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March 16, 2021

Enrollment Marketing: How to Leverage a Mascot Program

Enrollment Marketing: How to Leverage a Mascot Program

Butler University has a unique target audience for one of their marketing campaigns — the pets of prospective students.

Kristi Lafree, Director of Enrollment Marketing at Butler University, joins the podcast to talk about how the marketing team is finding innovative ways to use Blue, Butler’s very own 65-lb English Bulldog mascot, to drive enrollment and awareness, including sending personalized direct mail to cats and dogs.

She also talks about:

- A two-fold approach for marketing to parents

- The importance of personalization within student recruitment

- How Gen Z is approaching decision-making

Have any questions for Kristi?

- Email her at klafree@butler.edu

- Find her on Twitter @kristilafree

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 were 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 have 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 --> 00:00:29.660 this podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to episode 6 00:00:29.780 --> 00:00:35.100 five of the Higher Ed Marketer podcast. I'm troy singer, with my partnering 7 00:00:35.259 --> 00:00:40.689 creation, the Cohost, Bart Taylor. Hello, Bart, Hey, troy, 8 00:00:40.770 --> 00:00:43.810 how are you today? It's going well with me. We're like excited 9 00:00:43.929 --> 00:00:49.409 to to have this conversation today. I'm excited and I just want to remind 10 00:00:49.490 --> 00:00:53.640 you, in case you've forgotten and let everyone else know, that our one 11 00:00:53.759 --> 00:00:58.640 year anniversaries coming up from the time that we first met and started working together. 12 00:00:59.039 --> 00:01:02.719 I did not know that will happy anniversary, Troy. Happy Anniversary to 13 00:01:02.880 --> 00:01:06.750 you too, and yes, I'm the one in this dynamic duo that remembered. 14 00:01:07.629 --> 00:01:11.390 So I don't know if that's a great segue, but please tell us 15 00:01:11.390 --> 00:01:15.629 about today's guest, since I now know that there is a personal connection for 16 00:01:15.790 --> 00:01:19.900 you. Yeah, so Christy lafree is the director of enrollment marketing at Butler 17 00:01:19.939 --> 00:01:23.780 University and she and I met several years ago. I have a student at 18 00:01:23.819 --> 00:01:29.340 Butler, my my oldest son, Benjamin, and is a junior studying journalism, 19 00:01:29.459 --> 00:01:34.170 photo journalism, at Butler University, and so there's been some some aspects 20 00:01:34.209 --> 00:01:38.090 of this conversation that impacted me both as a marketer, a professional hired marketer, 21 00:01:38.489 --> 00:01:42.170 as well as just a parent and how I receive that marketing. So 22 00:01:42.250 --> 00:01:46.370 it'll be a good conversation. It will be so without further ado. Let's 23 00:01:46.409 --> 00:01:52.359 bring Christian. We are so looking forward to our conversation with Christy Laffree, 24 00:01:52.760 --> 00:01:57.400 director of enrollment marketing at Butler University, to the Higher Ed Marketing podcasts which, 25 00:01:57.920 --> 00:02:02.390 if I bet anything, there might be some subjects around dynamic dogs and 26 00:02:02.430 --> 00:02:07.909 dynamic cats today. Hello, Christy, Hi try. Thank you both for 27 00:02:08.030 --> 00:02:12.310 having me here. I appreciate it and yes, I do have some dog 28 00:02:12.509 --> 00:02:16.180 and cat stories to share and I want to make sure we get into them 29 00:02:16.219 --> 00:02:21.060 at the appropriate time. But if you would tell us about your role at 30 00:02:21.139 --> 00:02:23.939 Butler, sure, I'm happy to so. Like you said, I am 31 00:02:23.219 --> 00:02:28.819 director of enrollment marketing at Butler University in Indianapolis. I have been a part 32 00:02:28.819 --> 00:02:32.689 of the Butler community for almost eight years now. I actually began a Butler 33 00:02:32.729 --> 00:02:37.770 in the opposite admission. My team and I have since transition to these central 34 00:02:37.930 --> 00:02:43.650 marketing communications office, but we also operate in really close partnership with our partners 35 00:02:43.689 --> 00:02:46.719 and enrollment management. So in many ways we're a part of both teams and 36 00:02:46.840 --> 00:02:51.719 we found that that partnership is is very successful for us. My primary role 37 00:02:52.000 --> 00:02:58.400 is to oversee the develop of marketing strategies for perspective students at both the undergraduate 38 00:02:58.520 --> 00:03:01.990 and graduate level, and our approach is really full funnel. So we handle 39 00:03:02.069 --> 00:03:09.150 everything from student search efforts to application generation, to yield to melt prevention campaigns. 40 00:03:09.270 --> 00:03:13.099 The funnel goes on and on and on. Right as we're, as 41 00:03:13.139 --> 00:03:16.020 we're all aware, and like most enrollment marketing teams are, we're really full 42 00:03:16.099 --> 00:03:22.620 service. So we handle everything from direct mail and publications to crm and email 43 00:03:22.659 --> 00:03:27.930 marketing strategy to web and digital to social, etc. Etc. Etc. 44 00:03:28.449 --> 00:03:31.330 And really our primary effort is to make sure that what we are doing on 45 00:03:31.409 --> 00:03:37.009 the marketing side and what we're putting in front of prospective students is really complementing 46 00:03:37.250 --> 00:03:39.610 what admission is doing on the recruitment side of the house. So we are 47 00:03:39.650 --> 00:03:44.879 always trying to making sure that what we're doing is in sync and helping us 48 00:03:45.120 --> 00:03:49.080 meet our enrollment goals. And being in the central marketing office gives us the 49 00:03:49.120 --> 00:03:53.560 added Ben a set of being really close and really involved with institutional brand efforts. 50 00:03:53.639 --> 00:03:57.110 So there's some terrific synergy there as well. That's great, Christie. 51 00:03:57.150 --> 00:04:00.629 Appreciate you kind of doing that introduction and I think you and I met probably 52 00:04:00.669 --> 00:04:03.590 three years ago, good when I was on campus and I had been working 53 00:04:03.629 --> 00:04:06.789 with Butler over the over the years on different projects, but I think some 54 00:04:06.870 --> 00:04:10.580 of the work that that the reason I got introduced to you, as I 55 00:04:10.659 --> 00:04:15.060 was commenting with one of my contacts about just the the personal aspect of being 56 00:04:15.060 --> 00:04:18.980 a parent of a student who decided to attend Butler and so your work personally 57 00:04:19.060 --> 00:04:21.500 affect to my family and so I got a chance to introduce you, know, 58 00:04:21.699 --> 00:04:25.170 be introduced to you and talk a little bit about that. So tell 59 00:04:25.170 --> 00:04:29.050 me a little bit more about what went into the the parent flow of the 60 00:04:29.129 --> 00:04:32.569 calm flow strategy that that kind of affected me and my wife in how we 61 00:04:33.129 --> 00:04:36.889 helped our son navigate his college choices. I'm just so the audience knows, 62 00:04:36.970 --> 00:04:43.319 and full transparency. He's a junior about the university studying journalism and loves it, 63 00:04:43.639 --> 00:04:46.120 and just about to say he's real happy, isn't he's really happy. 64 00:04:46.360 --> 00:04:49.800 So I got to put that plug in. So, but I do know 65 00:04:49.959 --> 00:04:55.230 that a lot of the ways that you guys communicated directly with parents and with 66 00:04:55.470 --> 00:04:58.110 me and my wife made a difference. So tell me a little bit about 67 00:04:58.189 --> 00:05:00.149 you know what that strategy was and how that played out and and why you 68 00:05:00.189 --> 00:05:03.949 saw that as a need. Sure, happy to so. Prospective students are, 69 00:05:04.069 --> 00:05:06.699 of course, our primary audience, but we have spent a lot of 70 00:05:06.740 --> 00:05:12.860 time in the last few years really thinking about and developing strategies for our secondary 71 00:05:12.899 --> 00:05:17.500 audiences, other people who are involved in the college search and the decisionmaking process 72 00:05:17.579 --> 00:05:20.490 and of course, like in your case, Bart, that that most often 73 00:05:20.529 --> 00:05:26.569 includes parents. So our goal with how we engage with parents is really twofold. 74 00:05:26.810 --> 00:05:30.769 First, we always aim to keep parents aware of their students admission process, 75 00:05:30.970 --> 00:05:35.560 aware of where they're at in their application process, upcoming downline, reminders, 76 00:05:36.000 --> 00:05:40.720 next steps, all of that kind of transactional stuff. We know that 77 00:05:41.120 --> 00:05:46.279 parents are often the ones reminding their kids about upcoming deadlines and getting your transcripts 78 00:05:46.319 --> 00:05:49.189 in and all that good stuff. So this is a pretty easy strategy for 79 00:05:49.230 --> 00:05:55.149 us to execute. We just include parents in the majority of our transactional communications, 80 00:05:55.310 --> 00:05:59.350 are oftentimes on the CC line, and it's it's really simple and I 81 00:05:59.550 --> 00:06:01.110 wish it maybe was a bit more strategic than that, but we have just 82 00:06:01.189 --> 00:06:05.500 found that looping them in and keeping them in the know has proven to be 83 00:06:05.620 --> 00:06:10.100 really, really helpful and I know a lot of parents just appreciate having that 84 00:06:10.220 --> 00:06:14.500 ability to get reminders, etc. At the same time as their students. 85 00:06:14.579 --> 00:06:16.259 I was gonna say that was so important to us. So yeah, good. 86 00:06:16.779 --> 00:06:21.529 But in addition to that, we also know that parents are often deeply 87 00:06:21.610 --> 00:06:27.329 involved in the college choice and in the decision making process. So we know 88 00:06:27.529 --> 00:06:30.290 that as marketers, we need to be spending just as much time promoting our 89 00:06:30.329 --> 00:06:35.240 institution and sharing what makes Butler a special place with parents as we do with 90 00:06:35.279 --> 00:06:39.680 their students, and we do that in a few different ways. We really 91 00:06:40.079 --> 00:06:43.199 have kind of a blend of an and or an or approach, I would 92 00:06:43.199 --> 00:06:46.910 say. In many of our campaigns we will send communications to both students and 93 00:06:47.110 --> 00:06:50.110 their parents. You know, anytime we are working on, you know, 94 00:06:50.230 --> 00:06:55.189 our our view book series or a new email campaign or a website, we 95 00:06:55.350 --> 00:06:58.629 make sure that we are keeping all audiences in mind when we do that piece. 96 00:06:59.230 --> 00:07:02.100 We assume mom or dad or grandma, our GRANDPA are likely the ones 97 00:07:02.180 --> 00:07:05.860 getting the mail. I'm not sure that's as accurate now in the in the 98 00:07:05.980 --> 00:07:10.540 e learning covid era, but prior to that, you know, we knew 99 00:07:10.540 --> 00:07:15.139 that they were often the first ones seeing seeing information from us, and we 100 00:07:15.810 --> 00:07:18.610 again just really try to keep all audiences in mind as we're working on those 101 00:07:18.730 --> 00:07:23.850 pieces. As we go further down in our enrollment funnel, that's where we 102 00:07:23.970 --> 00:07:26.730 start at times segmenting. So this is where we get into kind of the 103 00:07:26.810 --> 00:07:30.720 or part of our approach. So there may be times where we send different 104 00:07:30.360 --> 00:07:34.920 different campaigns and different materials to parents versus students. Parents, of course, 105 00:07:35.000 --> 00:07:40.839 are curious about the return on investment of a Butler degree and how their student 106 00:07:40.879 --> 00:07:45.670 will be prepared post college, but students may want more information about what it's 107 00:07:45.670 --> 00:07:49.670 like to live on campus or ability to participate in quizzes and polls and things 108 00:07:49.709 --> 00:07:54.910 along that along that nature. So we do at times kind of divide and 109 00:07:55.269 --> 00:08:01.300 create those different paths. I think that's really interesting and even like I will 110 00:08:01.660 --> 00:08:03.819 testify to the fact that, yes, parents are the ones seeing the email, 111 00:08:03.980 --> 00:08:09.819 because so few colleges were including us on the comflow. Mean Butler, 112 00:08:09.060 --> 00:08:11.300 out of this seven colleges is you applied to, Butler, was the only 113 00:08:11.339 --> 00:08:16.329 one that was actually including us on any confluence. So naturally we were looking 114 00:08:16.329 --> 00:08:18.329 at our email every day as professionals. We'd bring it up in the evening 115 00:08:18.490 --> 00:08:20.569 say hey, did you see the visit day? Did you see this coming 116 00:08:20.569 --> 00:08:24.089 up the transactional as well as just having a good sense of what was going 117 00:08:24.250 --> 00:08:28.160 on. And so I can certainly say that that was that was a very 118 00:08:28.199 --> 00:08:31.040 effective campaign. But I think one thing I wanted to just kind of point 119 00:08:31.040 --> 00:08:33.279 out and and mention, and you can respond to this, but I think 120 00:08:33.320 --> 00:08:37.519 that you can only do what you can with the data that you can collect, 121 00:08:37.600 --> 00:08:41.080 and so we've done some campaigns for different different schools. We're we've done, 122 00:08:41.080 --> 00:08:43.429 you know, some lead generation type things and we might have purchased lists 123 00:08:43.549 --> 00:08:46.389 or they might just be coming in from the web, but will often ask, 124 00:08:46.429 --> 00:08:50.909 as an optional question, please include your parents email address. I've always, 125 00:08:50.909 --> 00:08:52.750 always, always been shocked at how many students will actually just volunteer that 126 00:08:52.870 --> 00:08:56.460 pretty quickly, but you can't do that kind of parent communication without having their 127 00:08:56.500 --> 00:09:00.460 email. And so I mean, would you agree that you've got to ask 128 00:09:00.500 --> 00:09:03.820 for those things if you're going to actually try to do something? Absolutely yes, 129 00:09:03.899 --> 00:09:07.700 and that's a really good point. You know that that parent strategy I 130 00:09:07.820 --> 00:09:09.970 just talked about is only as effective as the data that we have in our 131 00:09:11.009 --> 00:09:15.649 system and yield. You know, of course the application is that primary data 132 00:09:15.730 --> 00:09:16.970 collection point where you do get a lot of that. So we yield. 133 00:09:18.009 --> 00:09:20.610 It does become a bit easier, but that focus has been there for us, 134 00:09:20.889 --> 00:09:24.840 you know, even just in the last twelve months, two years, 135 00:09:24.039 --> 00:09:28.600 is how do we begin getting more parent contact information or earlier in the funnel, 136 00:09:30.200 --> 00:09:33.159 and we've tried a couple different approaches with that, but we're really thoughtful 137 00:09:33.240 --> 00:09:39.950 with everything from our inquiry forms to visit registrations. What seems to be fairly 138 00:09:41.029 --> 00:09:46.190 common is we have seen that students will most often volunteer one parents contact information, 139 00:09:46.309 --> 00:09:48.909 which for us, of course, one is better than nothing. But 140 00:09:48.029 --> 00:09:52.940 we've also begun thinking about, you know, if we have mom's email or 141 00:09:52.980 --> 00:09:56.500 dad's email, how do we provide then the opportunity to add another parent or 142 00:09:56.500 --> 00:10:01.019 another family member to the mix as well. So definitely an important piece to 143 00:10:01.100 --> 00:10:05.539 consider as you do more in the parent space. Christy, I have to 144 00:10:05.659 --> 00:10:09.570 deliver on my promise from the beginning of our interview. Please tell us about 145 00:10:09.570 --> 00:10:13.929 blue, because many of our listeners may not be familiar with him. Yes, 146 00:10:13.970 --> 00:10:16.649 yes, so Butler blue, the fourth, or who we call blue 147 00:10:16.809 --> 00:10:22.440 for short, is our university's live mascot. He is a sixty five pound 148 00:10:22.559 --> 00:10:26.320 English bulldog. He is the only co worker whose weight I know and I 149 00:10:26.399 --> 00:10:31.559 have permission to share externally. He he is a huge part of what we 150 00:10:31.600 --> 00:10:35.509 do at Butler. So our live mascot program at Butler has a really rich 151 00:10:35.629 --> 00:10:39.789 tradition. Blue is the fourth Butler blue dog that we've had. He was 152 00:10:39.830 --> 00:10:46.029 actually introduced around this time last year as a little tiny puppy and our former 153 00:10:46.110 --> 00:10:48.950 mascot, Butler blue, the third, who I know many indie folks are 154 00:10:48.950 --> 00:10:52.500 are familiar with. We called him TRIPP, has since retired, but blue, 155 00:10:52.700 --> 00:10:56.620 he lives on campus with a member of our marketing team. Before covid 156 00:10:56.740 --> 00:11:00.220 he came to the same office I did every day. And Butler are marketing 157 00:11:00.259 --> 00:11:03.379 and our admission teams or house in the same building, which is super, 158 00:11:03.460 --> 00:11:07.450 super convenient. Blue has a huge following on social media, as you know, 159 00:11:07.490 --> 00:11:13.009 especially from the athletics crowd, but really his reaches nationwide these days and 160 00:11:13.370 --> 00:11:16.570 the mask at we have found is often the first thing people do know about 161 00:11:16.610 --> 00:11:20.440 Butler or when I share where I work with someone, that's immediately the first 162 00:11:20.440 --> 00:11:24.279 thing they ask questions about. So Blues Great, huge, huge part of 163 00:11:24.320 --> 00:11:26.480 what we do and a huge part of our success. That's great, I 164 00:11:26.519 --> 00:11:28.879 think. I think blue is a great Asst. I mean, living here 165 00:11:28.960 --> 00:11:33.710 in Indianapolis, obviously I've been aware of him, but I think he kind 166 00:11:33.710 --> 00:11:35.990 of made national attention obviously when he came on the scene in the two thousand 167 00:11:35.990 --> 00:11:39.990 and ten and two thousand and eleven, kind of that Cinderella story where Butler 168 00:11:39.990 --> 00:11:43.230 made it to the final four men's basketball in the NCAA tournament. So but 169 00:11:43.389 --> 00:11:46.379 he's so much more than just a sports mascot. I mean, ill tell 170 00:11:46.419 --> 00:11:50.980 us how he helps out with some enrollment. Definitely blue is is really like 171 00:11:52.100 --> 00:11:56.340 having another fee on our enrollment marketing team. I mean he just heat his 172 00:11:56.539 --> 00:12:01.059 reach and his impact with prospective students just continues to grow and we continue to 173 00:12:01.139 --> 00:12:05.129 think of new ways to integrate him into what we're doing with admission and with 174 00:12:05.250 --> 00:12:09.610 prospective students. We began really doing that about five or six years ago. 175 00:12:09.490 --> 00:12:13.809 We decided to send I believe it was trip at the time. We sent 176 00:12:13.929 --> 00:12:20.919 trip to the home of a prospective applicant and he surprised that student with their 177 00:12:20.000 --> 00:12:24.360 letter of admission right on their doorstep, kind of like a publisher clearinghouse style 178 00:12:24.519 --> 00:12:30.230 delivery almost, and we've continued that effort ever since. We call that are 179 00:12:30.269 --> 00:12:33.549 Butler bound campaign. We have delivered now, I believe, almost four hundred 180 00:12:33.710 --> 00:12:37.470 offers of admission that way over the last five to six years. Really Fun 181 00:12:37.549 --> 00:12:41.269 Campaign, one of my favorite things to do with Butler. We have done 182 00:12:41.309 --> 00:12:46.340 surprises at homes, at schools. Prior to Covid we did we did a 183 00:12:46.379 --> 00:12:52.100 surprise in a locker room during a high school basketball halftime. Trip came running 184 00:12:52.139 --> 00:12:58.460 in and surprise the student. We've gone to kids work. It's really it's 185 00:12:58.460 --> 00:13:01.690 a really fun effort. We do them national way too. So I think 186 00:13:01.730 --> 00:13:05.049 that there is kind of an assumption that most of these visits are done locally, 187 00:13:05.210 --> 00:13:09.809 but we've actually done visits in twenty five states now. So again, 188 00:13:09.009 --> 00:13:13.639 pre covid, the mascot, would often travel with our basketball team and as 189 00:13:13.720 --> 00:13:16.559 he went to those other markets, we use that opportunity to find applicants in 190 00:13:16.600 --> 00:13:20.279 the area and find students who were waiting on their news. That's great. 191 00:13:20.399 --> 00:13:24.759 The Mascot program social reach is huge for us to and this is where I 192 00:13:24.799 --> 00:13:28.549 consider myself really lucky, because in many ways it's almost like we have two 193 00:13:28.590 --> 00:13:35.070 institutional accounts at Butler and we know that prospective students are probably more often following 194 00:13:35.470 --> 00:13:41.230 blue on instagram or tick tock before they're going to follow Butler. You and 195 00:13:41.500 --> 00:13:43.659 and we're really okay with that. We have leaned into that and we have 196 00:13:45.019 --> 00:13:50.340 thought about creative ways for blue to introduce brand messaging on his platforms for that 197 00:13:50.419 --> 00:13:52.500 audience. The other thing that we have the gun doing more of, and 198 00:13:52.659 --> 00:13:56.610 Bart, if I have my math right, I'm thinking that your pets may 199 00:13:56.649 --> 00:14:01.129 have received this. Yes, we have be done really leveraging blue and prior 200 00:14:01.169 --> 00:14:05.529 to blue trip in our enrollment materials. So direct mail, sometimes we'll send 201 00:14:05.610 --> 00:14:09.360 email from his email address. We use the voice of blue to communicate with 202 00:14:09.440 --> 00:14:13.799 prospective students and the best example of that would be what what we call our 203 00:14:13.840 --> 00:14:18.840 pet compflow and Bart and my right that your pets were recipients. Yeah, 204 00:14:18.960 --> 00:14:20.080 and I have to tell you, I mean that. I just have to 205 00:14:20.080 --> 00:14:22.759 tell that story to everyone because I tell that story everywhere I go. But 206 00:14:24.350 --> 00:14:26.590 you know, my son, what we like to hear. Yeah, and 207 00:14:26.789 --> 00:14:30.470 and so so been was, you know, Butler was a flyer for him. 208 00:14:30.470 --> 00:14:33.789 He was going to do photojournalism and and applied to all the schools around 209 00:14:33.789 --> 00:14:37.870 the nation that were kind of top, top listed in that and we were 210 00:14:37.870 --> 00:14:39.620 at a college fair and he said, why, want to go talk to 211 00:14:39.659 --> 00:14:41.059 Butler, I want to see what they have to say. And they said 212 00:14:41.059 --> 00:14:43.940 yeah, we could put something together and all this and stuff. So he 213 00:14:43.980 --> 00:14:46.340 went ahead and implied and we were kind of in the middle, I think, 214 00:14:46.379 --> 00:14:48.700 of February and he had been accepted and there had been some other things 215 00:14:48.779 --> 00:14:52.169 going on. On a Saturday we came home and he was not there, 216 00:14:52.289 --> 00:14:54.570 but the rest of the family came home and there were two letters on the 217 00:14:54.649 --> 00:14:58.529 counter, one addressed to tigger, our dog, and want addressed the stormy, 218 00:14:58.649 --> 00:15:01.889 our cat, from Butler University and they were, you know, kind 219 00:15:01.929 --> 00:15:07.840 of note card sized and very unique. Had little sketch of things on it 220 00:15:07.919 --> 00:15:09.840 and we were just dying to know what was in it because it was like 221 00:15:11.039 --> 00:15:15.000 this is strange. Our chat and our dog never get mail. And so 222 00:15:15.600 --> 00:15:18.200 did you think it was a vet vet notice like hey, you got a 223 00:15:18.440 --> 00:15:22.789 point, they're coming up here. Yeah, and so so when when Ben 224 00:15:22.870 --> 00:15:24.590 got home, everyone was like Ben, there's got mail in there for tigger 225 00:15:24.629 --> 00:15:26.549 and storm and you've got to go look at it and all this stuff. 226 00:15:26.549 --> 00:15:31.269 And so so he opened it up and you know, there's a great letter 227 00:15:31.350 --> 00:15:35.110 from blue to our dog tigger. That was, you know, kind of 228 00:15:35.149 --> 00:15:39.659 a dog the dog type of conversation. You know, he was congratulating tigger 229 00:15:39.779 --> 00:15:41.980 for that his human had been accepted to Butler University and he was going to 230 00:15:43.059 --> 00:15:46.139 protect him just like he would if it was his own human and just a 231 00:15:46.299 --> 00:15:50.409 real kind of brother to brother. Dog The dog conversation. And the envelope 232 00:15:50.450 --> 00:15:54.169 also had a Bandana for the dog to wear with the but or logo on 233 00:15:54.250 --> 00:15:56.809 it, with blue. And then for the cat it was a little bit 234 00:15:56.850 --> 00:16:00.730 more tepid. It was a little bit hey, your here, your human 235 00:16:00.769 --> 00:16:03.889 has been even accepted, but I know I'm a dog, your cat. 236 00:16:03.970 --> 00:16:08.200 Let's respect each other. And it was just brilliant, brilliant copywriting and just 237 00:16:08.320 --> 00:16:11.639 another smaller Bandanna for the cat and that was harder to get on the cat 238 00:16:11.759 --> 00:16:17.519 than it was the dog. But my son was just so thrilled with that 239 00:16:17.919 --> 00:16:21.990 his smile as he was reading it that he was just smile across his face. 240 00:16:22.549 --> 00:16:25.350 took the time to put put them on his cat and his dog and 241 00:16:25.750 --> 00:16:29.429 take pictures and I really believe, and I've told several people, that was 242 00:16:29.470 --> 00:16:33.179 the moment he decided to go to Butler University. I think that that was 243 00:16:33.299 --> 00:16:36.580 the that was the tipping point. It was it was personalized, it was 244 00:16:36.700 --> 00:16:41.779 something that they respected his passion, which was his pets, and they kind 245 00:16:41.820 --> 00:16:44.620 of, you know, you guys entered into hit that part of his world 246 00:16:44.740 --> 00:16:48.210 that no one else did, and so I think that was a brilliant thing 247 00:16:48.289 --> 00:16:52.529 and I just and I've told you before, Christy, Bravo, I think 248 00:16:52.529 --> 00:16:56.169 that was something that I'd love to hear. How many students that that's the 249 00:16:56.250 --> 00:16:59.450 tipping point, but it was just such a such a great memory for me 250 00:16:59.649 --> 00:17:02.840 and my family. Well, thank you. Thank you for your kind words. 251 00:17:02.840 --> 00:17:04.920 It's so fun hearing the other side of it because, you know, 252 00:17:06.000 --> 00:17:08.119 those of us on the marketing team we clean up a list and send them 253 00:17:08.200 --> 00:17:11.240 out and there's always a few days, will they like it, etc. 254 00:17:11.559 --> 00:17:14.960 Every year and no matter how many times we do it. So it's great 255 00:17:14.960 --> 00:17:17.789 to hear that it's as effective as we hoped it would be. And I 256 00:17:17.869 --> 00:17:19.589 think you told me that when you pitch that I did to your to your 257 00:17:19.710 --> 00:17:23.390 vice president and or whoever did, weren't sure about it. Yeah, and 258 00:17:23.589 --> 00:17:29.109 and I can't blame her. We had a very least. We had a 259 00:17:29.150 --> 00:17:33.579 very loose concept of what we wanted to do and there really wasn't a way 260 00:17:33.579 --> 00:17:36.660 to explain it without sounding like I was a little bit off my rocker. 261 00:17:36.779 --> 00:17:40.460 But she went for it and we tried it and I think this will be 262 00:17:41.019 --> 00:17:44.730 I hope there's no students who are awaiting awaiting this package because I want to 263 00:17:44.730 --> 00:17:47.329 surprise them, but I think this will be the fifth year that we've done 264 00:17:47.329 --> 00:17:51.289 this campaign and we call it our pet tom flow and it's exactly what it 265 00:17:51.369 --> 00:17:56.009 sounds like. We send direct mail to the dogs and cats of admitted students 266 00:17:56.089 --> 00:18:00.680 with a little piece of Butler gear and that note just reassuring them that blue 267 00:18:00.880 --> 00:18:04.000 is going to look after their human and have their humans back and be there 268 00:18:04.039 --> 00:18:08.799 for anything they may need a Butler and there's so many things about this campaign 269 00:18:08.799 --> 00:18:12.349 that I love. You know, of course everyone loves getting Butler gear and 270 00:18:12.549 --> 00:18:17.589 the personalization factor is really fun. But I think that I think the piece 271 00:18:17.630 --> 00:18:21.789 that makes it most successful is that message, the message that we're kind of 272 00:18:21.789 --> 00:18:25.829 subtly sending in that piece that we've got their back and they're going to find 273 00:18:25.869 --> 00:18:30.140 a family, a Butler and that community that the high schoolers are often looking 274 00:18:30.180 --> 00:18:33.099 for R and we have just found that that really resonates with the Butler way 275 00:18:33.299 --> 00:18:38.099 and resonates with who we are as an institution. The real gold in this 276 00:18:38.220 --> 00:18:42.049 campaign too, I think, is the awareness piece. So the yield part 277 00:18:42.089 --> 00:18:45.650 of it great, fantastic. Be Awareness those is the piece that's a little 278 00:18:45.690 --> 00:18:51.170 bit harder to measure, but we have found is that for every family who 279 00:18:51.490 --> 00:18:55.130 receives the piece, they tell their friends, their neighbors, their co workers, 280 00:18:55.569 --> 00:19:00.279 etc. and they're often posting to their own social accounts. So that 281 00:19:00.400 --> 00:19:03.079 piece we've been really pleased with to just knowing that were able to get the 282 00:19:03.200 --> 00:19:06.759 Butler brand in front of a whole bunch of eyeballs. But yeah, the 283 00:19:06.799 --> 00:19:10.589 first time I pitched it rightfully. So there were some questions about what do 284 00:19:10.670 --> 00:19:11.910 you want to do and how are we going to do that? But we 285 00:19:11.990 --> 00:19:15.869 have a lot of fun with it and it's by far one of our favorite, 286 00:19:15.950 --> 00:19:19.549 our favorite campaigns. To execute it sounds wonderful and obviously it takes some 287 00:19:19.750 --> 00:19:25.380 thinking and planning around data to pull that off. Could you talk about your 288 00:19:25.420 --> 00:19:30.299 thoughts on the of the importance of personalization within student recruitment? Sure, sure, 289 00:19:30.539 --> 00:19:33.619 so we do. We do quite a bit of what I would call 290 00:19:33.740 --> 00:19:38.650 data mining and Butler and data collection and looking at data that we have available 291 00:19:38.730 --> 00:19:42.609 to us at our fingertips, and we have both an admission and an Ike 292 00:19:42.809 --> 00:19:45.769 and marketing. We have a terrific slight team, a terrific C RM team 293 00:19:45.849 --> 00:19:49.329 and a lot of really talented people that are willing to think outside of the 294 00:19:49.369 --> 00:19:53.039 box and this is a great example of that. We often, I think, 295 00:19:53.079 --> 00:19:59.559 challenge ourselves to to work backwards at times. So we will spend time 296 00:19:59.680 --> 00:20:04.160 looking at our applications, at our forms, probably more time than some of 297 00:20:04.240 --> 00:20:07.589 my partners and I wish we did. But what we spend time thinking about 298 00:20:07.670 --> 00:20:11.309 the data that we already do have and we think backwards about how could we 299 00:20:11.390 --> 00:20:15.029 be using this creatively. Are Their opportunity these here and what we're doing on 300 00:20:15.109 --> 00:20:18.990 the marketing side to further personalize things and for data that we don't have, 301 00:20:19.269 --> 00:20:23.299 that that we think would be valuable. We've started just asking it and students 302 00:20:23.339 --> 00:20:26.140 will tell you they will, I will. They're eager to tell you things 303 00:20:26.180 --> 00:20:30.819 about themselves that you can use that information to deliver them content that they're looking 304 00:20:30.819 --> 00:20:36.890 for and content that they're most interested in. So that's something I honestly continue 305 00:20:36.970 --> 00:20:40.130 to be surprised with. Is, like you said, Bart, how eager 306 00:20:40.170 --> 00:20:44.089 they are to tell you things about themselves to enshare their story. Yeah, 307 00:20:44.130 --> 00:20:47.049 I think that's so true and I think the whole idea of just that they 308 00:20:47.170 --> 00:20:51.440 want to be known and they want to be they want personal relationships. I 309 00:20:51.480 --> 00:20:55.319 mean a lot of what I've read about generation Z is they desire those close 310 00:20:55.440 --> 00:20:57.920 relationships. They desire of one of my son's, you know, had a 311 00:20:57.920 --> 00:21:00.319 chance to see some of his friends a couple weeks ago and kind of a 312 00:21:00.400 --> 00:21:03.240 covid bubble type of thing, and and the next day he was on social 313 00:21:03.279 --> 00:21:06.869 media all day and it's like, well, it's because he had that feeling 314 00:21:07.029 --> 00:21:10.589 that I am missing this, I want this or and so I think that 315 00:21:10.750 --> 00:21:17.230 personalization allows a college or university who might be unpersonal to them to start to 316 00:21:17.509 --> 00:21:19.500 be personal and get into their world a little bit. So is that kind 317 00:21:19.500 --> 00:21:22.660 of what you think? Where do you think all that's going with generation Z 318 00:21:22.779 --> 00:21:25.740 and how do you think that affects their decisionmaking? Yeah, that's a great 319 00:21:25.740 --> 00:21:29.339 question. I think what we're doing on the parent communication side in many ways 320 00:21:29.500 --> 00:21:33.009 is already a bit of a delicate balance. We're very careful. We never 321 00:21:33.089 --> 00:21:36.410 want to take the student out of the driver's seat. We never want to 322 00:21:36.450 --> 00:21:40.849 make students feel like we're going around them to mom or dad or were communicating 323 00:21:40.890 --> 00:21:44.450 certain things that they're parents that were not also communicating to them. And what 324 00:21:44.609 --> 00:21:47.009 we know about Gen z? One of the things we know is that they 325 00:21:47.130 --> 00:21:51.880 tend to be fairly independent, even more independent than the generation before them, 326 00:21:52.559 --> 00:21:56.119 millennials, and as a millennial myself, I feel like I'm allowed to knock 327 00:21:56.160 --> 00:21:57.079 on us a little bit that. You know, of course we have that 328 00:21:57.160 --> 00:22:03.190 reputation for being a little bit codependent on parents and you know, helicopter parents 329 00:22:03.230 --> 00:22:06.269 and all that stuff. So with Gen Z it's tough to say that. 330 00:22:06.390 --> 00:22:08.190 I think we may need to really revisit you know, even in a few 331 00:22:08.269 --> 00:22:12.109 years, how we are communicating with parents to make sure that we are respecting 332 00:22:12.509 --> 00:22:18.539 a student's decisionmaking power and just thinking about how that may come across to students 333 00:22:18.539 --> 00:22:22.099 who do wish to be fully in charge of their of their future. So 334 00:22:22.220 --> 00:22:27.339 we will see where things go. Christ the one of our biggest goals is 335 00:22:27.539 --> 00:22:33.250 to share and to explore insights and ideas that other marketers can glean, that 336 00:22:33.410 --> 00:22:37.250 can apply and can learn from, and I certainly think that you've delivered today. 337 00:22:37.329 --> 00:22:41.730 So thank you very much. But I do want to mention that in 338 00:22:41.890 --> 00:22:45.839 our conversation preparing for today you had mentioned the side hustle that you're engage with. 339 00:22:47.079 --> 00:22:49.200 So if you would, if you could tell us about that and how 340 00:22:49.240 --> 00:22:52.799 it helps you keep sharp. Sure. So, my dad and I we 341 00:22:52.880 --> 00:22:59.869 kind of accidentally started a business a few years ago and he had recently retired 342 00:23:00.150 --> 00:23:03.869 and he had some recycled Palette Wood and his garage. I couldn't tell you 343 00:23:03.910 --> 00:23:07.990 where he got it from, and me, being the needy daughter, said 344 00:23:07.029 --> 00:23:10.750 Hey, could you cut that into the shape of Indiana for me? You 345 00:23:10.829 --> 00:23:14.539 know that would look so cool in my house, and he did and rather 346 00:23:14.700 --> 00:23:17.779 than hanging it up in my house. I decided to see if I could 347 00:23:17.779 --> 00:23:22.140 sell it online, which I did very quickly, and since then we have 348 00:23:22.259 --> 00:23:27.089 started making dozens of varieties of these signs and most states even dog breaths. 349 00:23:27.130 --> 00:23:30.930 We do a lot of dog signs for people and we've been we've been selling 350 00:23:30.970 --> 00:23:36.289 them online. So when I'm not doing marketing for Butler during business hours, 351 00:23:36.450 --> 00:23:40.970 I'm doing marketing for kind of our homegrown gig on the side, learning how 352 00:23:41.009 --> 00:23:45.240 to use Etsy, learning what digital marketing looks like in that on my retail 353 00:23:45.279 --> 00:23:48.480 space. So oftentimes occasionally digging splinters out of my hands, a little bit 354 00:23:48.519 --> 00:23:51.920 less glamorous than what you may think, but yeah, it does. It 355 00:23:52.000 --> 00:23:53.680 does help us, or helps me stay sharp on the job as well. 356 00:23:55.079 --> 00:23:59.829 Thank you very much and before we leave, we delivered on the dog we 357 00:23:59.990 --> 00:24:03.710 need to deliver on the cat information. Yes, yes, pretty much everybody 358 00:24:03.750 --> 00:24:07.349 on my team at Butler are huge dog people. Of course, you kind 359 00:24:07.349 --> 00:24:11.019 of have to be to work in Butler. There are a few of us 360 00:24:11.059 --> 00:24:14.740 who are cat lovers and I am probably the most I'm embarrassed to be sitting 361 00:24:14.740 --> 00:24:18.019 this on a podcast, but I am by far the most like Cat lady 362 00:24:18.859 --> 00:24:22.420 on our team and so far. I loved hearing that you like the cat 363 00:24:22.500 --> 00:24:26.009 piece because that was the copywriting that I said I've got this, and Michael 364 00:24:26.009 --> 00:24:29.609 Calton Mark, who was really at the beginning of our mascot program, wrote 365 00:24:29.609 --> 00:24:32.210 the dog side. So you know, we want to make sure that all 366 00:24:32.289 --> 00:24:36.410 pets, all pets, have that opportunity for engagement and this was a really 367 00:24:36.450 --> 00:24:41.160 fun way to make that happen. That is wonderful and again I appreciate your 368 00:24:41.200 --> 00:24:45.720 time and appreciate all the valuable information that you've shared. Is someone has a 369 00:24:45.759 --> 00:24:48.640 question, we're just wanted to connect with you. How would the best way 370 00:24:48.720 --> 00:24:52.910 for them to do that be? Emails probably the best way to get in 371 00:24:52.950 --> 00:24:56.710 touch with me and I'm happy to take questions. My email address is k 372 00:24:56.190 --> 00:25:02.630 La free las re at Butler dot eed you. I'm not nearly as active 373 00:25:02.670 --> 00:25:04.589 as I probably should be on twitter, but you can also find me there 374 00:25:04.750 --> 00:25:11.019 at Christy lafree perfect. Thanks again, Christy, into everyone else, all 375 00:25:11.059 --> 00:25:15.779 of our listeners. The High Ed Marketer podcast is sponsored by Taylor solutions and 376 00:25:15.980 --> 00:25:21.099 education, marketing and branding agency and by thin, patented, a marketing, 377 00:25:21.180 --> 00:25:26.369 execution, printing and mailing provider of higher it solutions on behalf of my cohost, 378 00:25:26.490 --> 00:25:32.529 barred Taylor, I'm troy singer. Thank you for joining us. You've 379 00:25:32.569 --> 00:25:36.359 been listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. To ensure that you never miss an 380 00:25:36.359 --> 00:25:41.200 episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening 381 00:25:41.240 --> 00:25:44.480 with apple PODCASTS, we'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the 382 00:25:44.519 --> 00:25:48.319 show. Simply tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Until 383 00:25:48.400 --> 00:25:48.799 next time,