The power of data for diversity in segment marketing

Diversity is key for reaching out to Gen Z students

This year, I was invited to present at the 2022 International Education Association of Australia conference in Canberra this month. The two days covered a broad range of topics and addressed one key objective: diversity within segment marketing campaigns!

My task? To give attendees tactical advice on how they can gather their own, first-party data given the likely impact of future Australian Federal Government privacy law changes – along with other challenges like the “cookie-less” future.

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Identifying the data that matters
& your strategy

Working with the data matters.

Personalising campaigns with the right data

Let your strategy guide you to identify the data that matters.

It’s easy enough to throw a form together, but with no strategy, in place, you will miss the opportunity to gather first-party data.

Some face limitations with their technology or a less than flexible I.T. team. Take webinar registration as an example, how many opportunities do your prospective students have to register for a webinar prior to submitting an application?

Let’s suggest it’s 10 webinars. If you ask the exact same questions every time, that represents a lost opportunity of 20 additional* questions that could have turned into first-party data.

*How did we get to 20 additional questions

We assume you will always ask for a person’s first name, last name and email address. We’re suggesting you add at least two additional questions for this process using Eloqua’s Progressive Profiling form feature. This is easily done and best implemented when you use Eloqua Landing Pages and Forms to serve the registration process along with the Apps from Zoom, GoToWebinar, Webex etc. Take control of your CX, don’t deliver a webinar platform experience, deliver your own branded experience.

Your inbound channels

Each of these channels enables the gathering of various points of profile data:

  • Webinar registration
  • Open Day Registration
  • Forms across your CMS – do they vary?
  • Social Media lead generation forms
  • High Schools
  • Agents
  • Inbound calls to the call centre

Which questions should you ask?

If you apply these two filters to the questions you ask, you’ll be in a good place. Responses captured should allow you to:

  • Better segment your audience
  • Better personalise the student experience for your audience

Complete the Design for Automation mini-assessment today to identify strengths and gaps in your marketing automation strategy and processes.

Once you’ve identified the Data That Matters, you need to build a way to capture that data into your processes.

This is where your strategy comes into play. You can keep doing what you’ve always done, or you can tailor each campaign to an objective, tied to your overall strategy.

Let’s take high school students as an example. It’s very likely across your various interactions with them, their study choices will change. If you ask what they want to study at university when they’re in Year 10 and then again in Year 12, the probability of a new study choice is high.

Keep your profile data current

For example, you probably host various events, both in-person and virtual. If you always ask the same questions of registrants every time, you’re missing an opportunity to build a contact profile.

The best use of Progressive Profiling is when Eloqua clients create Form templates. You could break down your template library with form “types”. For example, some Form types could be:

  • Webinar registration
  • In-person event registration
  • Content Download 
  • Enquiry Form

You may also think about how the above examples differ from undergraduate and postgraduate audiences and potentially by faculty. The more you can template, the faster your campaign build time and the greater consistency for your target audiences.

Eloqua clients can take advantage of Progressive Profiling Forms, delivering questions that you don't currently have a response to meaning each registrant will have an ever so slightly different experience when they reach the form. Eloqua forms can pre-populate with known profile data already stored in Eloqua. This means a person could reach the form above and only actually have to complete two fields, all other fields will pre-populate.
Eloqua clients can take advantage of Progressive Profiling Forms, delivering questions that you don’t currently have a response to meaning each registrant will have an ever so slightly different experience when they reach the form. Eloqua forms can pre-populate with known profile data already stored in Eloqua. This means a person could reach the form above and only actually have to complete two fields, all other fields will pre-populate.

Storing & retrieving your Form Submission data

The other key part of your form design is the management of the data captured in the form. For Eloqua clients, the Contact is at the very heart of your data model. You also have Custom Objects, a place to store bespoke data that you can later segment by and use for personalisation purposes across campaigns.

Once you’ve captured & stored the Data That Matters, it’s time to use that data to personalise each engagement with your prospective students.

As I’m writing this blog, we have various higher education clients launching University & TAFE Open Day campaigns across the region. Each client does it differently, with their own unique student experience mapped out.

Open Day is arguably the biggest campaign of the year. The campaigns can be multi-channel, cross-channel, omni-channel, in-person and/or virtual and severely impacts the amount of sleep our clients get for a few weeks.

From a personalisation point of view, there’s always more that could be done. The experience delivered is generally only limited by lead time and the questions asked during the registration process.

I’m the last to suggest you ask questions just so you can “do cool stuff”. However, of the questions you ask at the point of registration – the ones tied to your strategy, the best questions are those with responses that help you better personalise the student experience.

I approach personalisation as three distinct parts, it’s so much more than simply greeting a person by their name and not “Dear Valued Customer”!

Personalisation in 3 parts

1. Copy/text

The most common form of personalisation is in your copy. e.g. “Dear [First.Name]”. The point of all the data you’re capturing is to tailor content based on what you know. If your copywriters are not aware of the data you have, they will write flat, tired copy that may miss the mark and not resonate with your audience.

2. Segmentation/Audience

Using your profile data to create smaller, more targeted audiences is another key aspect of personalisation. 

3. Imagery with Dynamic Content

If you ask a person about their cultural background, use imagery and dynamic content to deliver images they can relate to. If you know their primary study preference, you can also use imagery to support that. 

In Summary | The power of data for diversity in segment marketing

When I was asked to present at the IEAA conference, I initially thought in terms of diversity of gender and the LGBTIQ+ community.

While that can certainly be part of the diversification objective, the brief had more to do with diversification in channels and segment marketing.

At the end of the day, your data will determine the level of diversification/segmentation you can achieve.

You have to know where your potential audience “hangs” so you can target them with enticing offers and then consolidate the data you capture in a single location e.g. a CDP or at least a CRM.

The smarter you can be with the questions you ask as people submit forms, the richer the experience you’re able to deliver.

My top 3 tips for University Marketers

  1. Let your acquisition strategy drive campaign design. Don’t just keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.
  2. As you work across multiple channels, have a clear idea about your data and where it will end up. Avoid conflicting data formats e.g. Country values can be “Australia”, “AU”, AUS” or even “36”. Have a data harmonisation strategy in place. TIP: This is easy for Eloqua clients.
  3. Bring your copywriters into the fold. Brief them on the contact profile data you have available. Explain how defaults can be used in the absence of specific data. This will help them write more compelling and personalised copy.

What was on the conference agenda?

Balancing diversification: IEAA Marketing and Recruitment Forum 2022

How do we diversify strategies in a balanced, sustainable and effective way?

Diversification is often a key objective in marketing and recruitment strategies. It’s also one of the four priority areas in the Australian Strategy for International Education 2021‑2030. But what does diversification look like for international education professionals?

Join us as we explore what diversity means across a range of key areas in the marketing and recruitment space. Learn from industry leaders and participate in workshops to discover how you can achieve diversity through your marketing and recruitment strategies in a balanced and sustainable way.

Sessions unpacked the following themes:

  • Understanding diversity in the ‘COVID normal’ world
  • Does diversity mean compromising results?
  • Achieving diversity through recruitment and lead nurture strategies
  • Hear from industry experts and participate in thought-provoking workshops.
(L-R) Stephanie Fenelon - Griffith University, Peline Tan - The Australian National University, George Hernandez - Monash University, Derek Bell - Marketing Cube
(L-R) Stephanie Fenelon – Griffith University, Peline Tan – The Australian National University, George Hernandez – Monash University, Derek Bell – Marketing Cube

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