Many colleges and universities have (or are interested) in deploying CRM software for a myriad of reasons. To understand how institutions plan and deploy CRM projects, DemandEngine conducted a research study of institutions that deployed CRM software within the last couple of years. We looked at the reasons driving higher education CRM, deployment practices, and common barriers to success.
In the report's executive summary, I wrote:
The last five years have seen an explosion of interest in “CRM” by colleges and universities across the country. Driven by vendor claims of ”managing the student lifecycle” or “facilitating purposeful connections,” what higher education administrator wouldn’t be in interested in software magic, given an era of declining high school graduates, increasing competition, and the need to do more with less.
Unfortunately, higher education CRM has become code for “send more emails.”
Despite its newness in higher education, CRM has a well-marked path of global business successes and failures over the past twenty years. To understand how the higher education industry is applying (or not) these lessons learned, we surveyed to find institutions that recently deployed CRM software. What we found is the need for remedial education.
Higher education CRM investments are based upon the wrong premise and mostly default to the automation of marketing messages, as if talking more is the key to building better relationships. We found recent investments are less than strategic and fail to anticipate the level of organizational change necessary to improve the student or constituent experience.
Institutions seeking a CRM competitive advantage will pinpoint relationship pain points, identify requisite data needs, and define clear goals and business requirements before the first vendor steps on campus. Others will find that intelligent marketing automation is all that is required.
Higher education practioners can request a complimentary copy of the report at www.demandengine.com (registration required).