AUSTIN, Texas, June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Marketers in Higher Education find themselves beset by new challenges. Yvonne Tocquigny, CEO of Tocquigny, a digital marketing firm that helps universities with student acquisition offers ten reasons why higher education is one of the hardest places to get an 'A+' in marketing today.
1. Marketers are held accountable for meeting challenging enrollment goals. Their jobs depend on creating quantifiable success, measured by the number of new students they acquire.
2. Marketers are held accountable for measures they have little control over. Marketers are expected to generate applicants as well as manage the quality of students who submit applications. Many marketers are expected to manage metrics around recruiting accepted applicants for enrollment, and retaining students.
3. Marketers must lower their CPE (Cost Per Enrollment). Sophisticated marketers use testing methodologies to improve their CPE regularly and demonstrate predictable results.
4. Marketers must provide visibility into performance data. Administrators require metrics around the recruitment and application process. This requires new tools and technologies that many marketers aren't familiar with.
5. Many marketers lack the training to do what is expected. Some were trained years ago—before the use of mobile apps, social media, and search advertising. Though they have backgrounds in branding and print, they need expertise in new media, measurement tools, testing strategies, and data analysis.
6. Marketers don't have time to stay abreast of trends. New marketing tactics such as social media and search advertising are effective—and constantly evolving. Marketers are expected to do this in addition to their jobs.
7. Marketers are held accountable for compliance with new government regulations. Most marketers have no way to monitor their practices or determine whether or not they are in full compliance.
8. Marketers must contend with more competitors than ever. The competition for digital exposure in the higher education space has driven up media costs by more than 18% in the past two years.
9. Marketers are expected to do more with less. Marketing budgets compete for funding with teachers' salaries and student services. Never has the demand for resourcefulness been greater.
10. Marketing practices are challenged by administrators. Marketers must justify their expenditures with data proving they are doing the best work at the lowest cost.
To succeed in today's evolving marketing world, higher education marketers must meet two criteria:
- Develop a sustainable model based on performance metrics, not activities.
- Control the marketing ecosystem from start to finish. Test, and then optimize performance at every touchpoint.
If the marketer in your organization asks for help tackling these new challenges, this is an indication that they have a thorough understanding of the changing environment and they are willing to adapt in order to succeed. Marketers can no longer play the role of "Swiss Army Knife" individuals and do everything themselves. The variety of tactics marketers must deploy requires multiple skill sets delivered by a collaborative team. And if that team reduces your cost per student, you might ask yourself, "What would that be worth?"
Tocquigny is a full-service digital marketing agency that provides measurable marketing results for universities and businesses. The agency uses a rigorous, data-driven process called A Measured Approach™ to create fully integrated digital, social and mobile experiences that engage audiences and move them to action. Based in Austin, Texas, Tocquigny has been named a "Top Interactive Agency in the Nation" by BtoB Magazine for nine consecutive years and a "Top 20 Interactive Agency" by Adweek. For more information on Tocquigny, visit www.tocquigny.com.
Tom Fornoff, Executive Director, Business Strategy