It’s no secret that businesses today rely on technology to reach their target audience.

As competition increases for universities and colleges, marketing technology stack in higher education becomes increasingly popular. It provides a full view of the prospective student journey and optimizes outreach.

A well-structured and optimized marketing technology will help you attract, nurture, and convert leads. But most importantly, automate your marketing workflows and deliver more personalized data-driven results.

But do you know what is a marketing technology stack in higher education? Don’t worry, we

In this blog, we will explore the marketing technology that will help you streamline activities in higher education.

  • What is a marketing stack?
  • The Evolution of Marketing in Higher Education 
  • Components of a Marketing Technology Stack 
  • Challenges in Implementing a Marketing Technology Stack in Higher Ed
  • Benefits of an Effective Marketing Technology Stack 
  • Best Practices for Implementing a Marketing Technology Stack
  • Conclusion

What is a Marketing Stack?

A marketing stack refers to a set of tools and technologies marketers use to execute, analyze, and optimize their strategies. It typically includes platforms for automation, analytics, and communication. It helps you get more from your online marketing efforts.

A marketing stack streamlines tasks, enhances efficiency, and provides insights for effective decision-making. It integrates automation, analytics, and communication tools, optimizing marketing efforts and driving better results.

For example, as a higher education marketer, you spend a significant amount of time sending emails such as college prospects to prospective students; you can choose an email automation software, so less time is spent sending emails.

The Evolution of Marketing in Higher Education

The evolution of marketing in higher education reflects a shift from traditional methods to digital strategies. Previously, institutions relied on traditional channels like brochures and events. 

However, the emergence of digital marketing has transformed the landscape, leveraging online platforms, social media, and content marketing.

The need for a digital marketing technology stack in higher education is evident with increased competition. Institutions now employ data analytics, CRM systems, and personalized communication to attract and engage prospective students in a more dynamic and targeted manner.

Simply put, a new wave of low-code and no-code marketing technology is making it easier for marketers to own the tools they work with – without having to be coding experts.

Components of a Marketing Technology Stack

Higher education can comprise hundreds of applications and programs for marketing, but you need to know the fundamentals and how they should be organized.

The marketing technology stack in higher education typically includes these software tools:

Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management system refers to managing interactions with existing and prospective customers during sales. CRM software helps businesses collect, organize, and analyze customer information data to manage customer relationships better.

CRM integration in higher education institutions helps you to manage student data, track academic progress, and facilitate communication between students, faculty, and administrators.

Some of the key benefits of using a CRM in higher education include:

  • Increased automation
  • Improved student communication
  • Streamlined enrollment processes
  • Enhanced data management
  • Boosts student experience

With all the data in one place, your institution can deliver a more tailored experience for existing and prospective students. 

By integrating CRM, higher education institutions can optimize recruitment, enrollment, and retention strategies and aid in data-driven decision-making, driving positive outcomes for the institution.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Content Management System is a software platform for creating, managing, and publishing digital content. A CMS helps you handle all that basic infrastructure stuff for you so that you can focus on other functions like document management.

A CMS is a mechanism through which you arrange the content to deliver to a site visitor. It lets you quickly deliver and update content without coding everything by hand. CMS streamlines website updates, course content management, and collaboration for higher education institutions.

Key features of a CMS in higher education include:

  • Streamlined content updates
  • Enhanced collaboration
  • User-friendly interface
  • Efficient information sharing
  • Dynamic online presence

A CMS offers consistency, as it helps generate leads and increase readers’ interest. A CMS has multiple users in higher ed; for instance, authors can upload and store their work on the system, editors can edit and publish it, and administrators can revise content.

Email Marketing Automation

Email marketing is software with features and hundreds or thousands of emails capability for sending and receiving electronic mail to run campaigns at scale. 

When processing, you can use email marketing software to organize your inbox, automate bulk email sending, and track email statistics to detect trends.

Key features of an email marketing software:

  • Target specific student groups for personalized communication
  • Streamline workflows and save time with automated email campaigns
  • Track and analyze email performance for data-driven decision-making
  • Seamlessly connect with other systems like CRM and CMS
  • Tailor emails to individual preferences, enhancing engagement and relevance
  • Ensure emails display well on mobile devices for wider accessibility
  • Achieve cost-effective communication compared to traditional marketing methods

Email marketing automation in higher education streamlines communication, enabling personalized, timely messages to students, faculty, and alums. 

Benefits include increased efficiency, targeted engagement, data-driven insights through analytics, and improved enrollment and retention efforts. Automation optimizes workflows, saving time and resources while fostering a more connected and responsive educational community.

Social Media Management Systems (SMMS)

Social media management software helps businesses communicate, interact, and participate in social media conversations, including social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. 

These tools, especially crucial in university social media marketing, typically capture, store, and present communication, usually written but increasingly including audio and video.

Key benefits of using social media management systems for higher Ed include:

  • Boost institutional presence and recognition through strategic social media management.
  • Enhances meaningful interactions, discussions, and connections with students, faculty, and alums.
  • Plan and schedule posts for optimal timing and consistency across platforms.
  • Gain valuable data for informed decision-making and performance evaluation.
  • Develop a sense of community and belonging among students, enhancing the overall student experience.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of social media campaigns and adjust strategies accordingly.

Using SMMS, higher ed marketers can do away with checking into different social media accounts, allowing them to schedule posts beforehand. Managing your social media presence effectively can help you expand your reach, boost enrollments and revenue, and drive growth for your institution.

Analytics and Data Management System

Analytics and data management systems optimize the use of data to make decisions and take actions that will maximize the benefits to the business. It is a system that collects, processes, secures, and stores data for strategic decision-making.

Five benefits of data management software:

  • Increased visibility
  • Greater reliability
  • Improved data security
  • Increased data scalability
  • Enhanced productivity

Analytics and data management systems efficiently collect, analyze, and interpret data related to student performance, enrollment trends, and institutional operations. 

By identifying patterns and correlations, universities can optimize recruitment strategies, enhance academic support, and improve resource allocation.

Moreover, data management ensures the security and integrity of sensitive information, facilitating compliance with regulatory requirements. These systems drive continuous improvement, creating a data-driven culture that positively impacts the quality of education and administrative efficiency.

Challenges in Implementing a Marketing Technology Stack in Higher Ed

As a marketer, you are responsible for engaging and converting prospects throughout the journey and across platforms. But, implementing a marketing technology stack is challenging, and you could face specific challenges.

Some common challenges in implementing a marketing technology stack are as follows.

  • Budget constraints

Limited funds and budget may hinder the implementation of marketing technologies, impacting the institution’s ability to invest in cutting-edge tools and platforms for effective outreach and engagement.

  • Data privacy and security concerns

Safeguarding sensitive student data becomes a paramount challenge, demanding robust security measures to comply with regulations and protect the privacy of individuals.

  • Integration with existing systems

Adopting diverse marketing technologies with current infrastructure poses integration challenges, potentially leading to operational disruptions and inefficiencies in data flow between systems.

  • Skill Gap Among Marketing Teams

It is essential to focus on upskilling marketing teams to effectively utilize and maximize the potential of these tools, creating a demand for ongoing training and professional development.

Benefits of an Effective Marketing Technology Stack

Marketers today love their technology. Higher education marketing relies on automation tools every day to consistently deliver relevant content to its audience.

Also, marketing technology gives you an advantage over your competitors. It gives you additional insights into and use cases for your data, allows you to give a better experience to students, and makes for more accessible and better tracking of prospects as they come into your system.

Key benefits of marketing technology include:

  • Improved student recruitment and enrollment

Targeted outreach and personalized strategies increase enrollment, optimizing the recruitment process for better outcomes.

  • Enhanced communication with prospective students

Tailored messaging and multichannel engagement to develop stronger connections, improving the overall communication experience for prospective students.

  • Data-driven decision-making

Analyzing insights from marketing technology enables informed decisions and optimizes strategies for greater effectiveness and efficiency.

  • Competitive advantage in higher education

Utilizing advanced marketing tools positions institutions ahead, attracting students and maintaining a competitive edge in the higher education landscape.

Best Practices for Implementing a Marketing Technology Stack

At the most basic level, your marketing tech stack is all the digital tools you use for marketing, whether it’s software, web-based subscriptions, or hardware.

Today, higher education marketers seek tools that turn data into business-boosting insights, scale up, stay on budget, and outpace competitors. To implement the marketing technology stack, you must follow best practices to prove return on investment.

Consider these best practices for implementing a marketing technology stack:

  • Establishing clear objectives 
  • Selecting the right technology partners 
  • Training and upskilling marketing teams 
  • Regular performance monitoring and optimization

Conclusion

As you know, digital growth is vital to meet the goals and objectives of the marketing technology stack in higher education. It provides a stronghold to the centralized data that helps in strategic decision-making.

Technology makes your data actionable and eradicates the extra burden on your IT team to develop custom integrations. This built-in data infrastructure offers faster and more accurate information to the users in real-time.

Once aligned with your higher education system and expertly integrated by a higher education branding agency, the marketing technology stack will engage more prospective students and drive revenue through enrollment.