5 Things You Must Consider For A Data Driven Digital Marketing Strategy in Higher Education
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes
It has been a while since I’ve had the chance to create a blog post on the Beacon blog. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily activities of the agency as well as contributing time towards external organizations. It’s long overdue but I hope this blog post is worth the wait. I recently wrote a high level whitepaper for the higher education industry concerning how data is collected and used within the organization. I am fortunate enough to get to work with a lot of great educational institutions and have seen some common issues and challenges across the industry. My whitepaper is meant to help identify what those are and provide some strategic thought for how your organization can address those.
I’ll provide a sneak peak at what to expect but you really should download the free whitepaper to find out my thoughts on each of these, how they impact your organization, and what you can do to help your organization face the challenges and better utilize information in your organization’s marketing strategy.
- Google Analytics Installation and Configuration: You’ve installed Google Analytics on your website and may have even setup a goal. However, you are seeing a high number of internal referrals and don’t know if it is tracking correctly. Your website properties are divided by ownership within the various departments and you have significant challenges obtaining meaningful information and determining what to do with the information you do receive. Even when you have great ideas, the lack of a well-configured, centralized information source can be a roadblock for making progress.
- Using Data to Drive your Strategy: You may be doing some of the typical digital marketing activities including SEO, PPC, email marketing, and promotion of admission events and possibly even measuring traffic and conversions. But are you truly using the data to drive your strategy? Or are your actions just a reactive result of your efforts rather than what is centrally driving your marketing message? In other words, can you tie your decision-making directly to trusted data?
- Information Overload: There is a lot of information available and it certainly can be overwhelming. But how do you parse through all the data to get to the underlying decision-making information? There is so much data coming in from so many channels that it becomes challenging to distinguish between relevant data and noise. Different types of data are needed for different types of analyses.
- Length of Admissions Cycle: Searching, selecting, applying and committing to a college is typically a long process, which is significantly longer than ecommerce based or even service based organizations. This creates measurement and analysis challenges because marketers don’t benefit from the faster turnaround of data. The impact of marketing programs may not be fully measurable for years.
- Attribution Modeling: The conversion process spans online and offline channels, back and forth, creating large gaps in attribution modeling. Tying an application to an originating source or even multiple sources doesn’t hold the same value and you must be careful in determining what the data is really conveying. There is so much more to the conversion cycle than just the awareness component. You must consider that a prospective student will shape his/her decisions based on many interactions with various purposes. Isolating a single touch point and attributing application conversions to it can lead to decisions made on bad data.