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Corynn MyersCorynn Myers, Digital Marketing Manager at the University of Michigan, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2020 Higher Ed Analytics Conference.

In this 4-question interview, Corynn tells us about higher ed analytics in 2020, a success story, a data analysis technique and what higher ed leaders really need to understand about analytics.

1) What’s next in 2020 for higher ed analytics?

Business data. I have peers who cringe at this term because they believe it suggests we must swap our socially responsible framework for a profit-driven corporate mindset.

This is definitely not the case, but we must be realistic in our approaches. With higher ed headed for a prospective student cliff, trying to keep the lights on will become a very real reality. So, each and every campaign, social media channel, print piece and other communication efforts should be evaluated and scrutinized through the lens of business data.

Does this effort play a part in helping us achieve institutional goals? How do you know? Does this effort have measurable ROI?

It’s no longer enough to check a box, all marketing efforts should be intentional and measurable.

How do we get there?

Step 1: hire data-first marketers.
Step 2: put marketers at the table when strategic initiatives and planning occur
Step 3: break down silos, specifically data silos

Here @UMich we are trying really hard to take marketing out of the restrictive box it’s been in for so long. Marketing is like 10% paid media strategy and 18,461% everything else. Marketing is truly everything and we are proving that over and over again through campaign successes, educating our own leadership and our peers and constantly talking about all the data, optimizations and elements required to be successful.

2020 Higher Ed Analytics Conference

2) Tell us about your biggest analytics success story!

In 2018, the University of Michigan deployed the “This is Michigan” campaign, a multifaceted effort to dispel myths about higher education within the state of Michigan.

An agency was tasked with the paid media strategy as other U-M teams took on the earned and owned strategies. Long story short, the campaign was brought in-house and re-strategized through the lens of the business goals we wanted to achieve.

While the agency reported on video views, we really wanted the campaign to focus on multiple metrics that showed us we were building brand advocacy. We thought through what key performance indicators really would get us to that goal and how we could achieve more through paid media and data analysis.

Ultimately, the strategy was revamped and we’ve seen a 30%-increase in metrics across the board including video retention rates, time on site, social shares and more.

3) What’s the data analysis technique (or trick) you’ve found the most helpful?

We apply a specific formula during our brainstorming sessions for recruitment campaigns that is incredibly helpful in estimating what it’s going to take to reach a specific goal.

Once we’ve gone through the formula process, we can show our partners “the world” and then have a realistic conversation about budget and app numbers. Want the formula? I will share it in my session at the 2020 Higher Ed Analytics Conference :-).

4) What are the top 3 points higher ed leaders should “get” about analytics?

  1. Data and analytics inform and create better strategies. You will never know the best strategy to deploy without analytics and data. What if your lead campaign should actually be a yield campaign? What if the thing preventing you from meeting development goals is actually the experience on the donation page and not the Facebook ad? You’re wasting money and time when strategies are not backed by data. Take the guessing out of what you do. What does the data say?
  2. Hiring data-first marketers will completely transform how you operate for the better. Demand more from your teams and start hiring data-first marketers. Marketers with this type of mindset think differently and insert data-backed approaches to everything they do.
  3. Data and analytics can protect you. Waiting to utilize data and analytics until you have an application problem is too late. When done right and used correctly, data and analytics can protect you from downturns and make your strategies and processes stronger.

A conference focusing on higher ed analytics?

The 2020 Higher Ed Analytics Conference (#HEA20) is a must-attend event for higher ed marketing professionals and teams looking for inspiration, ideas and best practices to step up their analytics and measurement game in 2020

Read below what your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Analytics Conference said about their experience.

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