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eduWeb – Measuring ROI

August 12th, 2009 by Erick Beck

Higher education has historically not measured ROI because it has not rigorously defined what to measure.  You cannot measure progress in anything unless you agree what to measure and how to do so… and then do so consistently.

Measure and compare vs. last year.  Set your goals and attempt to improve.  Then measure exactly the same way next year.  It takes ~3 years of this to get a consistent reading.  If you change things too soon then the measurements will not be consistent and the comparisons therefore will be skewed.

Determine what to track and how to measure it.  We have a lot of variables in higher ed, so we need to know which affect others, if they do so at all.

It is a good practice to not only measure against yourself over time, but also measure against your competitors (i.e. peer universities.)  This is the only way you can tell how you stack up and if your progress is going faster or slower than theirs.

This is often hard to do because most institutions don’t like to share information.  The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System conducts surveys and provides a lot of information about higher education institutions.

The goal of measuring ROI is to see where your investment is going.  Marketing costs should decline over time, everything else being kept equal.  Upfront costs from new campaigns will tend to work themselves out over time, and mature campaigns should be more cost effective than new ones that have new elements and new costs.

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 Web Content
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