Ideas, insights and inspirations.

Marketing ROI formula is easy enough: However, working with higher education clients for more than two decades has made it clear to us that calculating marketing ROI is challenging, especially in our current era of media fragmentation, device proliferation, and tight marketing budgets. Four reasons why: Unrealized Attribution of Incremental Gains to Marketing Efforts: Pinpointing a prospect-to-enrolled conversion to a specific marketing tactic is hard because a conversion may be the result of multiple marketing stimuli spread out over multiple marketing channels over a period of few years. Multi-touch and multi-channel lead attribution models, though available in the form of sophisticated software tools, are not well understood, are difficult to implement, and are simply unaffordable for a majority of colleges. Thus, connecting the dots across a campaign’s multiple components is next to impossible. Inadequate Support for Source Tracking: The next best alternative to attribution software is to deploy simple source tracking, where source-of-lead signals are passed from digital touch points … Continue reading

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At the last AMA Higher Education Marketing conference, President Mark Putnam of Central College, profoundly claimed that he could know the health of any college by looking at just two metrics: yield and retention rate. This led me to a hunt for other metrics that college presidents consider indispensable. Here is what I have found so far: 1. Size of endowment, the war chest to attract the most talented students and faculty with financial aid and salaries. 2. Geographic reach of enrolled students, which is a measure of diversification and college reputation. 3. Average test scores, which pegs a college’s brand position in the prestige hierarchy. 4. Discount rate, the difference between the sticker price and what a student actually pays, directly impacts the net revenue or financial health of a college. 5. Acceptance rate, or conversely rejection rate, is a direct measure of school’s reputation and selectivity. Understandably, the more a college rejects, the better its reputation gets. 6. … Continue reading

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