According to Gartner Research, 85 percent of customers are going to want to do product research and manage those relationships without talking to a human. What does this mean to colleges and universities? It means your prospective students are already moving in this direction and you need to be able to communicate with them on their terms. Marketing automation is the future.
And by their terms, I mean with software not a landline.
Think on it — your 2020 class is made up of high school freshmen this year. They already don’t have time to look up from Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube or the latest gaming-app to return your text message. They’ll research your institution when they feel like it, and with their own set of questions in mind. Time to prepare.
“When’s the best time to plant a tree?” the Chinese proverb asks. “Twenty years ago. When’s the second best time? Today!”
Enter stage right, marketing automation (MA): Your tree-growing software. And I’m not the only person who thinks so. MA is the fastest growing marketing segment in the past five years according for Focus Research.
Launched in 1998, the underlying behavioral data-driven technology has been in use for nearly two decades. In that time, industry giants like Amazon and Apple have gobbled up and used this data to influence customers. Enterprise marketing company, Marketo, says that $3.5 billion was spent on MA in 2010, and $4.8 billion in 2015.
But it has only been the past year or two that it has started catching on in Higher Education with Higher Ed-specific products like Ping from Slate, our own Capture Behavioral Engagement (CBE), and with some schools starting to use general ‘corporate’ solutions, especially Hubspot and Marketo.
Do you know why? Because it works. Marketing automation provides relevant communication opportunities that other marketing tactics just can’t guarantee.
People ask me all the time, how soon will I see results? I don’t have a year to wait. (I’m about the most impatient person I know, so I feel ya. Your budget, boss and bonus plan don’t have time to wait either.)
The good news: You don’t have to wait.
Ascend2 marketing firm reports that 63 percent of those implementing marketing automation software expect to see benefits in the first six months. And at Capture we can confirm it’s even quicker than that.
Take our friends at the University of Toledo. They have a very sophisticated enrollment management process for both traditional and online students. They utilize CBE, our higher-ed focused marketing automation software, as one of their tactics to recruit both traditional and non-traditional students.
Here are two success stories UT experienced in the first six months of launch:
Engineering School Recruitment
RESULTS: 7,893 unique impressions with 1,587 click-thrus
CONVERSION: 3.6% or 57 students filled out a program-inquiry form
(A CTR of 20.1% — 25X the industry average)
International Recruitment – India
RESULTS: 3,411 unique impressions with 213 click-thrus
CONVERSION: 8.1% or 17 students completed forms to meet with a counselor
Relevant, personalized content — whether it’s digital messaging or triggered emails, provides results. Let me leave you with this stat. According to Circle Research’s “Benchmarking Report Marketing Automation (2015),” after one year of using MA, 32 percent of companies see an increase in revenue. After two years, it’s more than 40 percent.
Don’t be caught planting a tree three years from now. Do it today!
By Ellen Stubbs, Vice President of Marketing, Capture Higher Ed