ClickDimensions are a worldwide Microsoft partner, who offer a ‘marketing automation’ system for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system which is used by a growing number of Australian universities.
Let me slip in a bit of translation. ‘Marketing Automation’ in student recruitment terms basically means helping you run email campaigns, track their success, link that back to activity on your website, work out which prospective students are most likely to be worth chasing, find out more about activity on social networks, and carry out surveys online. So that in an ideal world, you can know which prospective students are showing interest in your university, and help convert more of them to become actual students!
Like me, ClickDimensions believe that marketing is part art and part science, and efforts in making it more predictable and measurable are never wasted (especially when dealing with super-rational people who like data aka the people who set budgets). Part of the journey in marketing has been the evolution of marketing automation solutions (sometimes called ‘demand generation’) from stand-alone silos towards becoming completely embedded into CRM systems.
ClickDimensions produce a nice set of quick guides, which provide common sense advice about how you can improve the mix of art & science in marketing, and their latest Quick Guide “Marketing ROI for Dynamics CRM” is a great guide to help think about the ways of measuring your student recruitment pipeline – from the initial enquiries through to the final offer – so that you can improve your conversion rate. And, like their other quick guides, it’s written in a straightforward way.
Here’s the intro:
|In the most basic form, marketing ROI is simply a measurement of the effectiveness of each dollar spent on marketing efforts. It is the sales output for each unit of marketing input. In other words, how many dollars in the pipeline can be attributed to each campaign undertaken, whether it is your [university’s] website, an email campaign or a [recruitment] show. Armed with this information, you can begin to make informed decisions about where to focus your marketing budget and resources to maximise sales. In Dynamics CRM, the holy grail of marketing ROI is a dashboard that shows the relative effectiveness of each of your campaigns so you can distinguish at a glance the underperforming campaigns from the top performers, and the revenue output from your marketing input so when your boss asks the dreaded ROI question you can answer quickly and precisely.|
And they talk through exactly how they track their own campaigns, and the marketing dashboard that they have created. By showing practical walk-throughs of how to do it, they demonstrate how you link your web activity back to your outbound marketing activities, so that you can differentiate somebody who comes to your site from your paid activities, compared to social media referrers etc.
I worked in marketing for 15 years, and I wished that the kind of clear guidance in here was available to me then – along with the smart systems that allow the tracking and measurement that’s now possible. So I’d heartily recommend sharing this link with colleagues who are responsible for student recruitment and measurement of your recruitment activities.