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Is Mobile Lead Generation Here to Stay in Higher Ed?

August 14, 2012 Digital Media Solutions

Two weeks ago, Akeel Haider joined other mobile lead generation experts Mark Roth of OfferMobi, and Dinesh Boaz of Direct Agents with moderator David Rodnitzky of PPC Associates for the Mobile Lead Generation panel at the LeadsCon East 2012 conference. Speaking to a room of over 100 attendees representing a number of verticals including higher education, Akeel came away with some great insight into marketers’ challenges and best practices in this unique lead generation channel. We sat down with Akeel this week to pick his brain on the session and all things mobile marketing.

What were your biggest takeaways from the session?

Everyone wants to be involved in mobile in some way, but there are lots of questions around this channel and how and where to start. There were a line of people waiting to speak to me after the session, and most of them were asking questions about what mobile strategies are working best, what verticals is it working for, and how can we help them successfully venture into mobile marketing

In your opinion, is mobile lead generation "here to stay" for higher ed marketers?

Yes. We have been utilizing mobile marketing for EDU inquiry generation in such a successful way that our clients keep asking us for more. This is only the beginning of this emerging market growth, specifically for sectors who have not been utilizing the mobile medium until recently. Mobile today is still at its infancy with an unprecedented growth pattern. If you look at the stats and projections, by 2015, 50% of all internet traffic will be mobile. Also 25% of all paid search clicks will be mobile by the end of this year and over 50% of mobile phones in the US (over 150 million) have data access already. Mobile is not just in its testing phases, it is happening now and returning positive ROI for many clients and advertisers who have learned to use it effectively. For us, more than 30% of all call center inquiries are originating from mobile today.

Based on questions from the audience, what are marketers' top concerns when it comes to mobile marketing?

It is about quality and how does mobile compare to other channels. Marketers have no baseline or reference point because they haven’t tested mobile enough. The answer is really dependant on the mobile sub-channel being tested and the conversion funnel built. This starts from the creative all the way through to the end-goal conversion. One mistake advertisers run into is treating mobile as one channel, when in reality there are so many various mobile sub-channels and technologies each with their own metrics and user behavioral trends. It’s up to marketers to test these and find their best converting sweet spots for their clients and target demographics. For example, mobile paid search and mobile SEO are comparable in quality to desktop SEO and desktop paid search. Other mobile channels will vary depending on many factors. Also mobile should be thought of as an initial response medium- just a starting point. After the initial response, marketers must look at the entire funnel to get the desired results.

What advice would you offer someone who is just starting to think about mobile marketing?

The first thing a school should do is look at their current desktop websites. Figuring out the percentage of mobile traffic they are receiving already, down to the carriers, browsers, and device types will reveal some very important information. This will give insight into their current mobile demographics. They may come to realize that there is already mobile traffic that they are receiving and not being able convert because they don’t have a mobile optimized site, or that a large percentage of their audience is coming from a specific carrier or specific device type. These facts can help in the subsequent marketing strategies to follow. The second piece of advice is to test, test, and test. There is no one size fits all approach in mobile. It is all about figuring out the right mix for you.

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. 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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