Friday, March 12, 2010

Looking for easy ROI? Keep in touch with the front lines

Everyone is looking for ways to increase their returns on investment, to find the next big thing in cost-effective communications tools to achieve institutional goals. As marketers, we're usually (and rightfully) looking to the revenue side, giving top priority our admissions, fundraising or continuing education offices.

But beyond the income-generating areas of our institutions are important service-providing offices as well, and sometimes our smallest efforts can support another aspect of ROI: cost savings. Keeping in touch with front-line staff, be it the registrar's office, admissions support staff, or other service departments can yield results that not only saves trouble for them, but also better serves our students and other audiences.

What questions do they get the most calls or e-mails about? What information is hard for their audiences to find? What can be done to streamline communications? Often the tools that we take for granted can provide greater service to many, if only we knew where the support is needed. Sometimes the solutions can be as simple as adding frequently asked questions to a Web page, increasing the profile of important facts, or posting a "did you know" update on one of your social media sites.

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