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higher ed mktg tools

In our daily work with colleges and universities, HEM observes a wide range of digital marketing practice, experience and perceptions of which channels, strategy, and tactics work best and which don’t. In an attempt to capture, document and better understand the current “state” of digital recruitment marketing, we decided to conduct the “How Higher Education Institutions are Using Digital Marketing Survey”.

With the assistance of Kirk Kelly, from the higher ed market research firm CRi, we designed a survey to identify which digital marketing channels, tools and tactics higher ed marketers were using and what their perceptions were of the effectiveness of those approaches. In the fall of 2014, we then took it to the web, inviting the higher education clients and contacts of both HEM and CRi to participate.

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Respondents to the survey came from 48 institutions primarily in North America with 50% being public universities, 17% private colleges, 15% private universities and 10% career colleges. 25% of respondents work in institutions with less than 1,000 students, 27% with institutions with 1,000-5,000 students, 23% from schools with 5,000-15,000 students and 25% from schools with 15,000+ students

The survey report includes coverage of the following areas:

  • Overview, Methodology  & Response
  • Most & Lease used Digital Marketing Tools
  • Why Specific Digital Marketing Tools are Used
  • How Success of Tools and Tactics is Measured
  • Institutional Staffing Allocations by Area of Activity
  • Digital Marketing Budgets
  • Budget Projections for the Coming Year
  • User Perception of Tools and Their Effectiveness
  • How to Best Improve Digital Marketing Efforts
  • Conclusions

Here is a sample from the report of one slide providing insight into the participant’s perceptions of effectiveness of the most common used digital marketing tools and tactics.

Effectiveness of tools

The report reveals a wide range of insights including which tools and tactics are most widely adopted, how success is most often measured for them and which are generally perceived as not effective.  Some channels and tactics are broadly practiced and clearly well understood. Others are less popular and in many cases less well understood, creating marketing opportunities for more knowledgeable and entrepreneurial marketers.

To download a copy of the “How Higher Education uses Digital Marketing” survey report click here.