Marketing software provides the framework for successful marketing. Since Paul Davis Solutions often has the opportunity to work with educational organizations, I wanted to take some time to look at core marketing software and how the apply to higher educational institutions. I find these following software systems necessary for any good higher educational marketing plan. Together, the CRM, LMS, Video Streaming, and CMS provide a full platform for marketing and sales. Whether through a website or in-person, these platforms work together with the individuals in your organization.
As with all my marketing information and advice, I attempt here to present software that creates relationships. In higher education, relational marketing is key because you are asking students to make a significant decision that will affect the rest of their lives. Since employment is currently high, educational institutions also face significant competition from the marketplace: students do not attend higher education as much if they are not worried about improving employment.
Relational marketing focuses on building a relationship with your potential students so that they can choose to attend and learn with your organization with confidence.
CRM/Marketing Automation Software
For smaller schools, I recommend Active Campaign. Although it does not have a free version like MailChimp, Active Campaign integrates Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with marketing automation. For larger clients, I recommend either SharpSpring or Hubspot Marketing software. They are robust and affordable for organizations with larger teams and contact lists.
Online Course Platform
There are many great course platforms for teaching online. For setting up an academic system online, I recommend Moodle or Sakai. For consultants or others who want to sell automated courses, the Drupal Platform Opignio works well, and AccessAlly for WordPress.
Video Streaming Platform
Streaming video for classes should also be integrated with a live online video course. Zoom webinars is currently the best priced and easiest to use platform for this.
Content Management System
A Content Management System (CMS) is designed to manage the content on your public facing website. This usually differs from the online course platform. Since website content is designed to be seen and found, a good CMS is designed for that. But, an LMS is designed for delivering secure and individualized information.
Because of how they pair with other software in this list, I recommend Drupal and WordPress for most businesses, including my customers in higher education.