Poll: Educational institutions use traditional DM, not search

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While more than 60 percent of respondents to a poll of online and campus-based post-secondary educational institutions are implementing traditional advertising and direct marketing programs or relying on events to connect with candidates, less than 50 percent are using search engine optimization techniques or buying leads, and 4 percent admitted to having none of those marketing vehicles in place.

These were key findings from an online poll conducted by Wakefield, MA-based CourseAdvisor, a marketing and lead generation company that operates an online education directory, and Boston-based Eduventures, a research and consulting firm for the education industry.

The opinion poll of executives representing a mix of more than 75 online and campus-based postsecondary educational institutions took place during a recent online Webinar.

The poll also found that more than 33 percent of executives were not sure if they were reaching tomorrow's candidates.

The Webinar discussed postsecondary marketing trends, the changing student profile, best-practice ways to reach today and tomorrow's students, and advanced tools for lead generation and enrollment strategies.

As the post-secondary market grows and the student landscape continues to evolve, Eduventures projected school spending on marketing initiatives to grow to almost $2 billion by 2010 - after topping $1 billion in 2006.

"Data is a key ingredient in post-secondary recruiting, but today's institutional leaders are still figuring out how to capture the right data, and how to put that data to use," said Noah Carp, a senior analyst for Eduventures, in a statement. "Schools need to leverage data to drive strategic decisions, evaluate objectives against the backdrop of broad market dynamics, craft marketing plans that are targeted, and invest in the technologies to facilitate these initiatives."

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