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BRISTOL, PA, March 10, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- College marketing leader TargetX has launched a new division that promises to revolutionize higher education consulting the same way its technology forever altered student recruiting in 1998.
"Consulting companies serving higher ed today are outdated," said TargetX CEO Brian Wm. Niles. "They're focused on branding, long-range strategic planning, filling the top of the recruitment funnel. They spend many months writing thick reports that end up on administrators' shelves and produce little tangible benefit."
The TargetX approach is radically different, said Niles, while announcing the new division at the company's users group meeting in Atlanta. "It's action-oriented, focused on what the school can do now to increase the number of best-fit students who enroll."
The consulting division will be headed by Jeff Kallay, one of the most respected and innovative figures in higher education marketing. Kallay joined TargetX in 2006 as its "Experience Evangelist," an unorthodox title to reflect his unique role -- focusing on the critical function of face-to-face interaction, especially campus tours and other in-person events.
Kallay will serve as Vice President, Consulting. His responsibilities as coordinator of the company's popular campus visit consults will be taken over by Trent Gilbert, who has been promoted to Chief eXperience Officer (CXO) of the division.
"We're excited about this 'new consultancy,'" said Kallay, who has been featured in recent months in the New York Times, University Business magazine, and on the front page of the Chronicle of Higher Education. "The goal is to help our clients rethink and change their approach to recruiting, especially their outdated view of the recruitment funnel."
The funnel is a timeless metaphor in college recruiting, where a high number of prospective students enter the top and move through a narrowing process that results in a much smaller number of matriculated students. The "yield" represents the percentage of accepted applicants who end up enrolling, an increasingly challenging proposition for colleges as more students apply to -- and are accepted by -- a larger number of schools.
Instead of recommending mass marketing to fill the top of the funnel, TargetX Consulting will emphasize yield tools and techniques to deliver enrolled students. "The emphasis is on 'enrolled,'" said Kallay, and that means identifying and pursuing best-fit students.
"We intend to become known as yield experts the way we're now known as campus visit experts," he added. "That's the future of student recruiting. In a Google world, awareness of a school is already there. Success depends on the actions you take after a family becomes aware of your school."
Kallay and his team will begin every consult with the critical question, What are your enrollment goals? "That question drives everything we do," he explained.
What they'll do is diagnose the challenges an institution faces, then provide a customized solution based on qualities that are critical to today's students -- such as authenticity, word of mouth, and memorable experiences both online and in person.
"Our philosophy, process and deliverables are anchored in authenticity and experiences," said Kallay, "meaning we believe it's not what you say or do, but how you make prospective students and their families feel."
The schools most likely to engage TargetX consultants are ones that are ready for change. "We won't be a good match for every institution," Kallay acknowledged. "We're looking for 'change agents,' people who realize the old ways aren't working anymore, who realize the admissions process is undergoing a sea change and they want to be at the front of the wave."
Kallay's deliverables will be different from what schools are used to seeing from their consulting companies. "We don't prepare written reports," he said. "Instead we provide ideas and recommendations that can be put to immediate use. These are practical, cost-effective and reflect our overriding philosophy -- to enroll students means to yield students. You have to more effectively engage those who have already demonstrated an interest in your school."
Niles, who co-founded TargetX 12 years ago as a purely technology company, has overseen its move into creative services and campus visit consulting in recent years. He sees the creation of this new division as a logical next step given the enormous respect colleges have for the expertise, ideas, knowledge and personality of his staff.
"We are the first company in higher education that can truly say it is a technology and consulting firm. We developed our own tools specifically for college recruiting and we now offer the most innovative and forward-looking consulting -- different from anything in the admissions marketing landscape. It's all about having the right people in place. That's why I couldn't be more excited about the future of TargetX."
Since 1998, TargetX has been higher education's most innovative recruiting company, continually developing new technologies and strategies to help colleges attract today's web-savvy students. The company is the leading provider of interactive recruiting solutions, helping over 400 schools communicate more effectively with prospective students -- online, in print and in person.
TargetX has revolutionized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in college admissions with its development of the Student Recruitment Manager. The SRM combines a powerful CRM tool, a consumer-friendly student portal for applying online and scheduling campus visits, and the electronic communication tools for which TargetX has become known and respected throughout the industry.
The company has also established itself as the leading authority on building campus visit experiences that meet the needs of today's Millennial generation. And it has built a reputation among admissions officers for objective and expert counsel. TargetX offers a popular series of webcasts, workshops and seminars; presents at dozens of conferences around the country; generates four different blogs for admissions officers; and produces the only podcast devoted to student recruiting and college marketing.
For more information, visit: http://www.targetx.com
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