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TERMINALFOUR Global Higher Education Survey reveals 49% of Institutions Received an Increase in Digital Marketing Investment in Past 24 Months

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Survey of 377 marketing, web, recruitment and leadership professionals from 298 higher education institutions in US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia and South Africa reveals 49% of Institutions Received an Increase in Digital Marketing Investment in Past 24 Months

Boston, September 27th, 2016: TERMINALFOUR, the digital marketing and web content management platform for higher education, today announced results of its Global Higher Education Survey which shows that 49% of institutions received an increase in digital marketing funding or investment in the past twenty-four months. 11% of respondents stated that they’ve had their budgets cut.

This 49% includes 24% of participants that said their digital marketing operational budget had increased and also 25% that stated their budget has remained the same but additional funding was received for once off projects. A further 38% stated their budget had remained the same. Furthermore, 45% of respondents declared that their digital marketing team size increased with 46% saying it stayed the same and 8% having experienced a reduction in the past twenty-four months.

Piero Tintori, CEO and founder, TERMINALFOUR, said, “The biggest surprise for me is the 11% reduction in digital marketing budget. I genuinely find this shocking. As international recruitment becomes increasingly important to meet numbers, as domestic competition gets fiercer and because prospective students are so digitally sophisticated and motivated I’m amazed that digital budgets aren’t ring-fenced”.

“Student recruitment continues to be, by some measure, the single biggest goal for university marketing and recruitment teams. While traditional media is still impactful, our research shows that it’s becoming less and less so. The big challenge is to ensure that online initiatives are resourced and funded appropriately to guarantee the performance of the entire marketing function isn’t impeded”, he concluded.

The research also revealed that student recruitment (80% of respondents) is by some measure the biggest institutional goal that defines the web strategy. Promotion of research followed a distant second (8%), student recruitment (6%) and alumni engagement and fundraising activities (5%).

44% of respondents stated that the number of visits to the website was the most important metric their institution most relies on to measure online success followed by form submissions (31%) and then social media engagement (10%).

Piero Tintori, said, “This was another surprise. Traffic is obviously a good indicator of performance but it’s really only a vanity metric that doesn’t link visits with actual institutional goals. It’s completely understandable that people are prone to track traffic as it’s an easy metric to identify in Google Analytics but it’s equally important to put tracking in place that measures tangible milestones in the student recruitment process.”

Interestingly the survey highlighted the importance of international student recruitment as a percentage of total student numbers. 28% of respondents stated that international students account for more than 10% of total student numbers (14% greater than 20% and 15% greater than 10% of total). An additional 14% stated that international student recruitment accounted for more than 5% of total student recruitment.

To download the full 2016 Higher Education Web Survey Report click here.