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Leveraging Digital Media for CRM Gains

At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the CRM system utilizes digital media to tailor communications to individual preferences.

This story appeared in the September 2012 digital edition of Campus Technology.

More than 10 years ago, the admissions and recruitment office at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was an early pioneer in the use of new media and social software to communicate with potential students and the public. Today, working in a completely paperless environment, the department leverages multiple digital media channels within its CRM system to engage constituents, from pre-admissions to registered students and alumni. Based on users' own preferences, messages are tailored for a range of digital formats, including e-mail, broadcast phone, IM, video streams, live webcasts, and chat sessions. The goal? Communicate better--and foster long-term relationships.

In a filmed conversation with James Maraviglia, associate vice provost for marketing and enrollment development, and Al Nunez, associate director of multimedia communications, CT asked about Cal Poly's program.

1) What challenges has Cal Poly faced in its move to all-digital CRM communications?

Video courtesy of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

"The days of communicating by paper and view books and traditional methods are long gone.... Today, we are operating with the same size staff, the same size resources, and even fewer budget dollars than we were over a decade ago.... Our applicant pool has grown from 7,000 apps to over 45,000.... " --James Maraviglia

2) What are your best options for CRM messaging?

Video courtesy of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

"Most importantly, we tell the story of Cal Poly. As fast as technology changes, story telling doesn't.... We found that using a combination of our media tools to reach out to various populations for whatever the most effective way to operate." --Al Nunez

About the Author

Mary Grush is Editor and Conference Program Director, Campus Technology.

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