Leading British HE Policy Consultant "Unhesitatingly Recommends" EM=C2
Jack Maguire is known widely throughout American higher education as “the father of Enrollment Management," founded on his introduction of market research to the field of university admissions in the early 1970s, and his proven success subsequently in serving more than 400 institutional clients. His concise new publication – with co-author Lawrence Butler – does not disappoint, providing essential reading to equip those concerned to meet the challenges ahead. Its playful and intriguing title is accompanied by the explanatory strapline “A New Formula for Enrollment Management”, and the book delivers just that.
Prospective readers in the UK would be well advised not to dismiss this work as having relevance only to the jobs of a few thousand Admissions staff in American universities. Whilst it is true that certain trends that are described – the growth in “stealth” applicants, for example – do not have an exact equivalence in our centralised admissions system, otherwise there are strong parallels that will be recognised instantly by anyone concerned with the strategic direction of British Higher Education (HE). I would also recommend it as a text that would repay study from marketing managers in Further Education (FE) colleges over here.
There are several reasons why I commend this book to post-compulsory education in the UK. Firstly, it provides an excellent potted history of the origins and development of enrolment management, and the reasons why it needs to move on in a world in which virtual communities proliferate. Secondly, it is packed with observations with which I found myself nodding my head vigorously when thinking about the UK context, for instance:
“…the problem with rankings is that the fuel a preoccupation with…status in the competitive battle for students. As a consequence, institutional leaders feel they have little choice but to play the rankings game or risk losing this all-important annual battle. Toward that end they invest their energies and scarce resources in short-term, tactical efforts to improve their ranking scores. What they should be doing – and what we believe Enrollment Management should be all about – is focusing on sharpening their… distinctive mission and seeking to build lifelong relationships with students and alumni to whom that mission best appeals and serves.”
“Amissions/enrollment officers who are extremely satisfied with their (institutions’) positions report significantly higher satisfaction with their IT support than those who are mostly satisfied or less satisfied with their positions. …none… is very satisfied with IT.”
Then perhaps the most important chapter – "The EM=C² Matrix" – sets out a simple yet profound 4x4 matrix that offers a conceptual model for applying Enrollment Management in today’s environment. This model, I believe, makes a real contribution to the literature of relationship marketing, and one I would strongly commend to institutional managers currently undertaking part-time MBAs. My only significant suggestion for improving the book would be to set the model in the context of the developing theory and practice of customer relationship marketing across other service sectors.
Later on, there is a fascinating and invaluable summary of Forrester Research's Social Technographics – a powerful tool for understanding how people relate to technologies such as MySpace, Facebook, and other online, virtual communities – essential knowledge for any modern marketing manager. And at the end, I also found myself saying a hearty “amen” to the five final tips about how to deal with the brave new world facing HE.
Lest I have given the impression that this is a dry and technical tome, let me reassure potential readers that it is written in a straightforward, demotic style, and with considerable wit. I unhesitatingly recommend it.
Educational Researcher & Consultant
Member of The Policy Consortium: Professional Policy Analysis for Learning and Skills
How do you stay fresh in enrollment management? In this Gazette Minute Interview Larry Butler shares some tips—like leave your funnel in the garage.
Maguire Associates Releases New Book EM=C2: A New Formula for Enrollment Management
Challenges college and university leaders to redefine how they manage the ever-changing competitive, societal, and technological forces affecting those making college-choice decisions as students and throughout their lives.
CONCORD, MA - (September 25, 2008) – “It doesn’t take an Einstein to know that Enrollment Management (EM) needs to be reformulated for the new world of higher education – a world in which virtual communities proliferate, global boundaries are erased, ‘stealth applicants’ abound, and U.S. News, MySpace and Facebook shape the expectations of those making college choice decisions”, write John (Jack) Maguire and Lawrence (Larry) Butler of Maguire Associates, Inc. in their new 152-page book aimed at admissions executives and university leaders: EM=C²: A New Formula for Enrollment Management.