A recent article on Business2Community.com posed the question, “Can Digital Marketing Be Both Effective and Scalable?” In my world of enrollment marketing for higher education institutions, we ask this question a lot. Though typically we call it the “quality vs. quantity debate.”
Without a doubt, every school I work with will tell you that quality trumps quantity. And thank goodness. But problems start to arise when the volume of quality student prospects falters. Empty chairs in classrooms may reduce class sizes, but when schools don’t fill those seats, they are falling short on their enrollment goals. As good intentioned as the strategy may have been, an excuse of “but I was focusing on quality” usually does not satisfy their supervisors.
Are you in this situation with a boss breathing down your neck right now? Here are some things you can say instead.
“It’s time to diversify.”
The importance of diversification cannot be overstated. Cross-channel marketing campaigns generate a higher ROI than campaigns dedicated to inquiry generation. For example, according to Marketing Sherpa, the ROI of nurtured inquiries averages 45 percent higher than that of non-nurtured inquiries. Why? Because the email supported branding efforts while encouraging action at each milestone.
“Say ‘yes’ to branding.”
Branding often gets a bad rap from marketers focused on inquiry generation. It’s often considered ephemeral fluff – the secret fort of digital marketers too lazy or inept to guarantee results. However, while it’s not a big inquiry driver, branding initiatives support schools by boosting their reputations and improving both inbound inquiries and conversion efforts. Social media campaigns are a great way to enhance branding efforts and can also be used to remediate brand attacks from those who have had negative experiences, thus protecting the brand while supporting it.
“Be open minded.”
Cost per inquiry (CPI) is not the only way to evaluate campaign success, just like getting a ton of volume is not a good indicator of brand popularity. If you’re currently tracking contact rates, consider instead tracking the rate of those contacted who actually know your brand. After all, it’s much easier to enroll a student who knows you than it is to convince someone to invest their trust and money in a school that is foreign to them.
“We’re going to start sharing our data.”
Transparency of your campaign performance data is vital to everyone supporting your marketing efforts, from your internal team to your agency to the vendors on your campaign. From conversion and retention data to site analytics to anecdotal thoughts on what is and what is not working, this information should be placed into the feedback loop to assess and optimize the campaign across all players.
“We need to bring in some experts.”
The digital marketing landscape changes so quickly, it’s pretty much a full-time job just to keep up with it. Don’t worry. There are folks out there that make it their jobs to know everything about specific channels so that you don’t have to.
First, you need a full audit of your campaign to include a demographic and geographic analysis along with current campaign strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. Data in hand, the right team of professionals can develop a media plan to show you how your marketing budget should be spent to get you the most high quality inquiries you can while boosting your ROI and your reputation.
Okay, we don’t really recommend this one, but we thought it would be fun to include on the list. But if you’re this far down the list and your strategy is still being questioned, it might be time to let the DMS team assist. Contact your account executive or fill out this form and we’ll help you have more peaceful days ahead.
About the Author
Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS) is an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients win in their business ventures and realize their marketing goals. The company’s set of proprietary assets and capabilities in the world of performance marketing and marketing technology allow clients to meticulously target and acquire the right customers. DMS relentlessly pursues flawless execution for top brands within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, careers and automotive.
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