Rendezvous, the official city meet that is organized right before IIM Nagpur PGP Admission process starts, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in itself. I consider myself fortunate enough to be a part of the 2019 season and a contributor for the same. The first edition of Rendezvous in 2018 witnessed about 12 aspirants visiting us from various parts of India. Some cities had zero turn-ups and so in 2019 the focus was solely on first increasing the numbers of people attending.
Before the initial stage shortlists, followed by WAT/PI, we invited B-School aspirants for a meet in their respective cities. The objective of such meets is to make aspirants aware of the IIMN culture, life on campus, placements, how should they prepare for their WAT/PI and of course, to address all concerns they have. We planned for a total of 10 cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kochi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Bhopal and Pune. Even though we had two washouts, but the rest of the cities had people coming up in numbers that helped us achieve total aspirants’ count to 61. This jump from 12 to 61 in itself was amazing. And I must say, that the personalized marketing technique was applied to a large extent to achieve this hike. In fact, paid digital marketing and social media activities also didn’t yield results the way personalized marketing did.
I recall initial instances when a large number of aspirants who initially joined their respective city WhatsApp groups asked lot of questions, showed great interest in the meet, but later, as the date of the meet approached they shied away from coming. It was a laborious part to do, but then filtering out such names and sending a formal personalized message to them on behalf of IIM Nagpur (yes, that’s a proud feeling when you act as the face of the Institute to the outside world) asking for their confirmation and showcasing how excited we are to host them, brought back close to 40% of those aspirants.
This particular strategy to connect with individuals with formal content is very close to what companies do in case of personalized marketing (also known as one-to-one marketing or individual marketing). The concept states that we should leverage our available data and technology to deliver individualized messages to our prospects, and we did the same. Of course, we were not selling a product or service, but yes, the city meet aims at spreading awareness and culture that we are building here on campus at IIMN. It impacts admissions a lot and, going ahead, the quality of students graduating out of a college.
On a closing note, with the last few months left in college, I look forward to the present team to leverage the data they would gather and make the jump from 61 to 100+ at least. If no other tools would work, touch the human psyche, go the personalized way; it may be a little hectic and laborious but it is a guarantee for decent results, if not the best.