Live Blogging: Eye on the Prize-Implementing Technology w/ an Eye on ROI

By Rachel Reuben - Thu, Nov 6, 2008-->

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Conferences, Email, Marketing

Live blogging Karlyn Morissette’s (@KarlynM) session

*Watch the presentation Video*

“ROI: the magic number will make you look like a golden god”

What’s the difference between marketing and communications:

  • two way communication
  • informative vs. persuasive
  • two jobs/directors instead of one job
  • MarketingProfs.com: “communications makes marketing tactics tangible”

Place to start out: set your goals - don’t pick the technology first

Steps of marketing:

  1. set goals
    • the most important part of the marketing process
    • must relate back to the business goals of your institution
    • should be measurable
  2. plan your communications
    • best way to articulate your message, such as “increase philanthropy”
    • what is message/segmentation, who is our audience, how do they want to be reached?
  3. execute
  4. assess your results
    • did you meet your goal?
    • did conversion result in return? staff hours vs. overall cost
    • what can I do better next time?

Calculate ROI:

  • employee’s salary + 1/3 salary benefits = total salary
  • totally salary/2080 = hourly wage
  • hourly wage x # of staff hours = internal cost

Recommends book: Google Analytics 2.0 (Ledford & Tyler)

E-mail Marketing Example:

  1. Step One: Set up a goal/funnel - can have up to 4 in Google Analytics at a time
  2. Step Two: Build a campaign URL - Google Analytics URL builder
  3. Step Three: Put the two together — after a couple of weeks, go back into Google Analytics & check out campaign names (Also checkout Kyle’s tool)

3,000 e-mails, 358 click throughs, resulting in 130 apps, e-mail took 2 hours to complete, $40/hr staff time and $0.015/per e-mail. How do you calculate worth of application? Dollarize everything. Assign a monetary value to your results to give you a common denominator to compare costs to outcomes. AssignValue: $20k/yr cost of tuition, 20% conversation rate from app to enroll = $4,000 “average profit per sale.” Plug in to ROI calculator -ROI = 415,900%

Share your success

  • make it tangible, give it context, offer recommendations
  • if you have good news, colleagues will be more apt to listen

Can’t give all of the credit to the original e-mail, but it is likely an important trigger.

Dirty little secret of e-marketing: Marketing on the Web is no different than marketing over any other medium. Also, there’s no play book - we’re making this up as we go along (and it’s ok!).

E-mail marketing: what it’s good for (transactional based):

  • increases online applications
  • register online for an event
  • online donations
  • starts a conversation

E-mail is NOT dead. E-mail addresses are essential to login to most programs, and are a pull into so many sites.

Facebook Ads - What are they good for?

  • reach the exact audience you want - send very targeted content
  • only pay for them if they’re clicked on (pay-per-click)
  • Examples:
    • Lipscomb University used ads to tell students in the summer a new Starbucks was coming on campus - tremendous response
    • photo of hot girl in ad = tremendous response
  • How to measure ROI:
    • use Google Analytics URL
    • use ROI calculator
  • bid on ads: set your daily budget limit, and your max bid amount per click (0.59 - 0.72 is average)

Blogs: What are they good for

  • provides authentic experience/stories
  • provides opportunity for interaction with current students
  • announcements & calls-to-action
  • gain insight
  • How to measure ROI?
    • conversion - have calls to action
    • readers - cost of advertising in a similar content channel
    • comments - cost of focus group (if it provides insight)
    • anecdotal: take it on a case-by-case basis
  • Audience comment: administration has fear - trouble getting buy-in. Virtually every school runs into this issue. Show them what’s already being said in unofficial/other formats/venues. Remember 1% rule (only 1% of the people will take advantage of it in a negative way)

Social Networks: What are they good for?

  • building a Ning network for deposit payers is one of the best things you can do - gives them a way to engage with each other and you, building relationships before they even step foot on the campus
  • give alumni volunteers a way to interact and share tips
  • How to measure ROI?
    • easy dissemination of information
    • ease “sugar off”
    • support alumni volunteers

Key takeaways

  • start w/ bottom-line related goals, not w/ technology
  • measure everything
  • dollarize your results to calculate ROI
  • always ask what you can do better next time

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This post was written by:

Rachel Reuben

Rachel Reuben - who has written 33 posts on .eduGuru

Rachel Reuben is the Director of Web Communication and Strategic Projects at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she has worked in various Web communication, public relation, and marketing capacities over the last 11 years. Her areas of interest include eRecruiting, the use of social media in higher education for marketing and communication, as well as information architecture and user experience. Read her complete bio.

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