The Call to Adventure, Part 7: Finding Success with Capture

In this seventh and final installment of the Capture Higher Ed blog series, The Call to Adventure, writer Sean Hill answers the question: What does all this have to do with Capture? To read the lead-up to this series finale — in which Hill explains billionaire Ray Dalio’s Principles of Success — check out the first six parts of the series: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6.)

So, what do Ray Dalio’s Principles of Success have to do with enrollment management and Capture Higher Ed? I’ve given this some thought, certainly.

Some may see it as a risk to partner with us. One has to let go of their “machinery,” the “way we do things around here,” and the “it’s always been this way.” One has to accept the call to adventure — in the field of enrollment management, plenty of institutions already have?

The first thing to do, then, is to embrace reality: enrollment management has changed. The students have changed dramatically because the world they live in has changed, and continues to change, exponentially. Just take technology, for one; the Internet, in many ways, is the field we all play on, travel on, and are trying to cross to get to our goals. Accept the fact that the kids are using Snapchat rather than Facebook. Accept the fact that the kids learn what they want, when they want, from YouTube. Accept the fact that the kids don’t trust higher education anymore and, if they do, search as “stealth applicants” online. Accept the fact that kids think differently of college than we do.

Now, know your goals. How big of a class do you want and need? What are the problems? Perhaps you’re simply not set up to handle all the stealth applicants. Maybe you don’t fully grasp email marketing in the 21st century — but don’t be insulted by the thought or feel miserable about it. Just accept the problem, then use your principles to eliminate it. One good principle I try to live by is, “I need help, sometimes.”

Look at the near past. Did you feel like you hit rock bottom, or were pretty close? That’s the Abyss. Forget it: it will pass. There’s only one way to go, and that’s up. Haven’t fallen that far yet? Don’t worry — it’s not the end of the world.

Look at the patterns in the economy. Why does Target do so well? Because people shop online, and they offer online merchandise that can be picked up in-store or shipped to your door. Why are people so committed to a company like REI? Because the email campaigns make them feel like a part of an outdoorsy tribe. These are patterns that are prevalent in the economy and the Internet and, let’s face it, in the behavior of consumers — and students. Learn from them and take a risk.

Acknowledge your weaknesses: maybe you’re not so hot at writing emails. Look at your blind spot: maybe you never realized that tracking students was even an option. But now you do. Which brings me to my final point.

How can you be radically open-minded? Ask us for help. Capture Higher Ed is a company of thoughtful people — and we are weighted pretty heavy on the believability scale. The net knowledge of this company is relatively astounding. We have professional designers and excellent writers and visionary leadership. We have people who know marketing to its bones. We have people who’ve worked in admissions offices. And the sum of all that strategy is a knowledge that may, just may, disagree with what you know — or think you know.

We are approaching the field of enrollment management from a very different road, and that road, regardless of what anyone “believes,” has value. Part of that value is based on the experience of colleges who have worked with us, and their testimonials attest to the effectiveness of what we’ve designed, whether its our Behavioral Intelligence Platform, or email campaigns with colorful infographics and vibrant images, or Instagram ads that contain everything you could ever want to say in a simple, digestible square of information — ah, the Internet.

But once you have the information you need — who these students are, what their interests may be — you need to know what to do with that information. And so we propose, as always, to create a team … just as Dalio did as he reformed his company. Because in the end, he realized that it was not the achievement of his goals that mattered so much, but rather passing on what he had learned so that OTHERS could achieve their goals.

And that is what Capture proposes to do: help you achieve your goals. Our reward comes from that.

By Sean Hill, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed