Using CDPs in Higher Education: The Secret Sauce for Increased Enrollment and Engagement

 In Customer Data Platform, Data, Personalization, Privacy

There are numerous reasons why colleges and universities are now using Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) in higher education. We all would like experiences to be relevant and tailored to our interests and education is no different.  The pandemic has brought with it significant changes to how students and educational institutions operate and interact. Many institutions have realized the importance of multi-channel personalization and are using CDPs in higher education to drive targeted messages across mobile, email, and social.  This helps to ensure prospective students and alumni are being engaged throughout their respective journeys – whether that is evaluating a school or participating in alumni activities.  

The way to make this multi-channel, personalized engagement a reality is to unify all of the ways in which students or alumni provide data, as well. This creates the opportunity  for one record of truth which can then be utilized  to enable more meaningful communications at scale.  

Here is one common example that many universities face:  Schools want to engage potential students at key touch points so that, hopefully, the person selects their institution!  Clearly, this is a logical objective but technically can be tricky to accomplish.  

Enter the Customer Data Platform.  By using CDPs in higher education, these organizations can better understand the prospective student’s journey and help inform their decisions when choosing where to study.  They can get a sense of what a student’s interests are and highlight the courses the school offers in that area via email or social channels. 

Specifically, higher education institutions can use CDPs for:

  • Standardization of how customer data is collected – this is essential for successful activation of data
  • ID resolution for the identification of a single student or alumni across different touch points – especially important for data privacy compliance
  • Enrichment and segmentation of the data to understand and activate key profiles 
  • Integrations and activation to act on the data in an impactful manner
  • Analysis of the data for better understanding and decisioning 

An exciting example of success is Monash University.  By using Tealium’s CDP, Monash was able to create a 360-degree view of a single student by orchestrating both historical and real-time data from multiple touch points. This comprehensive view allowed Monash University to provide relevant educational information and a positive experience during a student’s selection process and Open Day.

The results included:

  • +19% more ‘quality’ leads generated 
  • +20% more events added to those who received a more personalized experience
  • 4.2 out of 5 stated it was easier to find activities relevant to them

Educational institutions are undergoing a massive amount of change in a highly dynamic environment brought on by the pandemic and evolving needs from students and alumni.  Both groups expect to navigate between different communication channels and experience consistent and relevant information that helps them engage with universities on their terms.  While shifting to multichannel, real-time, digital environments can seem daunting – schools that have begun the journey of using CDPs in higher education are seeing positive and exciting results.  

For other examples to inspire you, check out these additional resources: 

Customer Video: ASU delivers consistent online experience for students

Report: Transforming Education: Using a First-party Data strategy to Power the Next Generation of Student Experience

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