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Here’s How to Build A Year-End Report That Has Value
[00:00:00] Tony Fraga: I don't think you need more, but if you want a full funnel report that truly holds accountable, the things you spent your money and time doing, I believe the only pivot available to you is you need the technology that has the capability of doing full funnel attribution reporting.
[00:00:22] Jaime Gleason: Have you ever wondered if there is a different, maybe even a better way to tackle an enrollment or marketing issue? Are there processes or practices in your institution that you wonder, why does this exist and why has no one bothered to disrupt it?
[00:00:37] Tony Fraga: Or what about a hot new enrollment marketing trend that you've been asked to jump on, but you're not really sure how to do it the right way?
[00:00:46] Or even if it's worth doing at all,
[00:00:49] Jaime Gleason: believe me, we get it. I'm Jamie Gleason, a 20 year veteran of higher ed who has worked both inside and outside the institution and on the vendor side [00:01:00] of enrollment
[00:01:00] Shane Kehl: marketing.
[00:01:01] Tony Fraga: And I'm Tony Fraga, an 18 year recovering higher ed marketer. Who has seen just about every enrollment marketing model in the industry, and we've teamed up to launch the Pivot podcast to take an issue, a hurdle, or an outdated process, and suggest ways to pivot into a new direction or launch into a better process as much as possible.
[00:01:25] We'll use actual example. But we'll try to keep all the takeaways as fresh as
[00:01:29] Jaime Gleason: possible. You'll laugh, heck, you might even cry, but we promise this is a podcast that you won't want to miss. The Pivot is proud to be a part of the Enroll five Podcast Network, and you can subscribe to this firstname.lastname@example.org or wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:01:52] Shane Kehl: We need one of those little action. Thanks. I'm gonna get one of those for Yeah, that'd be fun For the future episodes. Hello and welcome [00:02:00] to episode six of The Pivot, as always here with Tony Fraga and Jamie Gleason. Speaking of movies, Jamie used to work at a school, give us a, give us a movie. The movie of you putting together an annual.
[00:02:16] Enrollment slash marketing report. Let's make it a biography. So go in chronological order. What does that, what does that kind of look like? What did that look like for you? Sure. When you were putting that together.
[00:02:27] Jaime Gleason: I need to throw a caveat out there in that this was an a few years ago, so some of the technology that we use currently wasn't available then.
[00:02:36] Um, and most of the technology that a lot of schools use now, Not a part of what I had access to. I worked at institutions that had very small, if any, CRMs. So most of the annual reporting that I would do would be basically an aggregation of any sort of click or impression or [00:03:00] anything like that that we ran for campaigns.
[00:03:02] Uh, and that would almost be in a separate bucket. How people progressed through the application process. And I would build that manually using Excel spreadsheets to kind of show the funnel. So this was a real hack, uh, in the truest sense of the word. There was a lot of disparate pieces that were brought, brought together, and in some ways, um, what we could do is kind of figure out, hey, which ones are working?
[00:03:30] Which things are working, which mechanisms do we wanna perpetuate? Um, and then also really kind of visit and maybe optimize or get rid of the things that weren't working. Sometimes people, when it comes to year end reporting have the best of intentions, but they don't have either the bandwidth, the tools, or the sometimes even the, like a bigger understanding of like what they need to be measuring to really understand.[00:04:00]
[00:04:00] The how to, how to do this and how to make it work. And I think that's particularly true of institutions that have a lot of point solutions, a lot of things that are like, oh, we're gonna work this here and work this here. And it's nev, nothing comes together cuz it's just. It's just a mess. It's a mess. Is that, does that help?
[00:04:16] I mean, that's not really autobiographical and it certainly doesn't speak that well of, uh, the year end reports that I wanted to make. But give
[00:04:24] Shane Kehl: us a sense of what, what the, um, the core metrics you were looking at when you put together that report. Are you compiling stuff from all over the place and I feel like we weren't into this.
[00:04:31] Yeah. What did you wanna know Where Yeah. Clients come to us and they're like, Hey, we're. Hootsuite, we're using Stripe for our email designs, but sending 'em through Salesforce, but use this for our applicant. And they have, yeah, 17 different tools that Sure. You know, they're also paying subscriptions for and they're all over the place.
[00:04:48] Tony Fraga: then none of the data. And they have a vendor who's doing digital ads. Right? Right. And they have a separate vendor who they're buying lists from. Sure. Uh, and then all the search names. And so what do you want, [00:05:00] Jamie? Right? You worked at an institution, what did you want in, these are sports. What did you want to.
[00:05:04] Jaime Gleason: Uh, is, I mean, I just have to admit I'm getting a little bit of ptsd just like thinking about like having to revisit this cuz it's like, it's like very, it's a lot of aita. Um, what did I wanna know? I wanted to know. Year over year. How did it compare? Right? How did we do, how did the funnel look year over year in almost every section?
[00:05:23] Um, like where, where were the conversion falloffs? Where were the things that we, uh, like geographically? I would, I would actually just go into geo geography and figure out like, hey, where are the areas are the states or the school districts, or things like that. And I wanted to know where, what I really wanted to know.
[00:05:43] Where should I spend my time next year? Mm-hmm. Where should I be telling my team to focus? If I have to give 'em like three areas of focus? Where should those areas be? Should they be, you know, like, Their, their fair, the fair travel that they have to do. Should it be like working [00:06:00] students from application start to application complete?
[00:06:04] Like those were the things that I wanted to, that I really wanted to know. The hard part was with, with point solutions, like it's hard to get those real key performance indicators in order to measure all that because yeah, there's so much noise, right? There's so much noise in the, in the reporting that most people do.
[00:06:25] It's just not a, a lot of times, you know, one of the things that drove me nuts, I've said this story before on other, in other places, but like the thing that drove me nuts was the vendor that would come in, you know, like, uh, you know, there were a handful of vendors that I would, that I would, um, use for lead generation.
[00:06:44] They'd come in and be like, oh yeah, look at all these leads we brought in. Like they're, they, they turned into enrolled students, but the problem was, I was, they, those leads were also receiving our com flow because we bought their s a T scores. So [00:07:00] this vendor, particular vendor was taking credit for something that we were actually cultivating ourselves.
[00:07:05] And it was like, no. Sorry buddy. Like that's not, that is not, you're not responsible for that. That's our work that's kind of happening, you know? Anyway, that's a little
[00:07:15] Shane Kehl: sideway. When you, going back to, you mentioned like reporting on the enrollment funnel, and I guess that could mean a variety of things, again, depending on the tools and level of sophistication you have.
[00:07:24] So is your enrollment funnel from inquiry to enrolled, from new lead to enrolled, from website visit to enrolled, how, where did your funnel
[00:07:31] Jaime Gleason: start? Yeah, I, I would say from inquiry to enrolled was the, those were the statuses that I was looking at, and I think that's where, you know, more technology these days, you know, like in, in our current situation, um, allows us to go higher in the funnel and allows us to go like, hey, What was that point of entry?
[00:07:50] Um, I think, you know, back when I was a director of admissions, uh, like a lot of institutions were really talking about first source, like what's first source? Mm-hmm. Like, where is that coming from? [00:08:00] And, and I, I think that's an, an important thing. But I don't think it is capital T the the most important thing.
[00:08:08] I think, you know, the first source might be important in order to like get them to the table, but really it's like what's being put in front of them that's gonna like keep them moving forward. It's not just like, oh, where they came from. Yeah.
[00:08:23] Tony Fraga: So what's the pivot,
[00:08:24] Shane Kehl: Shane? So I guess the pivot is more of a, is that good enough?
[00:08:31] Yes. Or. If it is, okay. How do you then go and collect all of that data? Yeah. And how much time and energy is that taking you? Too much time. Okay. So the answer's probably no. Yeah, it's not, not good enough. I think most people would agree. The answer is no. Can you do it? Yes. Does it actually give you everything you need to make smarter decision?
[00:08:56] Probably not. So if you're thinking, okay, I just put together my annual [00:09:00] report, or I need to put it together this year, right? It's too late to invest in new tools now and then think I can put together this annual report. But looking into neg we're, you know, getting close to the start of the fiscal year and you're thinking, you know, I wanna shore up my tools this year.
[00:09:13] Mm-hmm. Hmm. What are things that you feel like, and maybe Tony, bounce this over to you, like, okay, pivot from all of the random crap you have now, and the tools and softwares and subscriptions and all that stuff. And go anywhere you, you determine the pivot. Yeah. Pick. We need, we need to streamline what we're paying for, the tools we're using.
[00:09:32] Yeah. And the aggregation of data into a system or two, not 12. Um, yeah. How do you start approaching that, that kind of a challenge?
[00:09:41] Tony Fraga: Yeah, I think the pivot if, if we're talking about reporting and putting together any sort of real report, I think the question is do you want a full funnel comprehensive report or not?
[00:09:51] I think it's okay for the schools who admit and say, you know, we're okay. We don't need that. We just want a basic report or a limited report that doesn't give us true [00:10:00] roi. Information and hold our marketing efforts accountable to the bottom line. If you don't know want that, then you're fine. I don't think you need more, but if you want a full funnel report that truly holds accountable the things you spent your money and time doing, I believe the only pivot available to you is you need the technology that has the capability of doing full funnel attribution reporting, and you cannot do it.
[00:10:29] In a. A a, a piecemeal group of duct tape togethers, point solutions. I just don't think it's possible. I know there's tricks and actually I'm being somewhat hypocritical. I literally taught a cohort two years ago on all these things, guys. I taught a class. And I taught the students in this class. We went for six weeks and I did a whole thing on analytics and reporting.
[00:10:56] And the whole purpose of this class was not getting on like sophisticated [00:11:00] tools like HubSpot, where you've got full marketing attribution control. And it was like, let me show you how you can do this with free tools. Here's the problem. I actually went back to go, uh, did a follow up with, with, um, a. Course on this and I went to, one of the tools I was telling people was free and they changed the tool.
[00:11:18] So the free version doesn't allow you to do what you, what you used to do. So the stuff I taught two years ago, you literally can't do like it was Sim rush. You can't go on sim rush. Yeah. They don't let you do the free tool anymore and you can't do the sub directory. Well that means you're getting the entire institution, which isn't relevant to.
[00:11:35] Of the people who are taking my class. And so it, I, I have to admit now, and I was the guy who taught all the free tools, the hack, the hacks. Well, if you are using Hootsuite in this, or if you're u with this ad vendor, make sure the pixel's here. I'm done with that. I think the pivot is, it's 2023 folks. You just need the tech stack.
[00:11:55] Must have marketing tracking. Uh, [00:12:00] Mm-hmm. That enables you to track every source you're doing. I don't care if it's offline, I don't care if you're doing space ads and billboards. Fine. Put a vanity url. Track that url. Yeah. I don't care if you're putting a, a cool little software tool on your website that does this pop up and trackle that you need to have custom tracking links.
[00:12:18] So just that investment with that vendor, you can track just that work. I don't care if you're doing geotargeting on ads. I don't care if you're doing IP targeting. I don't, I don't care what you're doing. You need a sophisticated system that tracks each source from organic to paid, to email to referral traffic, and you can track it all the way down to not just leads generated, but inquiries and then apps started.
[00:12:43] Mm-hmm. Apps completed. Accepted students. Deposited students enrolled students. And unless you are doing that, then I don't think you can get a. Funnel enrollment marketing report that actually can do what you just said in the very beginning, Jamie, is you wanted to know [00:13:00] comparison data. That's what everybody wants to know.
[00:13:02] It's like, how does this compare to what we did last year?
[00:13:06] Zach Busekrus: Alrighty. We're gonna play a game, guys. Okay. So first and foremost, get a pen, get a paper, pull out your notes, app on your phone, whatever it might be. Got it. Great. Alright. What keywords does your website currently rank for? Take a couple seconds, right?
[00:13:22] 1, 2, 3, 4. I'll give you a few, not just a couple. What doesn't it rank for that you think it should rank for? Okay. 1, 2, 3, 4. Now, what are a few keyword opportunities that you could be winning on if you just simply tweaked some of your existing website? Copy. Got it. Okay. How'd you do?
[00:13:43] Tony Fraga: Ooh.
[00:13:44] Zach Busekrus: Not so hot. Not sure what you can, what you're currently ranking for or not sure what you could be ranking for.
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[00:14:50] All right, folks, back to the show.
[00:14:55] Jaime Gleason: Okay, so I even made the statement that a lot of people, uh, [00:15:00] don't have the time to really invest. Right. And I think the, the, the hard part about like, about having this amalgamation of so many tools that we use and rely on to do the work. Like we, we, I, I think sometimes, you know, like there's this new. Like for, you know, regular people like us, that like shows you how many per subscriptions you have and it will cancel the ones that you're not using.
[00:15:27] Oh yeah. What's that called? I think it's called Rocket. It used to be called, maybe it was Rocket Money. Is that part of it? Yeah, that might be a, anyway, I don't know. No, they get no ad promotion dollars from us or we need from them. I'm sorry. Um, but anyway, uh, like that idea I think is really pervasive in higher ed, right?
[00:15:44] We use all sorts of like different vendors and as a result we get all sorts of different data points. We don't have. Collect them. And like you're saying, Tony, I think what we get out of them a lot of time is either a duplication of influence. Uh, we don't get like, [00:16:00] Hey, this one was, we, we get to watch the trail all the way down to butts and seats, right?
[00:16:04] Like, we can't do that when it's just a point solution and no one has time to tie all those together. Um, but the challenge that I think all higher ed institutions are facing is, The need to do that is higher and higher. More and more like we need to know, like what is bringing people to actually enroll and then how do we do more of that?
[00:16:28] Because the dollars are becoming leaner and the competition is becoming stronger. So as a result of all that, I think the need for that full funnel attribution technology is certainly like, may, maybe more, uh, more needed necessary than. In, in the space and,
[00:16:47] Tony Fraga: and I'm saying, and maybe this is controversial.
[00:16:50] I'm saying the pivot, spice it up, Tony spice it up. If the pivot is trying to say how, if you're saying Shane, so how would you pivot now? Right. Knowing you have to do this report? I think I'm [00:17:00] kind of saying something a little tough, but I think is true. The pivot is you don't, like, you make your report that isn't that that is just vanity metrics and you get that technology now so that a next year you can do that report properly.
[00:17:13] Yeah. But you let go of the ability to do that report properly now cuz I don't think it's possible. Yeah.
[00:17:18] Shane Kehl: Yeah, and I think what one of the, you know, dangers. Putting together one of those reports and then basing your, you know, enrollment 12 month enrollment marketing strategy. Off of that is you're not taking in all of the data points kind of above.
[00:17:31] Let's take Jamie's report, for example. Anything pre inquiry, you're not really taking into account. Well, this particular tactic worked really well to get them there. It's, we did all these things. And it got us these numbers. We have to do all those things again next year. Exactly. And then maybe do more if we want to increase those numbers when you're already low on time, energy, money, any resource, and it's just you're playing this endless game of just burning through time, energy, and money to try and sustain this one kind of [00:18:00] very general and high level benchmark that is kind of based in, in nothing.
[00:18:05] Um, rather than being able to, again, as we're saying with a more sophisticated tool, measure the effectiveness. Emails or a specific digital ad campaign, et cetera, and then really be able to go in and, and analyze that and then have that inform the strategy of where then time, energy, money, resources are spent.
[00:18:22] Um, so as you're looking at platforms, what do you really want from them? What's, what's maybe the early and easy tool? So HubSpot, you mention. Is a robust tool. Do you feel like there are any others or complimentary tools that maybe help you as a starting point? You're a small school like the one Jamie was at and hub us about, maybe doesn't make the most sense for you.
[00:18:50] Um, what do you feel like is a good. Next step or way to start getting maybe HubSpot where, okay, [00:19:00] I can't afford HubSpot in three months, but in a year and three months I can get it. What should I be doing now to try and help some of my higher level reporting?
[00:19:10] Jaime Gleason: One thing that I think has to be done, and this is probably universal, um, that has probably should be.
[00:19:19] By almost everyone. Uh, so, and I'm, I'm gonna, I'm gonna communicate this through a story. This is my favorite way to communicate. Um, so I worked for an ed tech startup for a while, and we worked with this very large, very prestigious school in Pennsylvania, and we totally, like our first year with them, knocked it out of the park.
[00:19:41] Their number of applications were, uh, uh, sorry, the number of enrolled students was like, A, a number of percentage points, but the problem was like there were certain levels of the funnel that were not higher than they were the year before. So [00:20:00] we ended up like not retaining them because even though we had done our job and increased more, we had brought more people to the table to as enrolled students.
[00:20:10] Um, what we hadn't been able to do is maintain these, all these levels of the. That they needed and they never communicated this to us. But anyway, so I think one of the things that everyone, all higher ed leaders need to be doing a little bit more proactively is understanding the numbers and the metrics that matter.
[00:20:30] Um, we've gotten very. Acclimated in this, and I was actually, I just on a phone call just earlier this afternoon with someone on the West coast who was talking about like, yeah, my marketing team is always talking about like our web traffic is like higher than ever, but the problem is the enrollment numbers are lower than ever.
[00:20:49] Mm-hmm. So it doesn't matter what that website traffic looks like, if it's not translating into enrolled students. So we have to start training ourselves to think through [00:21:00] and maybe better decipher. What is the metric that matters and what are the vanity metrics that I've got gotten so used to that I need to stop paying attention to?
[00:21:11] Like that was, sorry, a long way of saying it
[00:21:14] Shane Kehl: again. It's not necessarily about. Um, having more, but having a better understanding of what the metrics are that matter and the quality that comes with those metrics, and starting to try and get a better sense for that so that when you do, even if this is a way down the, you know, line plan for you to get on a more sophisticated tool, no matter what it is you need, you still need to have a good understanding of what the core metrics are and how to measure quality.
[00:21:40] The tool is not necessarily going to measure those. For you, it's gonna give you everything. You still need to determine what's important, what's not important. Where are you getting quality? You can generate, as we've said before, you have a bad digital ad vendor. They can generate 2000 leads and all 2000 of them don't do anything right.
[00:21:57] And it's like, well then your goal of a thousand leads that you [00:22:00] doubled and blew outta the water was actually zero and it was pointless. But if you just look at the numbers, you're thinking, crushed it, but then it doesn't turn into enrollment, and you're thinking, well, why did that? It must just be, we just meet, might need to generate even more leads.
[00:22:13] Um, and then you, you have this terrible strategy based on hitting a, what you thought was a core metric because you didn't judge the quality of, um, you know, the numbers that you're getting. Same thing with, you know, web traffic and anything. And that's why I think with digital ads, you can inflate pretty much any number you want except for those bottom funnel metrics.
[00:22:28] And so how are you really approaching the measurement of that to ensure that you're doing it in an efficient way?
[00:22:35] Tony Fraga: That. And you know, it's like if I had to do this, like what were the questions I would ask? I would want to find out, I would want to take the list. So I'd say, great. What did you get at that top or that at, at the most direct impact of that marketing effort, right?
[00:22:51] Try to use simple language here. Whatever it is, whatever the tactic, whatever the thing. How, what is the list of all the people who that [00:23:00] got sent to Great. Who we know got touched by that? And then I'd cross check that I don't care if you have to do a V lookup in Excel, um, to do this offline. But I would say how many of our, and I would do at least do inquiries started apps, Completed apps.
[00:23:19] I would just start there. I wouldn't, I would even let go of enrolled students because you could just say, Hey, they at least brought in this many apps that started, and at that point, you know, there could be other reasons why they didn't finish. That's not their fault necessarily. I, I'm, I, I'm fine to keep it simple and I would still take that other list and say, how many people on your list or also on this other list of everyone who started an application and tell me the names of those.
[00:23:42] I don't want just clicks. I want names of humans, and I would do that with every tactic. I would do that with each thing. That's what I would do. The problem is I know that that's next to impossible for most folks. That's why I'm really saying the pivot is really not a pivot. It's you gotta go. You actually do need this software today.
[00:23:59] But if I [00:24:00] were to do it, that's what I would do. I would say, you gotta go look at that, and you gotta take your list of everyone. You did this thing and, and you generated this many visitors. Out of all those visitors, how many are also on this list? I would just even take, and then you're looking at two layers.
[00:24:14] I'm okay with just influence attribution it. They don't have to get a hundred percent credit. They're sourced and influence. That's how we report on how many, what percentage were sourced, what percentage were influenced. Credit means the marketing tactic gets some amount of credit for contribut. Two, that prospect's journey towards the next stage.
[00:24:37] And so I'm okay with that. I, it's not giving them all of the credit, it's giving them partial credit, but even that is hard for folks to find. But that's what I would do. I would get the list, I would print the list out, like in Excel and say, tell me how many of your folks who you're. You brought this many leads.
[00:24:55] Okay, search you. You had this many people who we bought from you, [00:25:00] or you take all the people who clicked any of the emails in the search emails. Let's just take the clickers. Let's take everyone who went to this event. You promoted the event. Okay? So that your event. How many of those event people also did this other thing and just get one to one.
[00:25:13] I think that's just basic Excel lookup work. But if you just did that, that's so much work. You would be way more invi. I know. It's so much work. That's so you need, that's why you need the tech stack if
[00:25:24] Shane Kehl: you don't have Tough spot. Yeah. If you can't pay for the tools, I think there are other tools
[00:25:28] Tony Fraga: you pay with the time.
[00:25:29] Here's the problem with the other tools. There are other tools, but you have to set them upright for it to do it. Yeah, and I think that's the other issue. And they're expensive. The pivot, maybe The pivot is investing in a tool technician, a marketing technologist who really knows you're a platform who can make sure you're getting 90% of the value and not 20%.
[00:25:48] And then there's some stat that like higher. The average higher ed institution is only getting 20%, using 20% of the features of the software that they have. Yeah. And the other 80% they're not really using. Um, and [00:26:00] there are, there are many companies out there. Mm-hmm. There are many specialists out there you can get that'll help you with Salesforce slate, you know, element 4 51.
[00:26:08] Like all, all the tools, there's, there's tons of them. I just think you need to set it up right because it's not, the tool won't. For you. Right. And we love Hub Hop, but HU Hop won't do it for you have to set it up, right? Yeah. Or else you have the really cool tool, but in it, you're like, I don't see it.
[00:26:22] Mm-hmm. I, that's where, that's the pivot. That's where I would invest, is like, I'd get help with that
[00:26:27] Shane Kehl: report. Right. And I think, you know, other side of that coin, as we mentioned too, is you can set it up right and have all the data you need, but if you don't know how to read it, interpret it, analyze it, it also doesn't do you any good.
[00:26:38] Yeah. Yeah. Um, and so it's really to the two sides of. What you want to get out of it. And that's why I was talking about trying to measure, even before you get on a tool, starting to try and understand what you want from a tool in an ideal world, right? What do you want to be able to see and what do you wanna make, be able to make decisions off of, and then set up your tool to be able to track those things so that you're in a good spot a year from now to be [00:27:00] able to make informed decisions rather than going, okay, we had HubSpot, we had Element, we had slate, whatever it might be for a.
[00:27:07] Oh, we weren't collecting this, or oh, we weren't tracking that. And then it's, well, you lost a year. Like you, you paid money for the tool that you didn't, you kind of wasted that money. You didn't really need it. It probably gave you some advantages of time. But um, you know, you're not in a great spot. And so what would maybe your recommendation be?
[00:27:24] Let's say you don't have somebody internally. I think, you know, a lot of these platforms will kind of do some of your onboarding for you, but you need somebody to know. What are your thoughts on outsourcing the onboarding or the even reporting? Is that a thing? Can you say, Hey, I'm on HubSpot DEI Agency, put together a report for me that shows me all this data.
[00:27:51] I don't know HubSpot as well as you guys do. Would you do that for us? Do you think that's possible, or would you say no school? You know, out of, we would love to [00:28:00] take your money and do that for you, but we think you actually have to do this because if you don't, you're never really gonna understand your numbers.
[00:28:05] What are your thoughts?
[00:28:06] Jaime Gleason: That's an interesting one. I don't know that we've ever had a company, or have we ever had someone come to us and say that? I think they're, first
[00:28:12] Tony Fraga: of all, we have, we actually have, we've had, we've had, we've had a couple schools already on Hub Hubot who've essentially said they need custom dashboarding and reporting work.
[00:28:20] Yeah. Here's the problem. In every instance that we've tried to do that, it's gotta be set up. Uh, so the short answer is we could if certain things were true. Yeah. Which is very rare that there's true. So here's the problem is, um, often, while that sounds great and cool to do, normally there's, there's not things set up right to be able to generate the right reports.
[00:28:41] Right? Here's a real example. Often it has to do with aligning the basic marketing fields with the basic application fields. And every school has different codes and ways they, they define the application statuses, and sometimes there's multiple variables, multiple, um, form [00:29:00] definitions. For applicants in certain stages.
[00:29:02] Those are crucial stages when, when com combining back to marketing. And if marketing doesn't know what the enrollment team's stage definitions are, you actually can't do these reports correctly. And normally there's a disintegration between those two things. And then there's a, we just can't do this.
[00:29:20] Mm-hmm. And. Um, I think it takes an alignment of the field, so it is, it is done. And when we have done it, we've just had to go do a bunch of work first. Mm-hmm. We couldn't just go make the report out of the data as they had it. Yeah. We had to clean up and do some list hygiene Yeah. In order to make the report that they needed.
[00:29:37] But we have made it. Um, but there's often things you gotta do to clean things up and, um, I You just need schools to be realistic that, yeah. There's a lot of different ways to do it and you have to kind of have the data
[00:29:50] Shane Kehl: fields lined up. Yeah. I'd have to think too that in potentially going to, let's say you were set up, well, you had, you know, that marketing technologist who got you up and running on [00:30:00] HubSpot.
[00:30:01] He, she left and now you're thinking, Hmm, how are we gonna go about putting this report together? I, I would think a vendor could also give you some good insight into where you may be weak and where you may be strong. That, I think is one of the, tends to be one of the sticky points, at least from my experience with schools of.
[00:30:18] Okay, great. These are our numbers. These are our benchmarks that we're operating off of. We need to increase this number to get, again, that trickle down at these percentages. Um, when in reality you might be like, well, actually your, you know, inquiry to app numbers are terrible that spend way more time and energy there.
[00:30:35] You don't necessarily need more leads to try and increase that total enrollment goal. Um, if you just fix your com flow, you could, you know, but they have no idea. Okay, we're at an X percent conversion rate, and it is what it is, and it's kind of stuck there, and everything else needs to work around that.
[00:30:50] Um, and a vendor may be able to give you maybe a little more insight into like, oh, you're way below the average, or you're above the average. Um, reinvest your time here. And so, [00:31:00] curious, you know, Jamie, maybe some of your thoughts on schools that don't have that tech stack that you've Yeah. You know, talked with, do you feel like they generally have a sense of where they maybe fit?
[00:31:10] From a performance stand marketing performance standpoint, or do you think they're like, Nope, these are our numbers. Yeah, and they are what they are.
[00:31:17] Jaime Gleason: Yeah. I mean, I think there's a probably a little bit of both end, right? I think the professional associations do a good job, at least some of the ones that I've been involved in, of like saying, Almost like crafting, uh, a, it's probably a little too cookie cutter of a, like, here's where your, you know, conversion rate should be at these certain levels.
[00:31:38] But I do think there's an awful lot of that, like comparing ourselves to ourselves year over year, over year, over year. And eventually you're the frog and warm water that's like, oh my goodness, it's. Well, we're one click or one 100th of a percentage point lower than we were last year. Not so bad, but the [00:32:00] problem was last year is eight points.
[00:32:02] 8%, yeah. Full percentage points below what the rest of the industry is experiencing. So I think that there's a ton of that, and I think there's a lot of value in what you're saying of like I, I'm a huge believer in just getting that third party perspective of like, okay, here's what we're doing. Here's the whole you.
[00:32:19] The whole kitten caboodle of what our prospective students are getting and vendor or consultant or whomever. Like, what are we missing? Where, where are the holes? Where are the blind spots? What don't we see because we've been in it for so long. Mm-hmm. And I think those reports, you know, the reporting does shine a light on some of that.
[00:32:42] I think, you know, if, if you don't have a robust tech stack that can, that can give you that attribution, I think. There's a, there's another place to be. Um, I think there's another, uh, the reality is I think we should a, the very minimum understand what are we expecting out of [00:33:00] the channels we're using, like, we're using digital, and I expect digital to have an impact on this level of the funnel.
[00:33:08] I'm using email and I'm expecting email to having this, this, that's fair at, at the very least, like understanding. Define success.
[00:33:16] Tony Fraga: Exactly. Define what does success look? I was just thinking that. Yeah. So I will say that, and that's the easy way. Maybe that's the pivot. We just figured out the. That's fair. I would do that.
[00:33:25] You're right, Jamie. I would say, Hey, what was this thing's job to do? What is what? How did we want to measure success? So let's, but ideally you did this originally, but let's say you didn't, and you've gotta make this report right now, Shane. I would say, okay, well, what did you think its role was in the process?
[00:33:44] Okay, so it was on the hook for Generat. What this many page visits. Great. As long as you know, we were at 10,000 and we wanted to double, we wanted 20,000 more views and that thing's job was to get 20,000. Can you at least report on that and then go to the next step? [00:34:00] After we got those visits, we wanted to get this many.
[00:34:02] Conversions. And we got, we wanted 3000 conversions. We only got 2000. Okay, great. And then of those conversions, we wanted this many inquiries, we wanted this many event, RSVs, we expected this many people to attend. What was the show rate you were going for and what were the things, jobs to do that I would do that.
[00:34:18] Yeah. And that's right. Still not a full funnel report, but, but at least bit way closer. But you tape that all together and you got a. And you can make smarter decisions off that and you'll find your
[00:34:29] Jaime Gleason: gaps. Right. Well, and also what you'll be able to identify in that is like, okay, I'm counting on this to do this job, but I've got like four other tools that are also there.
[00:34:39] They're not doing it. Like, let's get rid of two of 'em. Let's experiment with a new one and let's keep the one that was the best of the, you know, the best of the worst. And, and, and, you know what I mean? So like, I think that's where this opt, like that is the, uh, that's the hack job on optimization, you know, like, uh, of taking your tools and like reducing the noise, [00:35:00] but also, you know, not throwing out the things that do have some value, some workability.
[00:35:05] I think that that's, that's. Right.
[00:35:08] Shane Kehl: Yeah. And as you're saying, lining up all those things will give you a good sense of where potential gaps may be of Okay. We generated all these new contacts, we hit our new contact goal from, you know, digital ads for just general leads, and then we have a com flow to take leads and put them into, you know, to get them to be inquiries or beyond.
[00:35:25] We didn't get as many inquiries as we thought. So it's a digital ad email or both problem. Yeah. Let's go look at those. Right. And it, it shows you where to drill in, where Yeah. To be able to get a deeper understanding. What tactically, rather than kind of like your broad strategy, what tactically is not working as well as you thought it was.
[00:35:43] Um, to allow you to hone in what you want to tweak rather than saying it didn't work. We need to fix the whole top of the funnel, um, and change everything. Right? When you AB test, you don't have one page and then one page that is completely different, right? And ab test them, you. The form options or the [00:36:00] CTA color or a couple things, you're not changing everything.
[00:36:02] Yeah. Um, and taking that, you know, same approach to your marketing campaigns is probably a good way to give you insight again into what T is working, not
[00:36:09] Jaime Gleason: working. Yeah. Well, and this points back report, this points back to the age old higher ed problem of. Like, this is how the funnel got its formation in the first place.
[00:36:19] Right. I'm counting on this to do, yep. This job, but then, oh wait, I, I'm expecting it to go all the way down through, so it's like, oh, I don't have enough enrolled students. Let's put more digital ads in the space. It's like, mm-hmm. Nope. Let's isolate, optimize, and then look at how it changes things. Yeah.
[00:36:39] Shane Kehl: I thought that was gonna be a three.
[00:36:41] Isolate, optimize,
[00:36:43] Jaime Gleason: and then, uh, measure. There you go. Isolate, optimize, measure. Awesome.
[00:36:49] Shane Kehl: Perfect. We wrapped it up. Everything can be encapsulated in those three words. Thinking about your next few weeks here, as we approach, you know, we're getting close to the end of the fiscal [00:37:00] year, um, for a lot of schools, what are you all working on clients with or doing on your own?
[00:37:07] In kind of prep for the end of the fiscal year or even to begin the next, the next year. Sure. Um, what's, what's on your
[00:37:13] Jaime Gleason: minds? I, I mean this, this topic is apropo to where we are with a lot of clients as we round out to the end of the fiscal year because we. Uh, work on a lot of, we're we're in the middle of
[00:37:24] Shane Kehl: doing this right now.
[00:37:25] Yeah. Yes, we are. This is what we, you wanna know what we're working on? We're working on this right now
[00:37:29] Tony Fraga: to the nth degree.
[00:37:30] Jaime Gleason: Yeah. Yeah. I love one of the things, uh, as, as the newcomer to Didi agency on this, you know, in this podcast, the newest come but not new. Um, The, uh, one of the things that I love is the investment in reporting that we have, but mm-hmm.
[00:37:46] That we don't actually have to do a lot of the, you know, acrobatics that we've been talking about, gymnastics, sorry. That's the way people use that phrase. They, we don't have to do the gymnastics in order to get there that we've been talking about in this podcast. So [00:38:00] lengthy, robust, deep reports that show.
[00:38:05] Yeah. Tip to tail, Hey, how this student came in, including the touchpoints that they had. Like that's what we're working on. That's, that will be, that is our life, uh, during the month of May and June. Yeah.
[00:38:19] Shane Kehl: Tony and the other thing I'd say we're working on, yeah, it's just, that's, I'm sure it's the same for you, but also what else we're,
[00:38:26] Tony Fraga: we're doing a lot of that.
[00:38:28] I would, I would double on that and I would say, We're actually working on a brand new kind of a presentation that is speaking to the five strategic areas. This is related to sustainable enrollment marketing and which is a whole nother topic for another day. But essentially we're working on essentially exposing the lie that, um, marketing has to be more and bigger and better, stronger, faster, and that what schools really need is sustain.
[00:38:56] Marketing, sustainable enrollment marketing plans, and that [00:39:00] actually has to get into these five areas, these strategic areas, that enrollment, marketing cover, and this goes beyond just marketing tactics and stuff. So this gets into your brand and your core messaging. Mm-hmm. This gets into your people. Who are the face of your brand?
[00:39:17] Mm-hmm. Your enrollment team, your admissions team. This gets into budget and allocation of dollars. Uh, it, it's just much bigger than just what people typically think of, like getting on the board with the best marketing tax. So that's what we're working on. I won't say anything more for Jamie. Jamie kicks me under the table.
[00:39:35] This is a very important big message that comes from years of research and experience. Mm-hmm. In seeing what is missing and helping schools identify where they need to improve. Because the truth is what one school needs is very different than the other school does, and how can we help schools identify those, those areas quicker?
[00:39:54] Mm-hmm. So there's less time wasted in the wrong places and more time spent in the right direction. [00:40:00] Mm-hmm.
[00:40:00] Jaime Gleason: I think there's four words. I think there's four. Okay. It's identify, isolate, optimize. Remeasure. Remeasure. Ooh. I like that. And actually, that has everything to do with that presentation too. So that's what got me thinking about
[00:40:16] Shane Kehl: that.
[00:40:17] If only that was a prettier acronym. I know IOM isn't, or I,
[00:40:21] Tony Fraga: Jamie, we should add that in as a graphic.
[00:40:23] Shane Kehl: That's good one. Totally. That's Love. Thator. That's a, there you go. EOR can use 'em. Onor. Yeah, you can use 'em on your slide. There we go. Be here first. Folks. Branding. You heard it here first. This is all righty.
[00:40:34] This is our creative process. And, and that's how we'll end with Youor. Um, thank you all for listening to episode number six of the Pivot. Hope to see you again in two weeks.
[00:40:59] Zach Busekrus: Hey all, Zach [00:41:00] here from Enroll Fight. If you like this podcast, chances are you'll like other enroll FI shows too. Our podcast network is growing by the month, and we've got a plethora of marketing admissions and higher ed technology shows that are jam-packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks that are all designed to empower you to become a better higher ed professional.
[00:41:18] Our shows feature a selection of the industry's best as your host. Learn from Mickey baes, Jeremy Tier, Jamie Hunt, Karen Myers, Jamie Leason, and many, many more. You can learn more about the Enroll five Podcast email@example.com. Our shows help higher ed marketers and admissions professionals find their next big idea.
[00:41:36] Find yours at podcasts dot nullify dot.
About the Episode
The what's what...
Reporting can be incredibly challenging, especially when the software and tools you use are all different platforms that house their own data.
Even if that is your reality, Tony, Jamie, and Shane dive into how you can build a report that has value and will help determine your goals for the upcoming year. Don’t spend another year not tracking your KPIs to the best of your ability – tune in now to learn more!
This episode is brought to you by our friends at DD Agency:
DD Agency is a higher ed-specific marketing technology agency that has conducted countless SEO Audits for colleges and universities across the country.
In these audits, they detail where you currently rank, what you could be ranking for, exactly how copy should be tweaked on website pages, and much more.
If this sounds like something you could benefit from, give those folks a ping and be sure to mention that Enrollify sent you to claim a 10% discount on any of their SEO offerings.
Head on over tovenrollify.org/ddaseo, or simply follow the link in the show notes below…that will guarantee you get a 10% discount off of your audit.
About the Enrollify Podcast Network
The Pivot is a part of the Enrollify Podcast Network. If you like this podcast, chances are you’ll like other Enrollify shows too!
Our podcast network is growing by the month and we’ve got a plethora of marketing, admissions, and higher ed technology shows that are jam-packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks all designed to empower you to be a better higher ed professional. Our shows feature a selection of the industry’s best as your hosts. Learn from Jeremy Tiers, Zach Busekrus, Jaime Hunt, Corynn Myers, Jamie Gleason, and many more.
Learn more about The Enrollify Podcast Network at podcasts.enrollify.org. Our shows help higher ed marketers and admissions professionals find their next big idea — come and find yours!
About the Podcast
Tony is the CEO and a marketing strategist at DD — an enrollment marketing technology agency that specializes in implementing inbound, content-based methodologies. He leads a team of fast-paced marketing innovators, who handle everything from content creation to marketing automation, and thrives at the intersection of strategy and technology. Tony speaks regularly at higher education and non-profit marketing conferences on the topics of content marketing, SEO, and the latest trends in digital media.
Shane is the Chief Edutainment Officer for Enrollify. He takes any opportunity to make marketing fun and enjoyable while maintaining a healthy level of helpfulness and data-backed information. When he’s not being sarcastic or irritating Zach, he’s enjoying a sports game or nice brunch – mimosa, hold the OJ. His goal is to make higher ed even more fun and lively by injecting new ideas wherever he can.
Jamie Gleason is the Vice President Of Enrollment Strategy at Direct Development. He brings over 15 years of higher education experience to the team; almost a decade of which was spent on campus(es) and nearly six years was in edtech. A self-proclaimed "farmer + fixer," Enrollment has always provided the perfect challenge for him! He's happiest when mining through spreadsheets, results, and (generally) any type of data!
We partner with the best, to provide the best information.
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DD Agency is a digital marketing agency for higher education with a propensity for marketing technology. They're the only HubSpot Platinum Partner Agency that exclusively serves the enrollment marketing space. Living out their mission statement "We help Davids beat Goliaths" means DD helps clients develop inbound marketing strategies that use content and marketing automation to achieve their enrollment goals. Whether you're looking for a full-fledged, 12-month strategic marketing plan, or just a fresh approach to a blitz campaign, they're the marketing partner you want in your corner! The DD team is guided by 6 core values: treat clients like family, be ridiculously helpful, challenge conventional thinking, treasure transparency, adapt and improve, and "make it fridge-worthy."learn more
The Pivot is a bi-weekly podcast that addresses real-time enrollment marketing challenges and meets them head-on with strategic insights and tactics. Join Tony Fraga, Jamie Gleason, and Shane Kehl to get inspired, build a game plan, and find your next great pivot.
This show is hosted and brought to you by the giant slayers at DD Agency —an enrollment marketing technology agency that helps colleges and universities recruit right-fit students through SEO, content marketing, and marketing automation. Learn more about DD Agency here.
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