How Effective App Administration Can Boost Universities’ Engagement with Students

There’s no doubt that marketing and communication teams in universities know their target market well, but with 24/7 access to online connections providing new challenges and opportunities, do they know their target market as well as they could? According to ThoughtSpot, while schools may embrace a more digital future, adoption of analytics technologies remains low. Compared to the industry average of 22%, adoption of business intelligence solutions remains stuck at 3-5% across higher education institutions. Having access to the right customer insights is key to building strong relationships with target markets; without this, it is difficult to maximise potential student engagement. 

To guarantee that relationships with consumers is strong, universities need to ensure that students have a smooth user experience when comes to navigating their apps to keep them interested. Subsequently, the importance of app administrators should not be underestimated; they are integral in installing, updating, tuning and diagnosing apps, maintaining the high standard of professionalism that universities wish to present. 

With mobile applications, the possibilities are endless for administration teams to work with data to maximise the level of engagement that universities have with prospective students. Here are just several ways in which app configuration can help universities reach their enrolment goals.

Content Management

With mobile apps, administrators can easily manage what type of content academic professionals would like to share with prospective students, keeping them updated at all times. For example, course content, course requirements and eligibility scores can be presented in a dynamic format which universities believe would best appeal to their target market. App administrators can create, edit and publish both sophisticated and straightforward assets all from a single SAAS environment.


Without a consistent brand, an institution’s name will fade away into the ocean of universities also fighting for the same attention of prospective students. Effective administration of app services allows universities to manage branded assets such as logos, splash pages and colour schemes so that students are always reminded of the institution’s identity and what they stand for. 


With personalised apps, students can customise their profiles so that they can publicise their interests, grades, hobbies etc. University app administrators can group users, add tags to specific users, identify key attributes and churns to decide who best fits their eligibility criteria and focus on students they believe are likely to convert.

Push Notification Services

Sometimes a little nudge is all that is needed to lead your target audience to the right direction. Marketing and communications teams can deliver rich interactive content to create valuable opportunities to remind prospective students to consider exploring what that institution has to offer through links to other app features, web pages, images and videos.

Data Analysis to Track Leads

Unified app and web analytics can provide a comprehensive picture of usage and impact on prospective students, helping to track the return on a university’s investment in chasing leads. Analytics pulls together the data from disparate locations and helps the user to make sense of it to establish plans of action. With the right tools, app administrators can view lead reports to track with their CRM and identify key attributes and churns in user behaviour to help meet enrolment goals. 

Evidently, universities can capitalise on the data they already have to enhance their relationships with prospective students, but this can only be achieved with the right tools. 

At Proodle, we understand the challenges faced by Higher Education marketing and communications teams to attract students, which is why we have developed a state-of-the-art mobile application that allows universities to manage their analytics efficiently from our Admin Suite. Take your marketing personalisation to the next level as we give you the likelihood of conversion for each prospect, allowing you to focus on the leads that matter the most to your institution.

If you would like to know more about how Proodle can digitally influence your international recruitment efforts, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on +447776557159

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Kiran Athwal June 26, 2019 0 Comments

How Technology Aids Event Planning and Experience

As we move further into the technological age, there is an increased expectation from consumers to receive digitised experiences, especially in the events industry. Long gone are the days where event planning was a drawn-out process, creating and distributing brochures, waiting to receive physical responses from the target market. Now, everything is instant; the integration of technology has made event planning interactive and efficient, predominantly through the use of mobile apps.

With the new wave of prospective university students being digital natives, it is essential that universities adopt new event planning strategies which are congruent with their customers’ wants and needs. A research paper from University indicates that 95% of international students own a mobile smartphone and have used it to visit university websites to download university apps, view university social media, take a virtual campus tour, and submit a university application. Evidently, technology is changing the way global audiences interact with universities. Here are just a few of the many ways that technology can enrich events and improve event experience.

Virtual Attendance for Global Audiences:

One of the biggest challenges universities face is providing their international students with the same immersive event experience as their home students. Thanks to mobile innovation, tools have been put in place so that international students can be involved with universities’ events in real-time.

Live streaming is a great tool for expanding audience outreach as anybody in any corner of the world can view an event as it takes place. Sites such as Google Hangouts and YouTube are popular communication platforms which can be utilised by universities to stream talks or hold interviews, meaning students never have to miss out. What’s better is, for those who cannot be present at the exact time of an event or would like to re-watch it in the future, they can be saved online, giving the target audience constant access to reliable content.

Personalised Event Experience

Offering prospects a digital alternative can help empower a stronger, more personal connection with the university before the event even begins. The problem with printed guides is everybody gets the same generic information, which can be tedious to sort through. With an event app, users can filter through plans and organise their own event so that the information is relevant to them.

In addition, with an event app, guests can have an up-to-date feed on the itinerary; the burden of dealing with last minute changes is made much easier for universities as they can quickly spread the word online simply by sending a push notification to users’ mobile devices, helping minimise disappointment on the day. Having a mobile app means that universities can use it to stay connected to their students, and they’ll use it to stay connected to their event, promoting a personal connection.

Networking and Brand Awareness:

The power of the internet can help generate buzz around your event, giving universities more exposure internationally. What international students want is a clear visualisation of the atmosphere that the university endorses. Social networking is key to engaging prospective students as it provides them with a window to what other students in their position are saying.

For example, The Viral Impact of Events study found that 77% of respondents said Facebook was the most effective social media tool leading up to events, and 55% named it as most effective afterwards. Organisers can plan events on Facebook so that they can share dates, times, an overview, regular updates and can actively communicate with people through wall posts that anybody can see. Also, followers can see who is interested in or is going to an event, meaning they can engage with other students, making the event experience more exciting.

Twitter is also a fantastic tool in providing real-time updates during an event. By promoting the use of hashtags, universities can categorise all of their attendees online so they can find each other more easily. It also encourages online discussion; if the event is good, attendees will share this via social networks. The more people who see this type of positive reinforcement, the greater chance there is that interest in the university and their events will grow.

Better Insight into Event Satisfaction:

One of the top priorities of event planners is improving the attendees’ experience. Getting personal feedback from attendees allows planners to see what works and what doesn’t work so that they can avoid making the same mistakes next time. Integrating surveys into an app is an efficient way of collecting feedback quickly and is convenient too as attendees can complete it within the app immediately after a session when the information is still fresh in their minds.

Mobile technology is the way forward. Mobile apps offer a functionality that previous methods, such as paper guides or brochures, cannot provide. As Proodle Solutions recognises this, we have developed an intuitive app which encourages networking, highlights event aims and efficiently organises a personal itinerary for the duration of events. We aim to help increase the value of institutions and consolidate a strong, personal relationship with prospective students.

If you would like to know more about how Proodle can digitally influence your international recruitment efforts, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on +447776557159

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Kiran Athwal June 19, 2019 0 Comments

QS research reveals online sources are the first port of call for prospective students

As we move further into the technological age, universities must adapt to the rising tide of online channels to enhance their connectivity with prospective students.

In a new report from QS Enrolment Solutions, their survey – which liaised with over 75,000 prospective students from 191 different countries – found that online sources tend to be the first and only port of call for many prospective students when searching for information.

In addition, social media is being used increasingly throughout the enquiry and application process and prospects are visiting a wider number of platforms than ever before.

The most valuable sources of information for students

The survey asked participants which five sources of information they found most useful when researching a university. This is what they found:

Source: QS Enrolment Solutions

Evidently, it is imperative that universities optimise their websites to ensure that they are easy to use and information is readily available.

What is particularly interesting is that only 14% of respondents listed agents as one of their primary information tools when researching universities. Traditionally, agents have maintained strong relationships with institutions in helping them drive their international recruitment efforts. For students, they have offered a gateway to accessing university information tailored to them and have offered support with visa and scholarship applications.

However, with the top five sources of information all being available online, it is clear to see why students are beginning to retreat from traditional methods.

Prospects want to be in control of their enrolment decisions, taking it upon themselves to research what is right for them.

The role of social media

The QS report also highlights an increasing reliance on social media as an avenue for information gathering by prospective students.

Source: QS Enrolment Solutions

The growing pervasiveness of social media directly indicates an increased demand in instant and tailored communication. What was once an informal platform for social activity has become a stage for professional liaison between institutions and students, and so, universities must be prepared to retrack from traditional communication methods if they are to secure the interests of prospects.

If you would like to know more about how Proodle can digitally influence your international recruitment efforts, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on +447776557159

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Kiran Athwal June 5, 2019 0 Comments

How Can Universities Communicate More Effectively with Prospective Students?

Styles of communication can make or break a brand. For Higher Education institutions, it is imperative that they understand how to talk to their target market and not make the mistake of sticking to traditional methods that worked for generations before. If there’s any trend that defines millennials, it’s their affinity with digital communications. Having spent their entire lives in the digital age, they are accustomed to having all the answers they need within seconds. Therefore, in order to establish a trusting relationship with this generation, universities must remember that time is of the essence; responses to their queries must be quick if they are to retain their interest.

Hobson’s International Student Survey 2017 asked students how quickly they would expect to receive an acknowledgement and a full response to their enquiries; they found that 65% expected a response within 24 hours, 22% within 3 days and 9.4% said within 1 week. Evidently, we live in an era of speed and if institutions do not keep up with the demands of their target market, it will lead to distrust and frustration.

However, quick and efficient correspondence is easier said than done. With universities already having enough on their plates, it can be difficult trying to respond to every enquiry, despite all the best efforts. But as we move further into this digital era, more tools are being made available which can help universities handle their communication efforts better.

Chatbots are the answer to real-time support

Chatbots are gaining more popularity than ever by bringing new ways of how businesses run marketing. They have become the latest addition to every marketer’s bag of strategies as being an early adopter can give you a significant advantage, from customer support to lead generation. Through Artificial Intelligence, chatbots scan through huge amounts of information to spot patterns and repeat actions so that they can predict and adapt to a variety of questions.

It is believed that 85% of customer interaction will be managed without a human by 2020. The value in chatbots comes from their ability to automate conversations throughout your organisation; the money that would be spent on hiring an employee to answer questions and the time that would be spent attending to queries can instead be allocated to other efforts.

A prominent benefit of chatbots is their ability to work in real-time. Universities already have a lot of data stored in their systems in regards to current and prospective students’ behaviour and queries, so why waste precious time manually responding to the same questions over and over again when a system can be put in place to provide automated responses? With chatbots, students have access to information on-the-go; for universities, they reduce the number of steps that need to be taken to answer a question before an enquirer is referred to a specialist.

A benefit that chatbots can offer to Higher Education institutions is they can provide ‘after-hours’ support, meaning prospective students can stay connected to universities 24/7. As discussed earlier, millennials have the ‘I need the answer now’ mentality and so chatbots are a great way to decrease the average response time, thus bringing universities closer to their target market’s expectations.

In addition, not only do chatbots track and monitor student enquiries, they highlight where there are gaps in available information. This data will enable universities to re-assess their content to ensure informed correspondence with prospective students.

Cultivate trust with your prospects through forums  

A forum is a public medium that is open for anyone to participate. This is a great method to help divert traffic away from universities’ inboxes and allows for even wider communication within the academic and student community. A study conducted by QS Enrolment Solutions into prospective international students’ communication preferences found that 45% of them would feel less worried about studying abroad if they were able to ask questions to existing international students at the institution and 64% said that the ability to connect with existing international students to ask questions was the most influential factor in helping them choose a university. Having current students answer questions gives a true representation of what life is like at that institution, making prospects feel more comfortable knowing that their peers are giving their honest opinions.

Staff interaction on forums is also integral in establishing trust with prospects; their collaboration gives credibility to the claims made by existing students, thus providing psychological satisfaction to anxious prospects and their parents.

In addition, forums can always be made smarter. Universities are inundated with similar questions by prospects on a regular basis, making responding to queries a tedious and repetitive task. Since conversations are public on forums, universities can review the most common questions being asked by prospects and publish answers that will satisfy a large number of people, thus lessening the burden of dealing with hundreds of the same question directly.

Let’s look at Quora, for example. Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited, and organised by its community of users – so simply put, it is a forum. Quora has a massive user-base and is a lot of people’s go-to source for information. But, what is it about Quora that makes it so successful? Mainly, Quora offers dimensions of a social experience; it has a comment feature, users have the ability to message others and are able to blog. Having autonomy in the communication process appeals to its users and they can trust that they will get personalised replies that answer their specific queries. In a similar vein, university forums perform this function in that they rely on the active engagement of the online community.

The more conversations that take place, the more trust universities can breed with prospective students. Being part of a thriving online community means that prospects are more likely to engage with the offerings of the institution and starts to formulate a friendly and dependable relationship.

At Proodle Solutions, we understand the need for universities to establish successful communication networks with prospective students to harness a solid relationship of trust and understanding. As the new generation of digitally innate students begin to enter university, institutions must be prepared to keep up. Speed is a must, and so is accurate information; it is not a matter of students having one or the other, it’s a matter of they must have both. Fortunately, technological advancements mean that universities are able to meet the demands of their target market and ensure excellent levels of communication.

If you would like to know more about how Proodle can digitally influence your international recruitment efforts, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on +447776557159


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Kiran Athwal May 29, 2019 0 Comments

How App Analytics Can Help Universities Make Better Business Decisions

There’s no doubt about it that mobile apps have transformed the digital landscape, offering consumers ease of access to all the information they need on their portable devices. However, as we delve further into technological advancements, it’s not enough for universities to simply present what they offer. Universities need to understand their students, engage with them, inspire them, collaborate with them. The best way to achieve these goals is to make use of app analytics in order to deliver targeted marketing that is personal to each individual user.

What is mobile analytics?

Mobile analytics track the behaviour of users, identifies their unique preferences and records what features of the app that they do and do not engage with. Having data behind a marketing plan is almost always essential in order to systematically plan the trajectory of your marketing strategy and indicate areas where users need to be targeted.

What mistakes are universities making to track leads?

Currently, most universities are using out-dated methods to monitor leads. When prospects request a brochure or start an application, universities may ask for details such as course preference and contact details so that they can create a channel for communication. However, after this first stage, leads often get lost; universities do not know if the applicant has decided to choose another university, why an applicant has started and not completed an application and so on. These current tools do not provide the maximum return on investment in marketing.

However, the intervention of a mobile app would allow for acute assessment of prospects’ behaviour at every stage of their application journey through app analytics. This data would take marketing personalisation to the next level as it can indicate the likelihood of conversion for each prospect, allowing universities to focus on the leads that adhere to the level of quality they are looking for.

How can universities implement app analytics to improve their marketing strategy?

Student profiling to drive customer-focused marketing:

On their personal profiles, students input information about themselves which will serve as a useful personalisation tool for marketers. Information such as course preferences, geographical location and previous qualifications allows marketers to streamline information that they send to prospects so that it is relevant and of interest to them. For example, universities can push notifications straight to their mobile devices to update prospects on critical dates, nearby events and deadlines – a personal and localised timeline built around what they specifically want. Apptentive highlight that customer-targeted push messages delivered to specific people can make app open rates double in a short amount of time and can convert up to three times better than generic push messages.

Pre-assessment can increase the likelihood of selecting the best quality students:

Universities are always aspiring to convince quality students to enrol within their programme as it has a vast effect on the reputation of the university, ranking, and additional funding, boosting their revenues. Analytics can be used to assess which candidates match eligibility and can categorise them into different levels of quality (e.g. outstanding or borderline).

Knowing which leads match their needs the most will help universities to recruit the top of the top by adding another filter to their recruitment process, elevating the value of the institution’s offerings.

Tracking app engagement is conducive towards ROI:

App analytics offer insight into the patterns of behaviour of users, such as how long visitors typically stay, what features visitors interact with and what factors lead to higher usage and long-term retention. Nucleus Research found that analytics and business intelligence solutions deliver, on average, $13.01 for every dollar spent. Nina Sandy, a Nucleus Research analyst, has stated that “companies don’t have the luxury anymore to wait weeks for reports on the profitability of business decisions in increasingly fast paced markets.”

It’s clear that universities can’t rely on generic marketing models in hope of acquiring the best candidates. Monitoring which students are spending the most time browsing through an institution’s offerings reveals who has a high conversion rate, and therefore, who is worth investing time and money into. Having a clear view KPIs, metrics and key data points can aid universities in narrowing their focus to maximise their profitability.

At Proodle Solutions, we understand the value that app analytics have in providing better insights into user activity, which is why we have developed an application designed to help university marketing teams refine marketing strategies to enhance business outcomes.

If you would like to know more about how Proodle can digitally influence your international recruitment efforts, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on +447776557159


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Kiran Athwal March 6, 2019 0 Comments

Benefits of App Personalisation for Higher Education Marketing

In today’s day and age, traditional channels of marketing, such as direct mail and print advertising, are becoming less relevant as consumers move into a digital era where information is readily available with a few clicks on a screen. For millennials, mobiles aren’t just devices, they’re a lifestyle. And so, it is important to recognise the potential that application personalisation has to increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, especially in the international recruitment sector in Higher Education.

Research shows that the number one expectation among internet and mobile users is that apps are more personalised to their wants and needs. How students behave when choosing a university is heavily dependent on how relevant the information is to them specifically and the ease in which this information is available. A Google and Compete study indicates that one in ten prospective students search exclusively online for their course and 72% of education seekers will first visit a university website at least two weeks – and often two months – before taking further action. Evidently, these stats emphasise just how vital it is for universities to ensure that they have an effective digital presence, engaging prospects at the right time, on the right channel.

The institutions that win the interest of students are the ones that understand the education decision journey and take full advantage of the digital tools available to aid them. These are just some of the many ways that application personalisation can institute a better user experience.

Getting easy access to relevant information

The problem with bulk marketing is much of the information provided is irrelevant to recipients and so when skimming through what is sent, they tend to miss out on information that is actually valuable to them.

We asked international students studying at the University of Nottingham about the main problems that they faced throughout the pre-arrival and application stage and 78% said there was a lack of country-specific information and 99% said there was a lack of personalisation.

There are a number of ways in which marketing can be personalised to deliver appropriate content to the target audience. Behavioural personalisation assigns points to a site visitor dependent on their behaviour and once a certain amount of points have been accumulated, they are assigned to a list of predefined personas. Based on previous searches, universities can deliver content that prospects are interested in, such as similar courses.

User-set personalisation enables visitors to select the type of content they wish to see; by giving users this autonomy, they can trust that the information they will see will be highly customised according to their personal wants, rather than leaving it to data to form assumptions about what they want to see. For example, an application may allow visitors to narrow the list of content they see, such as information about help and services provided to international students.

There’s also profiled personalisation which involves using personal data provided by the user to select relevant content to show them. Users don’t have to do the hard work of scouring for the information they need; instead, content is delivered directly to them based on what the data determines they will want to see.

Personalised apps allow for quicker communication

Prospects want answers quick, and they want them now. Through Student Eyes examined the top 1,000 universities worldwide and ranked their response to prospective international students online; while only 17% of universities in the UK and Ireland failed to reply to inquiries from international students, when they did respond they were usually slower, with 41% of institutions taking between two to four days. Institutions in the UK and Ireland were also poor at sending a follow-up email after an initial reply to an inquiry – three-quarters of universities engaged in no further correspondence.

Slow response rates mean that students are more likely to become disinterested in furthering their application with that institution and so it is important to establish quick and effective communication. Universities have to deal with a mass amount of enquiries every day, which consumes a lot of time that can be spent attending to other matters. Having an app where all the information about the institution is stored in the same place and organised efficiently can help reduce the amount of direct correspondence needed, saving universities precious time.   

Build a stronger brand

With the Higher Education market becoming increasingly competitive, there is a real impetus for universities to implement an inbound marketing approach to maximise their applicant conversion rates. Personalisation establishes deeper and long-term relationships; prospects want to feel valued and respected, and receiving information that is generic and irrelevant can have the opposite effect.

Proodle appreciates that in order to stay on top of the game, we must move forward with the dynamism of technology and customise digital content that the current generation of students can easily engage with.

What Proodle Solutions offers is an innovative and secure personalised mobile platform for the potential student, which introduces institutions and programmes in a whole new way to make an everlasting impression. We help students understand what a university is about, their requirements, the application process and notify them on the latest social events.

If you would like to know more about how Proodle can digitally influence your international recruitment efforts, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on +447776557159


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Kiran Athwal February 25, 2019 0 Comments