Who Is VisionPoint?

Posted: January 4, 2023

Joy George Proofreader

A Look Into Our Why

The outlook for higher education says we’re in for a few rocky years ahead. With changing views on what a college degree is worth, several years of declining enrollment, and an impending demographic cliff, higher education institutions big and small – traditional four-year colleges, community colleges, and state and district systems – are all looking for new ways to reach prospective students, get them in the door, and ensure they graduate.

For our client partners, leaders in the industry, and other stakeholders, the goal is to gain strong enrollment numbers now, and they’re all facing the same roadblocks: restrictions on human resources within their own walls, the lack of clarity about where to invest, and the inability to invest in all of the strategies and tactics needed to break through the sea of sameness as quickly as the current market demands.

And, while those may seem like insurmountable odds, VisionPoint is full of optimism for the future of colleges and universities. You see, we’re a company filled with people who understand the transformative power of higher education. Seriously. Ask any VisionPointer and you’ll hear about a campus, a professor, or an experience that changed our lives for the better. And we want others to grasp that chance as well.

So we’re using that motivation along with what we’ve learned over the past two decades in higher ed marketing to bring custom deliverables to our clients. With our strategic insight and data-driven analysis, we’re helping our client partners all over the country attract and yield more “right fit” students. And our success doesn’t come because we’re the same as all the other higher ed marketing companies out there.

In fact, 95% of client partners are very or highly satisfied and 94% strongly recommend VisionPoint because VisionPoint is different (Voice of the Customer Survey, Fall 2022). And that’s something that makes us proud.

VisionPoint is a company filled with people who understand the transformative power of higher education.

Standing Out From the Crowd

With so many marketing firms out there, it’s easy to think that they’re all the same. That any one of them would be good enough to work on your enrollment goals. Sure, you’ll get promises of a high ROI from any marketing company you talk to. But after 21 years in the higher ed brand and enrollment marketing industry, our most successful partners tell us that VisionPoint’s ability to plan and execute strategically and holistically across the entire prospective student journey is the difference maker in delivering outsized impact on enrollments. To drive real impact on enrollments, every step of the prospective student journey needs to be a stellar experience. We’ve developed a process that helps us know exactly who your institution or program should be targeting, how to earn their attention through creative that is conceptual (not the sea of sameness), how to engage and connect at an emotional level with your prospective student, and you need to get them past the inevitable speed bumps in their journey to becoming a student. That is not a one-size-fits-all solution and it’s one we’ve got decades of experience building. While other companies may come to the table with a menu of options, we know these standardized cookie-cutter tactics you’re being offered by other companies aren’t going to work anymore. The copy-and-paste approach benefits those marketing agencies at your expense, and it’s not going to drive the enrollments you need.

It’s nice to be working with people who really understand higher ed.

Anonymous Client Partner, Fall 2022 Survey

VisionPoint doesn’t do cookie cutter, and people are taking notice. In an anonymous survey, one of our client partners stated, “The specialization in higher ed has been very helpful. It has made a difference working with an agency that knows the industry well vs. a more general firm. I have also seen greater ROI and cost efficiency, and a better knowledge of the most current advertising strategies. I also believe that having an agency that can work within Slate and help optimize the full prospective journey [is] very valuable.”

Since VisionPoint’s focus is strictly on higher ed brand and enrollment marketing, we’re able to take our years of experience in this exact space and apply it to each of our new partners. Each college is unique, but they have the confidence in us to know that we’re making the right moves to ensure success. “The higher education market has become more and more dynamic, and our client partners are very complex and nuanced,” says Diane Sutton, CEO of VisionPoint Marketing. “That’s why we do things differently. We invest in understanding and listening to our clients. We dig in and help our partners drive enrollment for their specific situations. We customize our work for each individual client partner to identify, entice, attract, engage, and enroll their ideal student cohorts – we cross brand and enrollment marketing. And that’s VisionPoint’s real differentiator.” 

It doesn’t feel like you’re a vendor. You’re part of our team, in the trenches with us.

Myla Edmond, Marketing and Communications Director for the Education Abroad Program at the University of California System

We’re the in-the-trenches partner for many higher education institutions. From four-year institutions to two-year technical and community colleges, from graduate and online programs to statewide systems, we fight for each enrollment for our partners. That means we don’t just put standard ads on autopilot and cross our fingers. Our partners know at a minimum we’ll have a discussion every two weeks (typically more often) to talk through progress together and to collaborate to ensure that we’re solving problems together to serve their unique situations and needs. “Communication is top notch and it’s nice to be working with people who really understand higher ed,” another client responded in our survey. And it’s this attention to detail that keeps our client partners working with us year after year.

What 20+ Years Taught Us

At VisionPoint, we are uniquely qualified to help develop and execute a customized solution that leverages all the channels that impact enrollment for each client partner. We’ve spent decades building deep experience across all brand and enrollment marketing strategies. We’ve been there and done successful work for many different clients dealing with many unique situations.

While the endpoint may be different for each client – building awareness, generating inquiries, generating applications, increasing yield, or all four – we provide an omnichannel approach that encompasses all the needs our clients may have. Whether the need is brand, web, SEO, digital and traditional marketing, conceptual creative campaigns, or leveraging a CRM, VisionPoint is here, working right alongside our partners, identifying, attracting, and engaging with potential students. With our experience, we can deliver outsized results efficiently.

And that efficiency is important right now. Post-pandemic, most institutions, programs, and systems are facing an uncertain future. And with the demographic cliff coming in 2025, the pressure for results is building.

At VisionPoint, we outperform the educational benchmark tenfold.

Diane Sutton, CEO and Founder of VisionPoint Marketing

VisionPoint will not be a marketing company that employs the “set it and forget it” strategy in hopes of gaining enrollments. From the beginning of our relationship with our client partners, we listen. We’re in the trenches, figuring out what motivates their unique student body. “In order to truly break through in this environment and get enrollment results that institutions and programs need, you can’t simply apply the same research to everyone and expect to achieve outsized impact,” Sutton believes. “And through that deeper understanding that we gain and our decades of experience, we are able to achieve that outsized impact.”

And it’s true. Our depth of understanding of our client partners’ needs has led to incredible results. Providing deep experience across all marketing channels allows us to drive results. But we aren’t just saying that. We’ve got the proof to back up our claims.

  • For every $100 in media that you’d spend at another agency, you’d only spend $10 at VisionPoint.* 
  • Our cost per conversion is so low that our client partner the University of North Dakota got the same number of leads at one-tenth of the media budget for priority audiences. 
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, we helped client partner UC Davis find 3,200 more students than they projected.
  • And College of DuPage has seen an increase in leads five times what they were getting before starting to work with us.

Through a conceptual campaign that clearly stood out from the “sea of sameness” that is most higher ed advertising, we drove an 11% increase in Fall 2021 registrations for Milwaukee Area Technical College. In addition, MATC increased its Hispanic and Latine population and is now designated a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). And those are just a few of our success stories.

Vice President Matt Walters speaks at a company Summit.

A New Solution for a New World

We can’t say it enough: While customizing may look expensive at the outset, the ROI is much more successful than what other marketing companies are providing. We don’t do things the way other companies do them because we are always analyzing and customizing our response based on our client partners’ goals and situations. That’s what sets us apart.

Because of the nuanced needs of each of our client partners, and what we see as the need of higher ed institutions – whether they’re four-year, two-year, community colleges, entire systems, or individual programs – as we move forward into life after COVID and serve a new generation of students, VisionPoint is excited to launch a new offering for our current and future client partners.

CEO Diane Sutton says it best: “We are launching a new solution that is customized and right-fit for graduate and online programs’ needs and budget that includes brand and enrollment strategy, digital media, web, email and text marketing automation in your CRM, creative, SEO, analytics, and call center support as needed. It’s everything that a program needs without the onerous OPM price tag.” Focused on driving applications and yield, these all-encompassing solutions will be priced right for a college or program’s needs.

And, at the end of the day, it comes back to our client partners’ goals. We’re working together to ensure the students of tomorrow find their right-fit college so they, too, can experience the transformative power of higher education.

Work With Us

With over 21 years of enrollment-focused work in the higher ed industry, VisionPoint is eager to continue making strides to help our partners achieve the results they need to build classes that not only show up but graduate. Want to see what we can do for your enrollment needs? We’d love to work with you. Contact our Vice President Dana Cruikshank for a free consultation call.

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