Look Beyond the Click Rate—What Do Your Audiences Really Think About Your College?

Jared Brickman Apr 15, 2021 Jared Brickman SVP, Research Persona The Creative and Analytical Theorist

Digital Perception Study: Look Beyond the Click Rate—What Do Your Audiences Really Think About Your College?

Effective digital campaigns include tracking metrics to make optimizations ensuring a college can serve the right messages to the right people. But beyond conversions and click-through rates, it’s important to understand a target audience on a deeper level. A survey of your audience is still one of the most valuable research tools for planning future campaigns and evaluating what you already have in the market.

As a leader in digital execution for higher education and audience research, Carnegie offers an in-depth Digital Perception Study to bridge the gap between digital KPIs and survey data. First, we gather information about your existing or planned digital campaigns, followed by a directed audience survey—both of which are combined with historic search and ad buy metrics to provide you with key takeaways and actionable insights. 

Information that serves a purpose

Data has the bad habit of sitting on a shelf untouched after it’s collected. Carnegie believes in research findings that can be used to craft immediate strategies and that are easy to return to at every decision point. As such, our Digital Perception Study collects information about:

  1. Institutional awareness and reputation: How well do your prospective audiences know your institution, and how does that compare to your key competitors?
  2. Digital advertising recognition: Where do audiences see digital advertisements, and do they recall it coming from you or your competitors?
  3. Digital media use: What platforms are your audiences using on a regular basis, and where do they actively gather school information as opposed to passive learning?
  4. Audience motivation: Through which personality lens can you advertise that will drive this audience to act and change behaviors?
  5. Top needs: What are the most important things your audience wants to hear from schools?

This data allows you to understand your institution’s reputation, where your prospective audiences are spending their time online and how your ads are performing so you can make key adjustments to your digital marketing strategy based on the findings. 


Talking to the right people

When considering who we engage with to gather intel, Carnegie tends to think of sampling parameters that bring only the right voices into your data. Most important are:

  1. Demographics: Review your current enrollment as a gauge. What factors between age, gender, race, and income can indicate your core audience to sample from effectively?
  2. Location: Where are you currently using digital advertising, and is the effort local, regional, or national?
  3. Specificity: Is your digital advertising positioned at certain programs, learning modalities, or degree levels?
  4. Goals: From the three areas above, do you hope to expand into new demographics, locations, or specialty offerings through a future digital campaign and should that reflect in your audience?

This simple baseline allows for correct targeting of a sample from which the results will be useful and actionable. Carnegie can help find these audiences to complete surveys through our paneling partnerships. In fact, our experts do the heavy lifting in analyzing data for key findings and offering strategic digital insights to make your next campaign the most successful yet.

Getting started with Carnegie’s Digital Perception Study

Ready to infuse your current or future digital campaigns with behavioral insights and audience data? Contact Carnegie for more information about starting a Digital Perception Study.

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