What Are Your Competitors Tracking?

Private Schools Marketing

As a private or independent school marketer, it can be hard to know what your competitors are tracking to measure your school’s performance - but of course, we all wonder. 

It’s rare to get a peek behind the scenes of other schools’ marketing strategies. Last year, we conducted a study with NAIS where we heard from schools across North America about what data they track. We also made some recommendations on what marketing professionals and admissions staff could or should be focusing on to track their own school’s marketing success. 

The Top Three KPIs Schools Track

  1. Page Views

In a survey of 230 schools, 85% said they track the number of page views on their website - specifically the number of unique visitors in a given period of time. 

  1. Number of Users 

Total number of users is also up there with one of the most tracked metrics. The NAIS survey found that 75% of schools track the number of users on their school’s site.

  1. Session Duration 

Session duration is another useful web metric to track for a school. Our survey found that 72% of schools tracked the average time users spend in total on their school’s website.    

Do They Have a Plan? 

It can be hard for a school to make a set plan on how they will measure the success of their yearly marketing objectives. This is largely due to the fact that most schools collect different data through different platforms - and it’s a challenge to unify that information into a meaningful snapshot of data. Of all the respondents, only 20% said they have such a plan.

 Learn more: How a Measurement Project Can Help Your School Win at Marketing 

Do They Use Attribution Modelling?

The simple answer? Probably not. Most of the respondents (72%) did not use attribution modelling in their marketing efforts. 

Attribution modelling is a framework for analyzing which contact methods or marketing channels receive credit for a conversion. What almost every school has in common is a family’s long and well-researched path leading up to the decision to enrol. Their journey is very involved, which means more than one channel will play a part in their decision. Having an understanding of which digital and physical efforts are guiding your prospective families along their path toward your school is crucial for successful school marketing. 

Learn more: Understanding Customer Journeys and Attribution Modelling

What Does This Mean?

While it’s important to understand what metrics your competitors are tracking, at the end of the day your own KPIs depend on what outcome(s) you’re trying to achieve. Working backwards from your end goal will allow you to define the key data points to track your movement toward that goal. 

Some helpful questions to ask could be:

  • What objective or goal am I trying to achieve?

  • What action do I ultimately want my target audience to take?  

  • What tools do I have to collect important data? Are there any tools missing? 

Creating a Measurement Plan for Your School

We understand that a school’s marketing efforts can be difficult to measure. We also understand that marketers are accountable to multiple decision-makers with multiple objectives. And many marketing departments and admissions teams don’t work especially well together. However, we recommend schools create a unified and documented measurement plan to organize all the different data in an analytics account. It might be challenging to get there - but once you do, you’ll wonder how your school ever got along without it.

A typical measurement plan outlines the following key sections: 

  • Goals: broad, long-term high-level achievements 

  • Objectives: the tangible outcomes that need to occur to achieve those goals  

  • KPIs: key metrics that indicate whether and how each marketing tactic is contributing to specific goal completions and outcomes 

  • Segmentation: who you’re targeting, the message you’re communicating, and the channels you’re using to reach them  

  • Insights: a good marketing plan doesn’t just present you with raw data; it interprets new challenges and opportunities and provides actionable insights

Learn more: How to Align Decision-Making Between Marketing & Admissions Teams

At Metric Marketing, we develop measurable and practical strategies to help private and independent schools like yours to make the most of your marketing efforts. We’d love to discuss your private school’s marketing requirements with you. Contact us today to speak with our marketing professionals or use the form below to sign up and receive more marketing tips in your inbox.  


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