Thanks to the expansion of marketing technology over the past few years, we’ve gained the ability to tailor paid search campaigns with more granularity than ever before. One of the key enhancements that have made this possible is the practice of back-end data integration. As important as this is for all kinds of business models, it is equally or more important for marketers in the education space.
No longer is it sufficient to simply run a marketing campaign with the single goal of collecting leads. Your top-funnel leads are all going to have varying degrees of qualification. They will have different interests and time frames for looking into your programs. They will interact with your website, offers, YouTube videos and other content pieces in different ways. Each of these factors aggregates to a profile that might demand different messaging and methods of interacting in order to maximize the impact of your campaigns.
What Is Back-End Integration?
So what is back-end integration, and how is it done? Simply put, back-end data integration links the results of your front-end marketing efforts like paid search and SEO to the back-end processes used to follow up with those individuals and guide them to an eventual closed sale. However, this can be far easier said than done. The complexity of the integration greatly depends on the complexity and variation in your messaging, as well as the length and makeup of your lead follow-up process.
The first requirement for performing back-end integration is having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that will support it. Off-the-shelf CRM’s, such as Salesforce, Netsuite, and Zoho, offer various levels of customization and integration with your marketing data. Custom/in-house CRM’s, on the other hand, are probably going to be harder to integrate.
The idea for building out your back-end integration is being able to tie up-front details (what a person searched for on Google, what landing page they went to, what offer they initially requested, the device they were on, etc.) with factors that emerge as the person moves down the funnel. These details might include responsiveness to an email follow-up sequence, whether or not they spoke with someone on the phone, and whether or not and over what period of time they eventually decided to enroll.
A successful integration provides a number of important benefits, including the following:
Extremely Actionable Data
When you can clearly see how your leads are converting and interacting with you on the back-end, you will be able to make much more informed decisions about your marketing deployment. Let’s say a certain group of keywords delivers leads that convert at a much higher rate than average. Now you know that you can segment those keywords out to drive as much traffic as possible. Another set of keywords is generating leads that tend to be tire-kickers? Time to dial them back or cut them off entirely.
Linking to prospect behavior that occurs after the initial lead conversion will give you insights to make improvements that would otherwise not be possible.
The Ability to Drive Specific Refinements in Your Marketing Efforts
Another benefit of braving the back-end integration process is that it will enable you to better evaluate each step in your follow-up system to determine its effectiveness. Even small, incremental improvements in the rate of engagement at each step can add up to massive growth in your overall conversion rate, and a complete data integration makes this all the more possible.
Improved Marketing ROI
The increases to your conversion rate will ultimately result in a massively improved return on investment from your marketing campaigns. You’ll be able to make better decisions about how to allocate advertising dollars among the various channels; maximizing investment in the most promising areas.
Achieving a meaningful integration of your front and back end marketing data will likely not be an easy undertaking. But it will almost certainly pay enormous dividends as you refine your sales funnel.
Every marketing campaign is different, and the truth is that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. If you’re looking for some help in figuring out how to achieve better integration of your education marketing campaign data, you’ve come to the right place. At Grow Enrollments, we’re passionate about data and have years of experience with all types of integrations. Hit us up for a quick strategy call, and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.