TargetX Launches Bold Consulting Division to Help Colleges Recruit Today's Students

The technology leader introduces a new approach to consulting that emphasizes yield in order to build relationships and recruit best-fit students

Mar 02, 2010, 15:00 ET from TargetX

BRISTOL, Pa., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- College marketing leader TargetX has launched a new division that promises to revolutionize higher-education consulting the same way its technology tools forever altered student recruiting in 1998.

"Consulting companies serving higher ed today are outdated," said TargetX CEO Brian Wm. Niles.  "They're focused on branding, long-range strategic planning, filling the top of the recruitment funnel.  They spend many months writing thick reports that end up on administrators' shelves and produce little tangible benefit."

The TargetX approach is radically different, said Niles, while announcing the new division at the company's recent users-group meeting in Atlanta.  "It's action-oriented, focused on what the school can do now to increase the number of best-fit students who enroll."

The consulting division will be headed by Jeff Kallay, one of the most respected and innovative figures in higher education marketing.  Kallay joined TargetX in 2006 as its "Experience Evangelist," an unorthodox title to reflect his unique role -- focusing on the critical function of face-to-face interaction, especially campus tours and other in-person events.

Kallay will serve as Vice President, Consulting.  His responsibilities as coordinator of the company's popular campus visit consults will be taken over by Trent Gilbert, who has been promoted to Chief eXperience Officer (CXO) of the division.

"We're excited about this 'new consultancy,'" said Kallay.  "The goal is to help our clients rethink and change their approach to recruiting, especially their outdated view of the recruitment funnel."

Instead of recommending mass marketing to fill the top of the funnel, TargetX Consulting will emphasize yield tools and techniques to deliver enrolled students.  "The emphasis is on 'enrolled,'" said Kallay, and that means identifying and pursuing best-fit students.

The schools most likely to engage TargetX consultants are ones that are ready for change.  "We won't be a good match for every institution," Kallay acknowledged.  "We're looking for 'change agents,' people who realize the old ways aren't working anymore, who realize the admissions process is undergoing a sea change and they want to be at the front of the wave."

Kallay's deliverables will be different from what schools are used to seeing from their consulting companies.  "We don't prepare written reports," he said.  "Instead we provide ideas and recommendations that can be put to immediate use.  These are practical, cost-effective and reflect our overriding philosophy -- enrolling students means yielding students.  You have to more effectively engage those who have already demonstrated an interest in your school."

Niles, who co-founded TargetX 12 years ago as a purely technology company, has overseen its move into creative services and campus visit consulting in recent years.  He sees the creation of this new division as a logical next step given the enormous respect colleges have for the expertise, ideas, knowledge and personality of his staff.

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