The 2009 American Marketing Association (AMA) Symposium for Higher Education included an incredibly engaging keynote speaker, a bevy of college and university marketing professionals ready to share their experience and expertise, and a bounty of vendor-sponsored refreshment breaks (keeping us all well-fed and caffeinated).
The topics today ranged from social to direct marketing, Gandhi to Google, and high tech to high strategy. One of the overarching themes was a pleasant surprise – measurement.
It seems that in the mayhem of technologies amidst goals to increase enrollment and decrease budget there is a sudden awareness of the staying-power that measurement vision provides. Brand marketers are moving – sometimes uncomfortably – toward the quantitative realm.
Regardless of the communication channel, new technologies put measurement capability at the fingertips of every marketer. The key is to define the right metrics that identify movement toward a desired goal. We call them key performance indicators (KPIs).
This got me thinking.
While the college student decision path is more complicated than ever, the enrollment funnel is still a relevant paradigm for measuring enrollment progression. Our challenge is to expand the reach of the funnel to truly capture the increasing number of ways prospective students connect. How then do we think about key enrollment marketing channels in a way that allows us to measure their impact?
I put together the following chart to match the decision stage, the traditional funnel, and relevant measurement point in online technologies:
|Decision Stage||Traditional Funnel||Web|
To make this measurement work, you have to have a weekly and monthly baseline … just as you do with your enrollment funnel. And while you may not know the specific individual students, the trends correlated with traditional funnel measurements tell you something about student engagement. It gives you the research points to set future KPIs and to execute initiatives against them.
Enrollment marketers … it’s time to hone our vision, embrace measurement, and expand the traditional funnel with new measurement points.
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