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March 23, 2021

Building Stronger Relationships Using Data w/ JP Spagnolo

Building Stronger Relationships Using Data w/ JP Spagnolo

Marketing revolves around relationships. And the best way to strengthen those relationships and connect with prospects on a deeper level is through data.

In this episode, JP Spagnolo, VP of Strategic Enrollment Management and Marketing at Capital University, joins the podcast to share how building relationships through data helps craft clear, compelling, and resonant marketing messages.

Some topics that were covered:

- 2 core elements of marketing

- The importance of data to any marketing strategy

- Being more precise when communicating needs to third-party vendors

Want to reach out to JP Spagnolo?

- Send him an email

- Reach out on LinkedIn

Know of a higher education marketing change agent you’d like to hear on the show? Does your university have an interesting story to be featured?

Connect with Bart Caylor or Troy Singer. If you’re not on LinkedIn, check out Caylor Solutions or Think Patented.
To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to The Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform.  

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 00:00:02.879 --> 00:00:07.190 You are listening to the Higher Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals 2 00:00:07.230 --> 00:00:11.910 in higher education. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student 3 00:00:11.949 --> 00:00:16.230 recruitment, don't a relations, marketing trends, new technologies and so much more. 4 00:00:16.989 --> 00:00:20.230 If you are looking for conversations centered around where the industry is going, 5 00:00:20.750 --> 00:00:29.739 this podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the 6 00:00:29.820 --> 00:00:35.700 High Ed Marketer podcast, where we explore insights and ideas by high reed marketers 7 00:00:36.049 --> 00:00:39.369 for Higher Ed Marketers. My name is Troye singer and I'm here with my 8 00:00:39.490 --> 00:00:43.649 cohost, Bart Kaylor. And Bart, we are five episodes in. What 9 00:00:43.770 --> 00:00:47.490 are your thoughts? You know, it's been quite a ride and it's been 10 00:00:47.490 --> 00:00:51.039 a blessing to be able to just learn so much from all the different guests 11 00:00:51.039 --> 00:00:54.359 we've had. I mean, it's a it's been a journey and I'm excited 12 00:00:54.399 --> 00:00:57.679 that we're going to continue that journey and, you know, I think it's 13 00:00:57.679 --> 00:01:00.799 all the more important that we recognize it. You know, as Higher Ed 14 00:01:00.880 --> 00:01:03.920 marketers what we're not in it alone and we have so much to learn from 15 00:01:03.920 --> 00:01:07.670 one another. So true from the very beginning, one of our goals was 16 00:01:07.150 --> 00:01:11.950 to put higher ed marketers and highlight them, highlight relatable things that they are 17 00:01:12.030 --> 00:01:17.709 doing so others can learn from them. And you have some history with our 18 00:01:17.790 --> 00:01:21.140 guests today. So who are we chatting with? What we're going to be 19 00:01:21.180 --> 00:01:25.620 talking with? JP SPAGNALO. He is the vice president of enrollment and marketing 20 00:01:25.620 --> 00:01:29.900 at capital Universe in Columbus Ohio, and he and I've worked together before and 21 00:01:30.340 --> 00:01:34.730 some of his past places at University of St Francis and and Fort Wayne and 22 00:01:34.450 --> 00:01:38.090 I've gotten a no JP very well and he's a great guy. He has 23 00:01:38.129 --> 00:01:42.409 a lot of interesting stories to tell and it's interesting that he's kind of started 24 00:01:42.489 --> 00:01:47.129 off in the you know, the missions department as as an admissions counselor and 25 00:01:47.159 --> 00:01:49.799 then to grow see him grow along the way, and I was I was 26 00:01:49.799 --> 00:01:53.040 around when he was working on his doctor to kind of arrive at being the 27 00:01:53.079 --> 00:01:56.760 vice president for enrollment in marketing. It's a great story. He's got some 28 00:01:57.000 --> 00:02:00.239 some really fascinating aspects to tell us about. Great and with that said, 29 00:02:00.670 --> 00:02:07.629 let's bring him in. I'm excited to welcome JP speck no loo, vice 30 00:02:07.750 --> 00:02:12.189 president is strategic and rollment management in marketing at Kapital University, to the High 31 00:02:12.229 --> 00:02:15.819 Ed Marketer podcast. Thank you for joining us to day, JP. Oh, 32 00:02:15.099 --> 00:02:19.060 you're welcome. I'm very happy to be here, JP. We're going 33 00:02:19.139 --> 00:02:24.460 to get into a lot of your journey going from dated professional to a marketing 34 00:02:24.500 --> 00:02:29.500 professional and high and now how you marry those together to half the success you 35 00:02:29.659 --> 00:02:31.810 have at capital. But before you do that, can you give us some 36 00:02:31.969 --> 00:02:36.849 little bit of your personal life, maybe one or two aspects that people might 37 00:02:36.889 --> 00:02:39.289 not know about you and cannot see in your linkedin profile? Sure, I 38 00:02:39.370 --> 00:02:43.729 mean it's probably not a big shocker, but I'm a family guy, so 39 00:02:44.319 --> 00:02:46.919 you know I've got a wife and three children. They mean the world to 40 00:02:46.039 --> 00:02:50.840 me and anytime I'm not doing with this work related stuff, we do everything 41 00:02:50.879 --> 00:02:53.199 we can to make sure we're connect and having a great time as a family 42 00:02:53.439 --> 00:02:55.879 and going out and doing the things we enjoy together. That's great. Thanks. 43 00:02:55.960 --> 00:03:00.710 JP. It's great to have you on the podcast and our listeners should 44 00:03:00.710 --> 00:03:04.069 know that you're not known each other for several years now and have done some 45 00:03:04.229 --> 00:03:07.830 work together, and so one of the things that as I was thinking about 46 00:03:07.830 --> 00:03:09.870 guests on this podcast, I remember our conversation you and I had when you 47 00:03:09.909 --> 00:03:14.900 were in the midst of your Doctor Program and I'm just curious about the growth 48 00:03:14.979 --> 00:03:16.939 of your career. I mean I've been around for part of that, and 49 00:03:17.539 --> 00:03:20.699 just tell me a little bit about how you get started in your path to 50 00:03:20.780 --> 00:03:23.620 becoming the vice president of enrollment, of marketing at a capital. Didn't start 51 00:03:23.620 --> 00:03:25.740 out there where, so tell me Atle bit about that. Sure. So 52 00:03:25.979 --> 00:03:30.770 I think for me my path started actually clear back when I was in my 53 00:03:30.889 --> 00:03:35.930 undergraduate experience right at my Alma Mater and in my undergraduate program I had a 54 00:03:35.969 --> 00:03:37.930 different path that I thought I was going to do. I thought I was 55 00:03:37.969 --> 00:03:39.889 going to be a child point therapist and as I got towards the end of 56 00:03:39.930 --> 00:03:44.319 my senior year, I recognize that it wasn't the right thing for me. 57 00:03:44.639 --> 00:03:47.439 But you know, I also had been involved as a student leader and gotten 58 00:03:47.680 --> 00:03:53.319 wellknown across campus as being somebody that cared about the institution and was very committed 59 00:03:53.319 --> 00:03:55.990 to it, and I got an opportunity to start off in a program there 60 00:03:55.990 --> 00:04:00.710 at the university as a coordinator for a mentoring program. So after I graduated 61 00:04:00.789 --> 00:04:04.150 I started in this role of being a coordinator for a mentor program that really 62 00:04:04.189 --> 00:04:10.340 helped first year students connect to the campus through having junior and senior mentors paired 63 00:04:10.379 --> 00:04:13.900 with faculty members to help teach their first year experience course. I think you 64 00:04:13.979 --> 00:04:16.620 know that's that's where I started. I started off in this student services type 65 00:04:17.060 --> 00:04:20.459 path within higher education, trying to be, you know, connected to students 66 00:04:20.500 --> 00:04:25.250 and along the path there, and we've talked about this and telling the story 67 00:04:25.370 --> 00:04:29.410 that, you know, one point in time the institution decided that orientation, 68 00:04:29.689 --> 00:04:31.689 you know, something that such a relational type of thing, was better served 69 00:04:31.730 --> 00:04:34.970 online. And this is queer back in the two thousand range. So you 70 00:04:35.050 --> 00:04:39.040 got to imagine, you what an orientation in two thousand online was like. 71 00:04:39.360 --> 00:04:42.600 You know, that's leading web pages that are just loaded, bitter static. 72 00:04:42.920 --> 00:04:45.600 You know, there wasn't really a lot of video placement and you know, 73 00:04:45.720 --> 00:04:48.000 it just didn't connect well with people. And then after that took place, 74 00:04:48.240 --> 00:04:51.480 it was the first year at this institution in a number of years that they 75 00:04:51.519 --> 00:04:56.550 didn't have growth when they switched over to this online orientation and you know, 76 00:04:56.589 --> 00:04:59.949 they just couldn't quite figure out what when wrong. And the Dina Students, 77 00:04:59.949 --> 00:05:01.870 he kind of had this feeling that it really had to do with that relationship 78 00:05:01.870 --> 00:05:04.589 and that connecting and I think you hear that a lot, probably throughout our 79 00:05:04.589 --> 00:05:09.060 podcast to day, that I really do believe marketing is so relational. Everything 80 00:05:09.100 --> 00:05:12.339 that we do is relational. And as that was taking place, and that 81 00:05:12.459 --> 00:05:15.459 took place, he asked who would be willing to reset this orientation? Let's 82 00:05:15.459 --> 00:05:19.100 get back to doing a traditional orientation, and I think for whatever reason my 83 00:05:19.220 --> 00:05:23.569 hand got raised and or I was a volunt old and not quite sure how 84 00:05:23.569 --> 00:05:27.410 to express that, but I decided to look at this orientation stuff and the 85 00:05:27.490 --> 00:05:30.050 first thing I did is I start asking how do we communicate with people? 86 00:05:30.490 --> 00:05:32.329 And that was really, quite frankly, what moved me on this path, 87 00:05:32.370 --> 00:05:35.480 I think, and asking that question, I started asking what is it that 88 00:05:35.600 --> 00:05:41.040 we're doing to let students know about orientation, and so I started asking about 89 00:05:41.120 --> 00:05:44.480 the data behind it and I start asking questions about how many people are opening 90 00:05:44.480 --> 00:05:47.680 up our emails and how many people are connecting communicating with us, and essentially 91 00:05:47.759 --> 00:05:51.029 that really read to this point where no one had really paid attention to those 92 00:05:51.029 --> 00:05:54.949 data points. So I was able to start looking at it and say, 93 00:05:55.029 --> 00:05:57.670 you know, not only can we create a new orientation, but we really 94 00:05:57.670 --> 00:06:00.709 can get people excited to come and be a part of this relationship and really 95 00:06:00.790 --> 00:06:04.060 enjoy the campus community. And as I did that, it kind of expanded 96 00:06:04.100 --> 00:06:08.139 from there. Wasn't just about getting people the orientation, which we were able 97 00:06:08.139 --> 00:06:11.899 to next year have another growth here at the institution. The yield went right 98 00:06:11.899 --> 00:06:15.180 back up again once we put a good orientation into place. But they started 99 00:06:15.259 --> 00:06:18.370 recognizing that I was asking all these questions about communication and connecting with students and 100 00:06:18.490 --> 00:06:21.529 that really led to my next role within the institution, which became the director 101 00:06:21.529 --> 00:06:26.050 of enrollment marketing at that institution. And so at that point in time I 102 00:06:26.129 --> 00:06:29.769 started to kind of shift and change my balance and started working with the recruitment 103 00:06:29.810 --> 00:06:31.730 side of the House, obviously as a director of enrollment marketing, and really 104 00:06:31.769 --> 00:06:34.480 worked with the recruiters, but I didn't work with the rest of the admissions 105 00:06:34.560 --> 00:06:38.319 areas. So at the same time I wasn't in charge of marketing for the 106 00:06:38.360 --> 00:06:41.879 institution, but I was a steward over marketing for, you know, the 107 00:06:41.959 --> 00:06:45.279 enrollment management and everything that was going on there. And from there I kind 108 00:06:45.279 --> 00:06:46.829 of you know, had opportunities that were presented to me. I'd came the 109 00:06:46.910 --> 00:06:51.350 director of admissions at the University of St Francis and Port Wayne, Indiana, 110 00:06:51.829 --> 00:06:57.430 and during my tenure there, I had some opportunities for growth and essentially became 111 00:06:57.470 --> 00:07:00.860 the associate vice president for enrollment management. And during those time frames there were 112 00:07:01.100 --> 00:07:04.660 moments where I was kind of helping to stewardship marketing and there were times where 113 00:07:04.899 --> 00:07:08.300 I was, you know, being a partner with others who were leading the 114 00:07:08.339 --> 00:07:12.259 marketing elements of that institution. And then after my time at St Francis, 115 00:07:12.540 --> 00:07:15.209 I came to Capital University and when I first game to Capital University I came 116 00:07:15.250 --> 00:07:18.050 in the role of Vice President for strategic and Roman management, and then, 117 00:07:18.129 --> 00:07:21.370 after I'd been doing that for a number of years, they had a central 118 00:07:21.410 --> 00:07:25.930 marketing department with a different vice president, but they had made the determination that 119 00:07:25.970 --> 00:07:29.970 it was time to consolidate those two things together. So now I have that 120 00:07:30.040 --> 00:07:33.000 opportunity to directly work with both the inrollment management and the marketing elements of the 121 00:07:33.040 --> 00:07:36.040 campus community. So that's kind of my background. It's kind of come full 122 00:07:36.079 --> 00:07:40.000 circle. I mean the whole idea that, you know, why you didn't 123 00:07:40.000 --> 00:07:43.720 necessarily have a marketing degree or what some people would kind of consider, you 124 00:07:43.800 --> 00:07:46.949 know, the path to marketing of creative or business design or other things like 125 00:07:46.990 --> 00:07:51.350 that. I think it's fascinating to me that just by asking the questions, 126 00:07:51.389 --> 00:07:55.389 asking the questions, how are we communicating? How are we doing this? 127 00:07:55.550 --> 00:07:59.139 Why are we doing it this way? That's such a big assence of what 128 00:07:59.300 --> 00:08:01.819 marketing is all about and I think that's pretty fascinating in your story, and 129 00:08:03.339 --> 00:08:05.899 you know it's what's it been like, I guess, to kind of move 130 00:08:05.980 --> 00:08:09.860 it to that position now that you have the ultimate responsibility for all the marketing 131 00:08:09.899 --> 00:08:13.129 work? I mean you had different roles of responsibility at different institutions, but 132 00:08:13.250 --> 00:08:18.089 but now it's kind of like all that rolls up underneath you. I what 133 00:08:18.170 --> 00:08:20.370 does that look like, because I know a lot of times peers, especially 134 00:08:20.610 --> 00:08:26.250 sitting at the cabinet level position, sometimes peers, I think, often see 135 00:08:26.410 --> 00:08:31.040 marketing is a little bit more subjective than maybe objective. How does that how 136 00:08:31.079 --> 00:08:33.759 does that work, and how do you navigate some of that? You know, 137 00:08:33.840 --> 00:08:35.039 and I kind of alluded to this a little bit earlier, but you 138 00:08:35.080 --> 00:08:39.039 know, I truly believe marketing starts in a couple of core things. One 139 00:08:39.120 --> 00:08:41.870 is understanding your messages right, but the messages are all about building relationships, 140 00:08:43.070 --> 00:08:46.190 right. The intent is to be able to strengthen the relationships with the perspective 141 00:08:46.230 --> 00:08:48.789 students, if that's the target market you're working with. In my role, 142 00:08:48.909 --> 00:08:52.789 you know, I serve both the prospective student audience as well as the other 143 00:08:52.230 --> 00:08:56.740 elements of marketing on campus, and in every one of those places it's about 144 00:08:56.779 --> 00:09:00.620 making sure that you have strong relationships and being able to help people understand and 145 00:09:00.740 --> 00:09:03.659 to learn from other people what it is that we're trying to do to create 146 00:09:03.740 --> 00:09:07.139 the right messages right and so I think that's really important. I'd say another 147 00:09:07.179 --> 00:09:09.850 part of it is recognizing where your strengths are and also knowing where you need 148 00:09:09.889 --> 00:09:13.250 to have partners and have other people take the weight and, you know, 149 00:09:13.570 --> 00:09:16.090 make sure that they are able to express, you know, what it is 150 00:09:16.169 --> 00:09:20.330 that they bring the table, and so, you know, I would say 151 00:09:20.330 --> 00:09:22.690 in the role that I have, a lot of it is that ability to 152 00:09:22.769 --> 00:09:26.000 really recognize what the needs are and make sure that we're organizing in a way 153 00:09:26.039 --> 00:09:30.159 that we're using the strengths of those around us to be able to craft our 154 00:09:30.159 --> 00:09:33.679 message in a clear and concise manner to the different audiences that we're trying to 155 00:09:33.720 --> 00:09:35.720 do that with. So we've talked about this a lot of times. I 156 00:09:35.759 --> 00:09:39.909 think to bark both you and I over the years that that does mean in 157 00:09:39.990 --> 00:09:41.669 a role like this, sometimes you need to outsource some of those elements. 158 00:09:41.710 --> 00:09:45.909 You need to work with partners that are outside of your institution to be able 159 00:09:45.909 --> 00:09:48.710 to bring in the expertise to make sure that the message that you're creating really 160 00:09:48.750 --> 00:09:52.980 resonates with the audience that you're trying to build that relationship with. And that 161 00:09:52.220 --> 00:09:56.740 goes the same for internally within a campus community as well. So you know, 162 00:09:56.779 --> 00:09:58.299 when you're working with other members of a cabinet or if you're working with 163 00:09:58.580 --> 00:10:01.539 faculty members and different departments, at the end of the day, being able 164 00:10:01.539 --> 00:10:05.820 to build a relationship with them, understand their needs and make sure that you 165 00:10:05.860 --> 00:10:07.570 get the right expert teas to help support you know what it is they're trying 166 00:10:07.570 --> 00:10:11.210 to accomplish. You'll find a lot of success in doing it that way. 167 00:10:11.889 --> 00:10:16.129 And listening to you, I hear a lot of you talk about strings to 168 00:10:16.330 --> 00:10:20.600 talk about communication, you talk about engaging different people that are working with you 169 00:10:20.840 --> 00:10:24.600 and working beneath you. Can you give us a couple of examples of how 170 00:10:24.679 --> 00:10:31.480 that has benefited you and helped you on your journey? Absolutely, you know, 171 00:10:31.559 --> 00:10:35.320 there are so many different times throughout my career where it's been sitting down 172 00:10:35.320 --> 00:10:37.830 with a conversation and somebody else and then, through that connecting and having that 173 00:10:37.950 --> 00:10:41.509 conversation, were able to really, you know, move something forward. That's 174 00:10:41.590 --> 00:10:45.470 that's important. I'm trying to come up with a quick, specific example, 175 00:10:45.629 --> 00:10:48.429 but but there's not one that's jumping right into my mind right off the bat 176 00:10:48.509 --> 00:10:50.340 here. But having said that, you know, I do know that these 177 00:10:50.419 --> 00:10:54.419 moments that we have connecting with each other make a big difference in our ability 178 00:10:54.460 --> 00:10:58.740 to, you know, make things happen within an organization. That's great. 179 00:10:58.539 --> 00:11:01.340 I know that, JP, when we did some work together at University of 180 00:11:01.340 --> 00:11:03.529 St Francis, I know that. You know, you mentioned that you were 181 00:11:03.570 --> 00:11:07.610 kind of the director of admissions at that time and you were working as part 182 00:11:07.610 --> 00:11:09.370 of a team that I would have been asked to come in as a part 183 00:11:09.370 --> 00:11:13.169 of through various means. I know when we kind of talked prior to the 184 00:11:13.409 --> 00:11:16.809 the podcast, you know you kind of kind of notice some things when you 185 00:11:16.850 --> 00:11:22.000 came into the university that that from from a marketing perspective, that needed to 186 00:11:22.039 --> 00:11:24.000 change. And it might be the case for a lot of our schools that 187 00:11:24.039 --> 00:11:28.480 are listening where they might not be aware of maybe some of the things that 188 00:11:28.639 --> 00:11:31.120 need to be changed because they're so focused on brand or so focused on the 189 00:11:31.159 --> 00:11:35.710 way that trying to keep a consistency. Tell us a little bit about what 190 00:11:35.750 --> 00:11:39.669 that story was like and how that impacted the enrollment. Yeah, so when 191 00:11:39.669 --> 00:11:41.990 I first came to the University of St Francis, one of the challenges they 192 00:11:43.029 --> 00:11:46.110 had is that they really weren't clear on how they wanted to execute marketing for 193 00:11:46.179 --> 00:11:50.659 the whole institution. They had for a number of years been working with a 194 00:11:50.779 --> 00:11:54.259 third party company as the marketing team for the entire institution. There wasn't anybody 195 00:11:54.379 --> 00:12:00.139 on campus as a point person for marketing. Instead, the different department heads, 196 00:12:00.460 --> 00:12:03.850 chairs, deans, the enrollment management team, we all would work through 197 00:12:03.850 --> 00:12:05.529 this third party company. That helped to kind of make sure that we were 198 00:12:05.570 --> 00:12:09.929 staying on brand and to support us in our marketing needs. And you know, 199 00:12:09.970 --> 00:12:11.330 I think there were reasons that they were doing it when I came to 200 00:12:11.409 --> 00:12:16.679 the institution, but over time it wasn't really lining up with the institutions needs 201 00:12:16.759 --> 00:12:20.639 to really move to the next level. And a real specific example in the 202 00:12:20.679 --> 00:12:24.360 admission side of things. When I came there they were doing everything other than 203 00:12:24.399 --> 00:12:28.320 the view book itself in just one color print, it was all blue. 204 00:12:28.759 --> 00:12:31.389 Everything was blue with shades of blue, but they didn't have, you know, 205 00:12:31.549 --> 00:12:35.750 for color pieces of material that we're going out there, and I think 206 00:12:35.789 --> 00:12:37.029 some of that was to save some money, but I think some of that 207 00:12:37.190 --> 00:12:41.629 was just that there wasn't quite a connection, a deep enough connection, between 208 00:12:41.710 --> 00:12:45.340 that Third Party Company and the institution. There were some gaps in the communication 209 00:12:45.379 --> 00:12:48.100 about what was necessary in the needs and I would say that one of the 210 00:12:48.139 --> 00:12:52.299 things that happened in that process is that, coming into that role, I 211 00:12:52.419 --> 00:12:54.700 really wanted to make sure that we did the best we could within the way 212 00:12:54.860 --> 00:12:58.690 we are structured, and so I immediately kind of spent some time with that 213 00:13:00.009 --> 00:13:03.210 company and one of the things we did is we talked about it from beginning 214 00:13:03.250 --> 00:13:05.090 and said we really need to make this brand come up into, you know, 215 00:13:05.690 --> 00:13:09.289 today's type of style and market. We need to get this really at 216 00:13:09.330 --> 00:13:11.169 a different level. And the way we did that as we've actually had this 217 00:13:11.289 --> 00:13:16.720 really productive meeting where we came together and before the meeting I actually went around 218 00:13:16.720 --> 00:13:20.080 and found a whole bunch of, I would just say, natural design assets 219 00:13:20.120 --> 00:13:24.039 from other types of companies that were out there that we're hitting our youth in 220 00:13:24.120 --> 00:13:26.350 the target market we're trying to accomplish. So I'd gone to the mall and 221 00:13:26.389 --> 00:13:31.029 I picked up a few different catalogs from places like Ambercrombie and Fitch was popular 222 00:13:31.070 --> 00:13:33.149 at the time, the buckle. There are a couple other ones that were 223 00:13:33.190 --> 00:13:35.710 popular, and I brought him in there and said, if this is the 224 00:13:35.789 --> 00:13:37.629 market we're trying to get to, we can't be like these blue smurf pieces 225 00:13:37.750 --> 00:13:41.460 of paper any longer. We really need to get ourselves to a place that 226 00:13:41.500 --> 00:13:45.220 really communicates and connects with them and we need to take some design elements from 227 00:13:45.220 --> 00:13:48.139 what's happening right now and what they're experiencing in the things that are important to 228 00:13:48.179 --> 00:13:50.059 them. And in that moment it was almost like it was a relief, 229 00:13:50.139 --> 00:13:54.700 because I think the agency that we were working with, they also work feeling 230 00:13:54.700 --> 00:13:56.250 kind of frustrated in the way that our brand in design had been and the 231 00:13:56.330 --> 00:14:00.970 communication was what was lacking back and forth. But then being able to build 232 00:14:00.970 --> 00:14:03.730 those relationships, I go back that so many times, and being able to 233 00:14:03.769 --> 00:14:05.529 communicate clearly on what the needs are and then, I think in that moment, 234 00:14:05.610 --> 00:14:09.399 even giving some visual examples of what we were trying to envision really change 235 00:14:09.519 --> 00:14:13.159 things around and we were able to get a whole new brand and fill look 236 00:14:13.200 --> 00:14:16.879 for the institution and it made us really get to a different place. And 237 00:14:16.919 --> 00:14:20.200 then, as that kind of progressed over time, we ended up, as 238 00:14:20.200 --> 00:14:22.559 an institution, determining that was best for us to have an internal marketing department 239 00:14:22.919 --> 00:14:26.029 and in my role I got to be very close and work with the vice 240 00:14:26.070 --> 00:14:30.590 president from marketing there and we had those type of same conversations on a regular 241 00:14:30.629 --> 00:14:31.789 basis. So that would be one of those times where, you know, 242 00:14:31.950 --> 00:14:35.509 I was kind of next to the main marketing team, not directly, you 243 00:14:35.590 --> 00:14:39.620 know, in charge of a marketing team. But the important part in all 244 00:14:39.620 --> 00:14:41.379 of it was a communication. An important part in all of it was really 245 00:14:41.820 --> 00:14:45.700 making sure that we were, you know, working towards the same goals and 246 00:14:45.820 --> 00:14:48.139 that we were able to open up our minds of communication in the way that 247 00:14:48.220 --> 00:14:52.210 we were very productive and the things that we're making as a the outcomes of 248 00:14:52.289 --> 00:14:56.769 the work that we're working on. Thank you for sharing that story, JP 249 00:14:56.970 --> 00:15:01.210 and I think that's a story that a lot of higher ed marketers probably have 250 00:15:01.490 --> 00:15:07.090 some commonalities with, since we know that Higher Ed Marketing it's known for beings 251 00:15:07.360 --> 00:15:11.919 being slower to innovation, and one of the reasons that attracted us to you 252 00:15:11.039 --> 00:15:16.679 and wanted to have you on the podcast is around your data background. So 253 00:15:16.879 --> 00:15:20.000 we'd like to get back to your roots and ask you how do you see 254 00:15:20.600 --> 00:15:26.389 data impacting marketing and enrollment going forward? Yeah, so that's a really great 255 00:15:26.389 --> 00:15:28.190 question. And now, and I think the data is really one of the 256 00:15:28.350 --> 00:15:31.509 more important aspects of marketing. You know, if you don't have any way 257 00:15:31.509 --> 00:15:35.500 to assess what you're doing, it's not really helping you in any way of 258 00:15:35.620 --> 00:15:39.700 being able to improve the work from where you're at to where you want to 259 00:15:39.779 --> 00:15:43.500 go. And so, you know, we talked about data and almost everything 260 00:15:43.500 --> 00:15:46.100 that we do and in enrollment management, the reality is everything we do is 261 00:15:46.139 --> 00:15:50.450 based on data, even if it's just that basic funnel data. But if 262 00:15:50.490 --> 00:15:54.049 you want to really expound upon that, it gives you an opportunity to be 263 00:15:54.090 --> 00:15:56.129 much more efficient in the way that you communicate with others. And when you 264 00:15:56.169 --> 00:16:00.330 think about it in terms of marketing, there are so many different data points 265 00:16:00.330 --> 00:16:03.490 that can help you to be more successful in the type of marketing you know, 266 00:16:03.610 --> 00:16:06.879 plans that you create and the way that you actually utilize the different types 267 00:16:06.919 --> 00:16:11.279 of ways to communicate with outside audiences, and so whether that's understanding how your 268 00:16:11.320 --> 00:16:14.840 social media is connecting with the audiences out there, what things seem to be 269 00:16:14.919 --> 00:16:18.480 working, what things are not working in terms of looking at the relevant data 270 00:16:18.519 --> 00:16:22.230 to it, or whether you're looking at other things like finding a way to 271 00:16:22.350 --> 00:16:26.629 communicate your scholarships, there's data that can help support that and one thing, 272 00:16:26.830 --> 00:16:30.669 you know, I'd like to share with you as a good example of utilizing 273 00:16:30.710 --> 00:16:33.980 data kind of ties some of the enrollment management theory into the marketing. And 274 00:16:34.460 --> 00:16:38.460 when I first came to Capital University, we recognize that one of our points 275 00:16:38.539 --> 00:16:45.100 of challenge in our recruitment, in our enrollment funnel was attracting the student body 276 00:16:45.220 --> 00:16:48.730 or the people that we wanted to come to campus that weren't Pale eligible. 277 00:16:48.049 --> 00:16:52.730 You know, that they were at a point where they didn't receive any additional 278 00:16:52.970 --> 00:16:56.009 resources from the federal government or the state and they also weren't at a point 279 00:16:56.009 --> 00:16:59.330 where they were wealthy enough that they could just write a check to come to 280 00:16:59.409 --> 00:17:02.799 college. And so as we're looking at our scholarshipping in our models, we 281 00:17:02.879 --> 00:17:06.640 were saying, what's the best way for us to really support this group and 282 00:17:06.960 --> 00:17:11.680 the data actually made us kind of really recognize which proportion of our audience we 283 00:17:11.799 --> 00:17:15.869 needed to connect with and in looking at that data we thought it about what 284 00:17:15.029 --> 00:17:18.829 do we do well at capital that would also be able to help them under 285 00:17:18.990 --> 00:17:22.950 stand that there are scholarships available to them that work with them. We came 286 00:17:23.150 --> 00:17:26.630 up with this great concept. It was called the good guarantee, and the 287 00:17:26.710 --> 00:17:33.460 good guarantee is essentially if a student whose parent works in a nonprofit or a 288 00:17:33.579 --> 00:17:37.779 public service type of a role chooses to come to capital university, they will 289 00:17:37.819 --> 00:17:41.339 never pay more than fifty percent in tuition, which is a pretty simple message. 290 00:17:41.819 --> 00:17:44.369 But it was data informed. It was built out of our own data 291 00:17:44.730 --> 00:17:47.490 and then, as we started thinking about that, we took it another step. 292 00:17:47.529 --> 00:17:49.329 It wasn't just about a scholarship, but the reason we called it a 293 00:17:49.450 --> 00:17:55.170 good guarantee is because it was about the institution and our old history in our 294 00:17:55.170 --> 00:17:57.640 mission has always been about preparing people to help them to go out into the 295 00:17:57.680 --> 00:18:02.039 world and to get a better place, and if you look at some of 296 00:18:02.079 --> 00:18:06.319 our earliest mission statements there are references to this idea of for the greater good 297 00:18:06.480 --> 00:18:11.079 and helping people to prepare for the betterment of society, and this greater good 298 00:18:11.200 --> 00:18:14.509 concept really came together for us. And so when we actually put this all 299 00:18:14.549 --> 00:18:18.390 together from a marketing perspective, really what we talked about was a mission identity 300 00:18:18.509 --> 00:18:22.150 thing, even though it was an intentionally built out of a data informed decision, 301 00:18:22.670 --> 00:18:26.309 and it really resonated with that audience. We had students that came to 302 00:18:26.430 --> 00:18:29.740 us that next year specifically in that area, where we hadn't had them come 303 00:18:29.779 --> 00:18:32.059 in the past. They hadn't yielded in the past at the same level, 304 00:18:32.420 --> 00:18:34.539 and I think a lot of that came from the very fact that that wasn't 305 00:18:34.539 --> 00:18:37.740 just a scholarship, but it was a scholarship, and even that was a 306 00:18:38.220 --> 00:18:41.410 scholarship that was very helpful to them. It helped them understand the value of 307 00:18:41.450 --> 00:18:45.089 the institution and who we are and it was very mission oriented and that was 308 00:18:45.130 --> 00:18:49.089 all tied together in some really good marketing elements that we put together and being 309 00:18:49.130 --> 00:18:52.690 able to express what the good guarantee was all about and having that clear marketing 310 00:18:52.730 --> 00:18:57.240 message tied to something that was data informed. I think is a great example 311 00:18:57.519 --> 00:19:02.240 of where, you know, marketing can really be lifted when you're thinking about 312 00:19:02.240 --> 00:19:04.440 things from a data perspective. So I'd say that's one example of it. 313 00:19:04.640 --> 00:19:08.519 Another example of it is really making sure that your systems are working in a 314 00:19:08.559 --> 00:19:11.789 way that you can actually leverage them to communicate and to be better. I 315 00:19:11.910 --> 00:19:15.029 know that you every person, you've probably talked to him these podcasts. There's 316 00:19:15.069 --> 00:19:18.029 some level where it gets to a point of talking about the crm right and 317 00:19:18.349 --> 00:19:22.150 how are you having that relationship management system? It's helping people to connect and 318 00:19:22.230 --> 00:19:25.539 to be able to, you know, work through the process of getting to 319 00:19:25.579 --> 00:19:29.180 know a university. And the reality is, if you really build your CR 320 00:19:29.259 --> 00:19:33.779 in the right way, then it really does provide so many additional advantages to 321 00:19:33.819 --> 00:19:37.180 being able to craft and create the right messages and, again, to know 322 00:19:37.299 --> 00:19:41.490 who's listening, who's responding, who's looking at them, and get them engaged 323 00:19:41.529 --> 00:19:44.809 again. And I think you know that's really the points where data really can 324 00:19:44.849 --> 00:19:48.369 be very consistent. And so knowing how to do that, choosing a system 325 00:19:48.410 --> 00:19:51.089 that's the right type of system, setting it up in a way that you 326 00:19:51.130 --> 00:19:55.599 can extract that data and then using that data to develop the messages moving forward 327 00:19:56.039 --> 00:19:59.200 really or very powerful ways to connect with your audience and to really make a 328 00:19:59.240 --> 00:20:03.319 marketing team go from, you know, a functional team to a highly functional 329 00:20:03.359 --> 00:20:06.319 team right and changing it to another level. And then, if you're working 330 00:20:06.319 --> 00:20:08.589 with outside partners and vendors, you can actually talk to them about what your 331 00:20:08.630 --> 00:20:11.029 needs are and what your gaps are. So you're not just going out there 332 00:20:11.069 --> 00:20:14.750 and saying we have a problem fixed our marketing, but you actually can go 333 00:20:14.829 --> 00:20:18.029 and talk about here's what we're challenged in the marketing here's the areas that we 334 00:20:18.109 --> 00:20:19.670 need to have a little more help and strength. Can you help us to 335 00:20:19.710 --> 00:20:22.180 figure out why we can't get our social media where we need to go, 336 00:20:22.259 --> 00:20:26.299 for example, or can you help us in some other former manner and making 337 00:20:26.339 --> 00:20:30.140 sure that this particular message that we've been developing has more interest and people look 338 00:20:30.180 --> 00:20:33.339 at it and really connect it back to the institution? So I know, 339 00:20:33.619 --> 00:20:36.769 when I think about the date of thing, I think it's so important and 340 00:20:37.130 --> 00:20:38.289 there's so many different ways. I could tell other stories about it, but 341 00:20:38.569 --> 00:20:42.210 I think those are some good examples of really sharing how data really can help 342 00:20:42.410 --> 00:20:47.490 lift and help support a person that's really trying to make sure their marketing messages 343 00:20:47.569 --> 00:20:48.809 resume. And it does tie back to the very beginning story. I mean 344 00:20:48.849 --> 00:20:52.920 the reality, I got down this path because looking at those data points and 345 00:20:52.920 --> 00:20:56.119 I didn't know how we're communicating and when I was looking at and back then, 346 00:20:56.200 --> 00:20:57.960 what I didn't really share earlier in the podcast is that the open rate 347 00:20:59.079 --> 00:21:02.000 on it was so businally low on the way that we're communicating the students at 348 00:21:02.000 --> 00:21:03.430 that time frame. But that's why I felt like we had to change the 349 00:21:03.470 --> 00:21:07.109 messages to get them even interested to coming to orientation. So there's a connection 350 00:21:07.150 --> 00:21:11.230 in my entire career that comes around this data question, for sure. Well, 351 00:21:11.630 --> 00:21:15.509 I certainly could talk about urns and data all the time and you never 352 00:21:15.630 --> 00:21:19.700 have to apologize for speaking about it. Yes, we talked about crns and 353 00:21:19.740 --> 00:21:23.339 we talk about data with other guests, but the way you articulated it, 354 00:21:23.500 --> 00:21:30.420 with the passion and the expertise, that was a wonderful story and that's probably 355 00:21:30.539 --> 00:21:34.369 reason why you've been so successful in your career. Also wanted to touch on 356 00:21:34.529 --> 00:21:41.730 the good guarantee. I think that was an exemplary example of how you position 357 00:21:42.049 --> 00:21:48.720 data and position things that were at capital university and put a great spin on 358 00:21:48.799 --> 00:21:53.079 it and went to the community with it with much success. I think this 359 00:21:53.359 --> 00:21:59.000 next question, which I usually end with, is probably selfish caause you gave 360 00:21:59.079 --> 00:22:03.029 me two great examples. But we always like to end by asking if there 361 00:22:03.230 --> 00:22:07.789 is one thought, one specific thing that you could leave before we close that 362 00:22:07.029 --> 00:22:11.950 other marketers can take right away, either an idea or an insight, something 363 00:22:12.069 --> 00:22:17.140 that's applicable. Yeah, what would that be? So that's a great question 364 00:22:17.339 --> 00:22:21.140 and I think the very first part of this he always have to be looking 365 00:22:21.140 --> 00:22:26.259 at at what's happening and how people are consuming information and really try to be 366 00:22:26.420 --> 00:22:27.900 cutting edge. I mean you have to take risks, we have to try 367 00:22:27.940 --> 00:22:30.250 a few things sometimes and not all of them are going to work. But 368 00:22:30.410 --> 00:22:34.890 one example I'd give that we've done in recent past to capital university is we 369 00:22:36.009 --> 00:22:38.170 developed a cap chat podcast. So not on like what you're doing right here 370 00:22:38.289 --> 00:22:42.210 right. I mean you're connecting with your audience through this medium of podcasts, 371 00:22:42.329 --> 00:22:45.599 and we did the same thing. It was called the cap chat podcast and 372 00:22:45.960 --> 00:22:49.119 the design of it and intent of it was really to help with both the 373 00:22:49.200 --> 00:22:55.039 student and the parents in that yielding processes they're making that final decision to come 374 00:22:55.119 --> 00:22:57.400 to campus and really opening up the campus in a way where they could have 375 00:22:57.589 --> 00:23:02.910 more experiences through the storytelling of our current students of our faculty, Our staff 376 00:23:02.950 --> 00:23:06.990 are coaches and athletics, and so we created a two series, a two 377 00:23:07.069 --> 00:23:10.670 season series of podcasts. In the first season we kind of hit up some 378 00:23:10.710 --> 00:23:14.059 of the initial things that you normally would expect to hit from an enrollment management 379 00:23:14.059 --> 00:23:18.099 we talked about financial aid and understanding financial aid better. We talked about athletics 380 00:23:18.140 --> 00:23:19.819 and what it's like to be a d three athlete because we're dthree campus. 381 00:23:21.180 --> 00:23:23.539 We talked about some other really good topics or pertinent to our audience, but 382 00:23:23.779 --> 00:23:27.369 really helping him see that next layer and really connect with people that are living 383 00:23:27.410 --> 00:23:30.569 that with us. And then when we went from there into the next season, 384 00:23:30.609 --> 00:23:33.529 we started realizing all the other types of things that we could really help 385 00:23:33.569 --> 00:23:37.289 to connect the community that were sometimes hard to get out in short messages, 386 00:23:37.369 --> 00:23:41.039 right and emails and other things that we were utilizing to connect with our audiences. 387 00:23:41.400 --> 00:23:45.279 It's not the same medium and so you know, I think in using 388 00:23:45.319 --> 00:23:49.039 that cap chat podcast it allowed for our institution to connect with a different way 389 00:23:49.119 --> 00:23:52.559 with our audience and it did help us. I think at the end of 390 00:23:52.559 --> 00:23:55.519 the day, the day to reflects that we had good conversion Yo grads of 391 00:23:55.599 --> 00:23:57.910 that came out of those two years of building that we've continued to see improvement 392 00:23:57.950 --> 00:24:02.029 in that particular air of an our enrollment funnel. I don't think it's the 393 00:24:02.109 --> 00:24:03.789 sole thing that's helped us get there, but I do think that it definitely 394 00:24:03.829 --> 00:24:07.670 was one factor that was a driving variable or driving force that helped us to 395 00:24:07.710 --> 00:24:11.099 get there. So, you know, I would say take risks, be 396 00:24:11.220 --> 00:24:14.099 innovative, think about what's happening in the world, pay attention. The example 397 00:24:14.180 --> 00:24:15.339 that I gave right now is, you know, if you can get the 398 00:24:15.380 --> 00:24:18.619 right group of people together and do something like a podcast, it gives a 399 00:24:18.700 --> 00:24:22.700 whole different Lens and Larry a way for you to tell your story, and 400 00:24:22.819 --> 00:24:26.849 so that's one that I share with you for today. Thank you, dynamic 401 00:24:26.930 --> 00:24:30.809 response. TP. If someone wanted to reach you, how would they best 402 00:24:30.890 --> 00:24:33.329 do that? Sure the easiest way to reach me is we just connect to 403 00:24:33.450 --> 00:24:40.839 me through my capital communication channels, my emails, JP SPAGNOLO at capital Edu. 404 00:24:41.559 --> 00:24:42.960 That's probably the easiest way to reach me. You could go to the 405 00:24:44.039 --> 00:24:47.880 website and search me within the directory. I'd be right there and you know, 406 00:24:47.920 --> 00:24:49.680 I welcome it. You know, I do believe that that's the seven 407 00:24:49.680 --> 00:24:52.710 a few times thround. It relationship building makes us successful. So if there's 408 00:24:52.710 --> 00:24:56.829 anybody out there listening that would feel like it would be beneficial to have a 409 00:24:56.869 --> 00:25:00.710 conversation about anything we talked about today, you know I'm open and I'd love 410 00:25:00.750 --> 00:25:02.869 to be, you know, able to build that network with you. So 411 00:25:03.470 --> 00:25:06.470 thanks for asking about that for sure. Well again. Thank you, JP 412 00:25:07.220 --> 00:25:11.299 and for everyone else. That ends another higher end marketing podcast which is sponsored 413 00:25:11.339 --> 00:25:18.539 by Kabo Solutions and Education Marketing Brandy Agency and by think patent did a marketing 414 00:25:18.660 --> 00:25:22.250 execution, printing and mailing provider of highate solutions. On behalf of my cohost 415 00:25:22.289 --> 00:25:29.130 Bart Taylor, I'm Troye singer. Thank you for joining us. You've been 416 00:25:29.170 --> 00:25:33.250 listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. To ensure that you never miss an episode, 417 00:25:33.529 --> 00:25:37.720 subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with 418 00:25:37.759 --> 00:25:41.160 apple PODCASTS, we'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the show. 419 00:25:41.200 --> 00:25:45.039 Simply tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Until next 420 00:25:45.079 --> time,