EducationDynamics Survey: Graduate School Marketers Turn Their Focus Online in Face of Budget Cuts

Research Shows That Marketing Campaign Measurement Remains a Challenge for Graduate Schools

CHESTER, PA--(Marketwire - December 4, 2008) - Forty percent of marketing professionals for graduate schools across the country expect their budgets to be cut in 2009, according to a recent survey of more than 300 professionals responsible for marketing their institutions' graduate programs. The online study conducted last month by EducationDynamics, in association with its online graduate schools directory, provides insight into the spending, challenges and opportunities among graduate school admissions offices.

As budgets contract, graduate admissions marketers ranked their greatest challenges as cost, resources and measurement, particularly in online marketing. These challenges are reflected in an interesting dichotomy between the more than 55 percent of respondents indicating that online marketing "generates the majority of their qualified leads today," while less than 20 percent of respondents allocate more than 40 percent of their marketing dollars towards online marketing.

"The conflict between where dollars are being spent and where qualified applicants are being generated is demonstrative of the confusion around graduate school marketing today," said Clara Pitts, product manager at "But it all starts with measurement of what works and what doesn't to make informed decisions, and many grad school marketers do not possess this data."

Nearly 80 percent of those graduate school marketers surveyed indicated they do not know their average cost per start. Then again, only 53 percent track enrollments to start. The remaining respondents indicated they also track applications to enrollments (74 percent), leads to applications (59 percent) and clicks to leads (34 percent), with 14 percent tracking none of these metrics.

Other EducationDynamics survey findings include:

--  Most of graduate school online marketing dollars are dedicated to
    institutional websites (32 percent) and directory listings (25 percent),
    which may drive the conclusion that organic search and directory listings
    topped the list of online marketing mediums that produce the best results
    along with email.
--  42 percent of respondents said they are satisfied with their website
    rankings for the keywords that matter to them.
--  54 percent of graduate school marketers do not participate in
    pay-per-click marketing, a search engine marketing tactics conducted
    through a minute-by-minute bidding process. Among those who do participate,
    only three percent check it daily.

"Given these findings combined with the fact that 60 percent of respondents indicated they were novices in search engine marketing, it might be wise for graduate school marketers to seek professional assistance," continued Pitts. EducationDynamics offers a host of resources for graduate school marketers to learn more about online marketing, including white papers on The Best Practices in Enrollment Marketing Management and Incorporating Lead-Generation Advertising into a Traditional School's Marketing Without Creating Havoc, as well as information on attracting and retaining graduate school students.

The EducationDynamics marketing survey was fielded at the beginning of November with nearly 300 respondents with titles ranging from Director of Admissions, Associate Dean, Director of Web Services, Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Management and e-Marketing Project Manager. Sixty-seven percent represented schools with less than 2,000 students, with 61 percent serving students classified as traditional, on-campus learners; 28 percent classified as non-traditional, on-campus learners; and the rest classified as online learners. Fifty-one percent represented institutions characterized as private, not-for-profit; 41 percent public, not-for-profit; and 8 percent for-profit.

About EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics, a portfolio company of Halyard Capital, is the leading marketing and information services company dedicated to helping higher education institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including,,,, and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of Web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. For more information, visit

Contact Information: Contact: Nikki Martin CSG-PR 303.433.7020