The Importance of Data for Recruitment and Retention

Relationships have always been key to building and maintaining a customer base.


Given the physical separation imposed on so many of us since the beginning of the pandemic, a sense of connection with prospective and current parents is more important than ever for schools. So how can cold, clinical data help to build the warm and fuzzy relationships necessary for student recruitment and retention? I’m glad you asked…


To start with, if you can’t clearly identify your prospective parent, how will you connect with them either physically or emotionally? You may have a good understanding of your target parent but data platforms such as Google Analytics can provide hard facts into where those prospective parents live, what their ages are, their gender, how they found your website, their online interests and the content that resonates with them… just to name a few. Custom data mining and focus groups can provide additional insight into the lives of your target audience that may not be easily accessible to a school. When you understand the characteristics that make up your prospective parents you not only know where to target them, but you’ll also have insight into the messages that will begin those all-important first conversations.


After developing your personas* based on the data you’ve collected, you can then dig deeper to determine the content gaps within your website. The right content at the right time, not only will build a deeper connection with your audience but also further guide them along the customer journey. Use free data platforms such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console and even Google Ads to uncover the keywords your audience is searching for and how you’re ranking on those, to review the searches taken on your site and to analyse the sequence of pages visited across your website and which content is most read. Paid tools such as SEM Rush can offer data insights into your competitor’s content. Individually or working together, this data can be used to identify key gaps in your website content—content that is essential to developing those parent relationships. One website visit does not a parent make.


Word-of-mouth advertising has always been important to schools and as social proof continues to grow for businesses, data collection is key to accurately reading your customers. Beyond acquisition, data will continue to provide you with insights to keep your relationship positive, clearly identifying current parents’ needs, concerns and preferences. The social channel they prefer and the posts that resonate with them, the days and times they open your newsletter, the frequency, length and medium of communication, all data that can be tracked and used to maintain and improve existing relationships. We know you can’t please all your customers all the time, but you can use data to create a more accurate picture of what makes your parent more likely to stay and to give that glowing recommendation. Happy parent, great reviews, stronger leads. Win-win.

DATA IN 2022

Regardless of how clinical data may seem to you, it is and will continue to be, the driver behind successful customer relationships—whether that customer is a prospective or a current parent. And despite the data challenges schools have faced with GDPR, data collection continues to grow, and analysis and interpretation improve. Successful schools are those that don’t just collect data but use it to their advantage to build the meaningful relationships necessary to keep one step ahead of their competitors. Which do you do…?

Interested to learn more about how data can improve your school’s admission numbers and retention? Let's Chat!


*Persona profiles are fictitious representations of what your ideal target audiences look like and should include everything from their demographics to their issues, concerns and common behavioural patterns.

Article written by Alta Justus



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