International Education Marketing Student Feedback
ICEF on importance of student testimonials. ‘Ask current students what convinced them to study with your education institution, and chances are it wasn’t a catchy tagline or the clever graphics employed in your logo.
When selecting a school, students are looking for an experience that transforms their lives, that develops them into smarter and more successful people. They will be looking closely and using multiple sources for one thing…. for this, they will be checking out, as Noel-Levitz puts it, “… solid post-graduate and outcomes information to reinforce the strengths and benefits of academic offerings.”
In other words, they want to see strong indicators that their considerable educational investment of time and resources will be well worth it.
And, one of the most effective ways for an institution to prove it is a worthy choice and a catalyst for success is the effective use of student testimonials.
Student testimonials move students beyond the institutional message – which is, on its own, aclaim, no matter how elegant and well done – to more authentic, real-life evidence of the experience students have had at your institution and the extent to which it helped them to achieve their goals.
Moreover, this movement is a movement toward conversion – toward the student being convinced enough to apply or enroll.’
Student referrals and word of mouth have always been important, if not the most important marketing and communications channel.
However, it’s one thing to obtain student testimonials and include in “marketing materials” and websites, but how best to leverage internationally to prospective students and influencers?
Digital marketing strategy including other language blogs and transmitting via social media networks.
Further, more authentic the message the better, i.e. if it appears like a “commercial”, many will be sceptical, unless some of the issues or negatives are included.
The best time to start, and achieving several marketing goals simultaneously, is soon after enrolment.
This could include evaluation of their experience so far from which communication channels did they use for information (and influence), what do they think about the teaching, learning or research quality; and how they adapted to living in a new environment?
In one fell swoop an institution can gather data for quality management, student welfare, marketing content and communications in one.