 --> 00:28:59.599 of take to your marketing team and figure out ways that you can kind of 373 00:28:59.640 --> 00:29:03.440 stay in front of that to build those legacies of not only enrollment but philanthropy 374 00:29:03.559 --> 00:29:07.079 going forward. So thank you, Scott. This was a great conversation and 375 00:29:07.200 --> 00:29:12.200 thank you, Bart for bringing us to a very powerful but soft landing. 376 00:29:12.279 --> 00:29:18.160 The hired Marker podcast is sponsored by Kaylor solutions and education marketing and branding agency 377 00:29:18.680 --> 00:29:25.559 and by thing patented, a Marketing Execution Company specializing and bringing customization, in 378 00:29:25.720 --> 00:29:30.400 personalization, to your outreach. On behalf of Bart Taylor, the cohost, 379 00:29:30.440 --> 00:29:37.400 I'm troy singer. Thank you for joining us. You've been listening to the 380 00:29:37.519 --> 00:29:41.880 higher at marketer. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to 381 00:29:41.920 --> 00:29:47.640 the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with apple PODCASTS, 382 00:29:47.680 --> 00:29:51.200 we'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the show. Simply tap 383 00:29:51.240 --> 00:29:53.960 the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Until next time,