Keep Up with TERMINALFOUR

Stay up to speed with our news and events as we continue our journey to help universities and colleges boost their online performance

TERMINALFOUR Global Higher Education Survey finds a sizeable shift in reporting structures in higher education

Release Date:

Boston, 8 September 2015: TERMINALFOUR today announced results of its Global Higher Education Survey which shows a significant shift in reporting structures in higher education web and marketing teams. The survey revealed that 31%of IT/Web Administrators in higher education are now reporting into Communications/Marketing; a jump from 13% in 2014 survey.

• 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
• Survey of 257 marketing, web and leadership professionals from 150+ higher education institutions in US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia and South Africa.

Where IT/Web professionals reported into Communications/Marketing the majority (79%) where based in the US in stark contrast to the rest of the world. Piero Tintori, CEO and founder, TERMINALFOUR, said, “These results are indicative of a trend we’re seeing in higher education worldwide. Web and online performance is less an infrastructure and technical consideration rather increasingly been recognized as a cornerstone of institutional success metrics and brand building. Marketing has always been given budget but now it’s also been given leadership at the executive level with the appointments of CMOs, Directors of Communications and so on.”

Future results show that 53% of higher education (HE) institutions have invested in a website transformation project within the past 12 months. The US is the leading the way, representing 55% of this figure and the UK following with 38%.

Interestingly, 10% of respondents stated that their institution had not undergone a web transformation project in the past 5 years. Of the 55% of institutions that underwent a 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.

Piero Tintori, CEO and founder, TERMINALFOUR, said, “Many universities and colleges have been in a holding pattern the past few years trying to weather the storm of the global recession. While understandable, it’s a dangerous and counterproductive stance to take to remain competitive. The reality is that with advances in web and digital marketing technologies, the evolution of web design and the changes in user experience expectations, there is no such thing as standing still. You’re either investing in online to keep pace or you’re resigned to falling behind.

“That 53% of respondents have undergone a web transformation project in the past 12 months is extremely encouraging and highlights recognition that investment in digital strategy is an investment in the business success of universities and colleges,” Tintori continued.

The research revealed that 82% of respondents cited student recruitment activities as the organizational goal that had the greatest impact on defining their institutional web strategy. Alumni engagement and fundraising activities had the least impact with only 4% selecting it. Interestingly, 26% of respondents stated that their institution doesn’t have a published strategic plan.

Piero Tintori, CEO and founder, TERMINALFOUR, said, “It’s no great surprise that student recruitment is the number one goal driving the web strategy. Empty seats, competition for ‘high value’ quality students are costing universities and colleges millions in revenue, as well as untold damage to their brand and long-term reputations. It’s critical that web strategies are aligned with the organizational goals of the institution so that relevant KPIs can be set and measured, which underscores the entire success of the digital agenda.”

The survey respondents consisted of 257 marketing, web and leadership professionals from 150+ higher education institutions in US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia and South Africa.

The full TERMINALFOUR Higher Education Web Survey is available for download from: www.terminalfour.com/survey2015/