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On Quality vs. Quantity (or How to Get Your Boss off Your Back)

March 26, 2015 Digital Media Solutions

Quality vs Quantityrecent article on 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.

“Bug off!”

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

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, LLC (DMS) is the leading global martech company leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand direct and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers. DMS deploys a robust database of consumer intelligence and leverages massive proprietary media distribution to provide customer acquisition campaigns that grow businesses. Continuing to experience explosive year-over-year growth, DMS has been continuously recognized on the Inc. 5000 list, securing its sixth consecutive ranking in 2019, and the Entrepreneur magazine 360 list. Earlier this year, DMS announced it is anticipating becoming a public company under a reverse merger deal with Leo Holdings Corp. Named one of America’s “Best Places to Work” by Inc. magazine and awarded the Excellence in Lead Generation Award by the LeadsCouncil, DMS brings together some of the industry’s most knowledgeable people, efficient processes and sophisticated technology across the digital marketing spectrum. For more information about DMS, visit Keep up with DMS news at and connect with us on LinkedIn at

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