How to track
Company X tries to create a campus ambassador program. Company X has great intentions, finds the right people to head it, and finds incredible ambassadors. 6 months later - company X defunds their campus ambassador program. What went wrong?
They couldn't prove the ROI. Small and large companies are just as guilty here when it comes to proving that their campus ambassador program actually drove tangible business value.
So how do you not just build a campus ambassador program, but build one that will have sufficient data behind it, so that when upper management asks for the results, you are able to point precisely to the ROI?
The goal of this piece is to give you ideas for what you might want to track when launching your own ambassador program and how to track it. At the end of the day, we can’t help companies build campus ambassador programs if the decision makers can’t see the ROI. Our goal here is to provide you with the framework for tracking yours.
If you really tried, you could probably figure out how to do a lot of these things on your own, or you might even find a way to make this work better for your organization. A good tracker is just one of the many parts of a successful ambassador program so we provide you with this for you to take and make your own.
We looked at solutions on the market and realized that GoogleDrive or OneDrive could be sufficient to build out a platform that allows all parties to collaboratively track their goals, initiatives, and progress. After talking with many companies looking to implement robust ambassador programs, we narrowed down the key functions of such a tracker as follows:
Allow the campus manager to see realtime the students being
Allow the campus manager to queue tasks for the ambassador and receive feedback on those tasks
Allow the ambassador with an easy way to keep track of the conversations they’re having on campus with students and the pipeline they’re building without needing to add students directly to an ATS
Allow the ambassadors to maintain a list of connections on campus that include professors, career services, and organizations
Allow the ambassadors to have access to a place for resources such as FAQ documents, slides for classroom presentations, and other resources a program manager might consistently share with ambassadors
Realtime Ambassador Tracking
We included the following metrics on our campus manager dashboard
Pipeline Activity by Week
Candidates By Major
Candidates Per School
Candidates Per Ambassador
Tasks in Queue
Candidates By Graduation - To help distinguish between students that
Student VS Candidate: A student is someone who an ambassador has identified as a possible fit for the organization
We needed a way to track students and candidates separately so we created separate tabs. Students are added by the ambassador and candidates are self reported via a google form.
The idea here is that when an ambassador identifies a student that might be a good fit, either from an in person meeting, or outreach via LinkedIn or some other virtual platform, they can track that contact. In the same way companies track touch points with prospects, we've found that this is an extremely useful thing to track for the ambassadors as well. It helps them stay consistent and to go deep with their outreach. We include columns that cover the usual information, along with date of each touch, comments related to the student, and whether or not they're moving forward.
Once a student is interested in going deeper with the organization by applying, they fill out a Google form that the ambassador shares with them (As pictured below). This way the student shows real intent in being a part of the ambassadors pipeline. This stage is usually done in coordination with the filling out of a company application. The Google Form is connected directly to the Candidates Tab so that the information is automatically populated.
Candidate Pipeline Tracking
This information is provided by the filling out of the form above. The only thing to add here is that 2 columns are added (but cut out of the below photo) that include comments and a column for an ambassador to designate whether or not a candidate is preferred. They are trained on how to determine if a candidate is preferred during the inPerson Ambassador Training.
Sometimes there are tasks that a campus manager might want to assign to a campus ambassador. This is why we included a tasking queue in our tracker. On one end, the manager is able to assign tasks. When assigning a task, the task appears on the ambassadors dashboard, alerting them of the new assignment. This assignment could be for meeting with a student for coffee, hosting some sort of event, partnering with a specific organization, or some other administrative item that needs to be taken care of.
Time and time again we'd hear that one of the biggest issues with an ambassador program is that the relationships that get built on campus semester after semester get lost. Ambassador's graduate, people change jobs, organizations elect new officials....it's difficult to have a living place for all of these contacts to be maintained.
That's where we have the columns; Entity Name, Contact Info, Type, Ambassador last in contact, notes, and last touchpoint. Including ambassador last in contact allows for the passing of the information of who had the connection. This way, with the passing off to a new ambassador, a quick introduction can be made to the important university contacts. We included last touchpoint and notes as well to help explain the relationship/how recent the relationship has been held.
Another uplift we heard this tool could provide, is the aggregation of all ambassador related campus resources. This includes things like classroom slides, FAQ documents, and anything else that would ordinarily be emailed back and forth between the manager and the ambassador. This saves the time of needing to find these resources, allows for the most recent versions to always be presented, and directly links to the resources, hosted on the platform. We use a Google form for this as well so that the files are all put into the same place virtually.
Extra: Keeping things simple and intuitive for everyone
We included this help page because sometimes everyone needs a little help. We prefer video format for campus managers/campus ambassadors to refer back to from time to time.
Since we now have a list of all candidates that have applied after coming into contact with an ambassador, this list can be referenced quickly against an ATS so an organization knows the exact students that came from it. This is as opposed to a program that relies on filling through hundreds of emails to find the needed names to cross-reference a small introduction made by an ambassador. Immediate pipeline is not the only things that's valuable to prove the ROI of an ambassador program. The best programs cultivate future talent 4 years out. If you're not utilizing your ambassador program to build long term relationships with top talent then you're missing the point. It's important to track the presence you've built on campus, not just to continue utilizing them but to also show these numbers to the executive team.
Overall key metrics to track (relevant to upper management) are:
Students contacted by ambassadors
Relationships built on campus
So there you have it - the quick guide for ensuring that you ambassador program doesn't get defunded due to a lack of data to point to when assessing the ROI