The most unbiased way of marketing evaluation is a measurement of marketing-related costs per 1 attracted student. Amazingly, this simple arithmetic operation is not done at every Russian university to evaluate its marketing activity. However, since we recruit international students on the global education market, we should not neglect market principles, including one postulating that any activity should be aimed at the constant increase of economic viability (i. e., efficiency).
This can completely be assigned to the use of different marketing channels. All channels have different efficiency, while the same channel can demonstrate different efficiency when applied in different countries or regions. Therefore, it will be fair to say that the efficiency of using marketing channels is an applied indicator that should be measured and benchmarked depending on the strategic plans of a university in terms of geographic diversification of student recruitment.
To achieve an honest and fair evaluation of marketing efficiency, it is required to sum up all direct marketing-related costs, i.e.:
- Development, production, and placement of marketing materials (separately for offline and online placement)
- Fees related to participation in different events like exhibitions, presentations, etc. including travel expenses
- Salary of staff involved in international student recruitment including cash bonuses (for secondary job employees it is required to quote their actual workload)
- Agency commission
The overall amount should be divided by the number of international enrollees after this year's campaign and thus, you will find out the evaluation of your marketing efficiency.
For you not to think about this quotation as a theory, we suggest you do the same for your marketing campaign for the last 2–3 years to get your marketing efficiency year by year. This will allow you to analyze which actions positively and negatively influence this indicator, thus giving you a tool to administer your expenses on international student recruitment.
Now let's get back to our days — November 2020 — and ask ourselves some questions related to the new normal of our lives:
- In which events will we take part in the 2020/21 academic year?
- Are we able to master instruments of digital promotion and recruitment on our own?
- Do we need to make the optimization of our staff?
- How are our traditional agents doing? Did they survive the hardship or should we look for new agents?
But I think that the main question that a manager should post is: how is it possible to build a model, plan, and allocate the costs applicable to every marketing component while getting actual reports and manage at the same time? At the end of the day, economic viability rules the show. And there is no way that you can go without CRM — customer relationship management system.