A Blog by CRMMARC
Establishing and maintaining good relationships with their alumni is of major importance for institutions of Higher Education. Obviously, alumni can be approached for donations and gifts, but they have much more to offer. They are currently working in the field that universities are educating for, so they can provide important import for the curriculum. Maybe they can provide internship positions or they might be able to act as guest lecturer. Institutions might even consider them to be serious prospects for continuing education. They might want to go and follow (paid) courses themselves, but they might as well have the proper connections to sell in-company training to, and might even have children who are potential freshmen…
Therefore, it is critical for universities to not only keep track of their alumni, but to also keep them engaged and committed. It has been proven that one of the most beneficial ways to do this is to actually make sure that there are enough for reasons for alumni to engage with the university as well. A win-win situation must be created. So, universities should seriously evaluate what they have to offer to their alumni. Should it be life-long access to libraries and knowledge networks, continuing and discounted access to sporting accommodations, events where alumni can meet their peers, online groups where they can meet former classmates and teachers? All of the above?
But at the same time, however, it is important to differentiate and segment the alumni. Larger universities might have 5 to 10 thousands graduates per year. Obviously it is completely impossible to maintain personal relationships with all of them. So, if you think about it, what would be the criteria for your university to want and engage with an alumnus? And do you have enough data about the alumni available to be able to make the required selections for segmented targeting?
The reason for me to ask these questions is that I see that many Higher Education Institutions start to technically implement CRM and Outreach systems without having thought about their alumni strategy. My company, CRMHOW.COM provides some easy to use online tools that can help you define your alumni strategy, before you start configuring some system.