Digital campaigns are often defined purely in numbers terms. It’s common to believe that better ROI can be achieved by just using certain types of technologies and managing the numbers well.
This numbers & technology only approach leads to boring campaigns that no one cares about.
Others rely solely on the creative positioning. By coming up with a killer visual and written message, they hope to break the ceiling on results. A creative approach alone can lead to stunning ads and no signups. Or to endless debates about how an image should look like, without a clear cut way to a decide one way or the other.
I believe that the numbers exist to help continuously improve the creative message.
To convince someone to spend several years at your institution, you’ll need to thoroughly inspire them. Your message needs to stand out. That means it needs to be bold. A message can’t be bold unless it’s somewhat risky.
Good data limits that risk.
At Crystal marketing, we never run campaigns without setting up conversion tracking. If our client is looking to get 300 enquiries, we need to see which advertisements and messages are leading people to enquire. Ideally, we like to work with institutes that have set up a CRM system, so that we don’t just limit our view to who enquired, but can take into account which campaigns brought in most applications and eventually enrollments.
Messaging, including the key selling points to emphasise and which groups of people to target, is generally given to us by the schools we work with.
But I love to take things a step further. Great relationships happen when we create a continuous feedback loop.
To see 3-5 times better results, requires continuously refining the message. Creating new stories and videos based on what we know people respond well to. Perhaps even going into different geographic areas.
I love digital marketing because statistics allow us to learn so much about what drives people, just based on the types of advertisements they respond to.
But unlike many, I believe tracking and knowing how different messages perform should not lead us to be cautious and only tweak in the margins. Doing just that, a good agency may get you an improvement in results of perhaps 20% over time. If we regularly evaluate the overall strategy with the client, the results can snowball to 3-5 times.
Knowing the numbers should be an invitation to be bold. You can’t go wrong. If a message falls flat, you simply kill it and move on to something else that works. If you play it safe and never challenge the way you position your institution, you’re bound to eventually lose out from another player who does innovate.
Of course, this will always be a balancing act, especially in educational marketing, which is strongly regulated, and rightly so. So working together in this way requires a very close, strategic and trusted relationship between marketing agency and school.