Carlota Pico recently interviewed Denyse Lum, marketing and communications manager at ESSEC Business School, an international business school with campuses in three countries. Denyse spoke about attracting students from all over the world, reassuring them during the pandemic and fostering strong relationships between students and the administration. She also reinforced the importance of communicating in students’ native languages, and offered some recommendations for useful events and resources.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • When working in marketing at an educational institution, one of the main priorities is providing potential students with the information they need at each stage of their journey in a prompt and accurate manner.
  • At the peak of the pandemic, higher education institutions were flooded with questions that were challenging to answer due to general uncertainty. ESSEC held webinars and sent emails to constantly update future students with the latest information available to help them prepare for their arrival.
  • One of the best channels for understanding the needs of prospective students is through student ambassadors. They have the closest relationships with incoming students, and always have their ears to the ground for opinions and feedback.
  • When looking to attract students from different countries, it’s important for at least the first point of contact to be in their native language. This demonstrates the school’s willingness to accommodate different cultures and reassures parents and students who might be on the fence about attending an international business school.
  • In higher education, successful digital marketing involves regular benchmarking against other similar institutions. Events like GMAC conferences and the Salesforce Higher Ed Summit provide opportunities to network with industry professionals and stay updated on relevant trends and opportunities.

Our students will always be our best ambassadors.

Rapid-fire recs

A marketing influencer who you follow?

I really like Neil Patel, an entrepreneur in digital marketing. He shares a lot of thought-provoking posts that push you to reflect upon how you can improve, instead of just continuing to do what you’ve always done.

A valuable resource or publication?

Marketoonist by Tom Fishburne. He draws cartoons about marketing topics and really highlights the ironies within the field. It’s a reminder to reflect on why we do certain things, and to realize that most marketing professionals are facing the same questions and challenges.

Your favorite app at the moment?

Instagram, because it’s a very useful platform that allows us to share both raw and polished moments. Students do like to see polished content, but through stories and live videos, they also get to see unedited moments of what life at school is like.

Connect with Denyse and Carlota on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Rishabh Agrawal, a freelance content creator based in Madrid.

For more on marketing in higher education and attracting international students in 2020:

Live streaming is the future – David Blundell, the British Council’s global social media manager

More than just memes – Caridad González, global social media manager at Wall Street English

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.