2017 Higher Education Digital Marketing & Web Survey

Almost there for another year; we’re closing submissions for our 2017 Higher Education Digital Marketing & Web Survey this Friday, July 28th (still a few days to get involved). Thanks to everyone that participated, you’ll all receive a FREE copy of the completed report.

Although the survey is still open, we couldn’t help ourselves and we’ve taken a sneak peek at some of the findings. To put it simply, the results are more than a little surprising. Trump, Brexit and the past 18 months of general political and economic commotion have caused waves in the higher education sector (globally). Whether it’s fears over student recruitment targets, international recruitment barriers or simply perceptions of job security the 2017 report will be a must read.

But before we start compiling and analyzing the data (we’ll do that next week) we thought we’d take a trip through memory lane.

2016 Report Highlights

  • 49% of Institutions received an increase in digital marketing funding (11% stated budgets were cut)
  • 45% of respondents declared their marketing team size increased (8% has team reduced)
  • 80% of respondents stated student recruitment was the biggest institutional goal that defined the web strategy
  • 28% of respondents stated that international students accounted for more than 10% of total student numbers
  • Facebook remained the dominant social media platform for driving conversion (77%); number one for driving engagement (64%) and number for future allocation of resources (49%)

2015 Report Highlights

  • 31% of Web Administrators in higher education now report into Communications/Marketing as opposed to 13% in 2014 survey
  • 82% of respondents cited student recruitment activities as the organizational goal that had the greatest impact on defining their institutional web strategy.
  • 53% of Higher Education respondents said their institution underwent a web transformation project in the past 12 months
  • 32% of these projects were carried out in-house only; 53% were a combination of in-house and external agency; and 15% external agency only
  • 10% of respondents stated that their most recent web transformation project was greater than 5 years ago

2014 Report Highlights

  • Control of online strategy has moved from the IT team to a collaborative effort between web, marketing, alumni and recruitment
  • Student recruitment is driving digital engagement strategies at nine out of ten higher education institutions while student retention is only impacting strategies at 34% of institutes
  • Similarly, only 38% of respondents stated their institution concentrate on alumni engagement and fundraising activities when developing their web strategies
  • 65% of respondents have a dedicated international website
  • 57% of respondents stated that prospective student leads generated online are not being measured by CRM systems
  • When it comes to social media, 95% of respondents dedicate the majority of their efforts to Facebook, followed closely by Twitter (94%)

It’s a fair assessment to say that the geopolitical events of the past 12-18 months will have a profound and potentially lasting impact on higher education globally. How can it not? Student recruitment was already a growing concern for universities and colleges for years and now not only are they having to ‘sell’ their institutions but also they now have to convince international prospects that they are welcome to come to their countries too.

This will only intensify competition and put increasing pressure on web, marketing and recruitment teams. Is this already being felt? We’ll know more once we’ve written and released the report.

Still a few days to go before we close the survey; don’t miss out on your opportunity to contribute to the insights.