Is your Higher Ed Brand Poised for Success under the Trump Administration?
With the Inauguration only days away, much drama and confusion are swirling around President Elect Trump, not least of all in the realm of education. Much is unclear about what the higher education landscape could look like four years from now and how institutions will need to individually adjust to stay relevant and competitive.
So what’s causing the most unease? According to Inside Higher Ed, many academic leaders share these concerns:
- Current national and global climate deterring international students
- Campuses discourse and decisions about “safe spaces”
- The rise of the anti-intellectualism that won Trump broad support – Inside Higher Ed
This sounds like a dramatic thought for a time-honored brand: College. But it may be the right time. The trigger for change is to acknowledge the plight of many college graduates and realize the promise of a college degree has not been met.
Building enduring brands that drive affinity and loyalty with their target audiences can be an elusive challenge, but is always the sought-after goal. This goal is mighty but the same for brands in any category. It is to identify an emotional connection that is simple and will ring true about how your target will feel about your brand before, during and after engagement. Read more
No Silver Bullet
This surfaced a number of times. We heard how effective marketing in higher education requires a coordinated and concerted orchestration of numerous strategies and tactics to drive desired metrics when reaching student prospects. Prospects are consumers of various mobile and digital media across many platforms. It is not enough to ride one platform. Getting this wrong will sub-optimize your outcomes. But it’s also important not to engage in the “social media arms race”- you need to be exceptional in the channels with which you engage. Read more
5 steps to stand out in a crowded marketplace
There is so much clutter, noise and frankly sameness in the higher education marketplace. In addition, the value of education is under scrutiny with skyrocketing costs, after-graduation debt and a difficult job market. So, at a time when the idea of college itself is being questioned, it’s critical to define your institution with precision and communicate clearly to your various publics.
It’s not enough to just tout the usual list of offerings associated with your institution. These need to be translated into meaningful benefits that leverage uniqueness, focus and differentiation. While there are a number of ways to find meaningful points of difference, here are 5 steps that we employ that have worked for our higher education clients: Read more
We have all been there. In years past, you developed broad based marketing plans for your institution, rooted in traditional media and presented them to your leadership. Then beyond reaching your student prospects, many of your internal stakeholders also were exposed to the messaging. They heard the radio spot, drove by the billboard, saw the print ad or watched the TV spot on the scoreboard. While these plans were strong on broad exposure, they were light on hyper-targeting and deficient in delivering metrics to determine their effectiveness. Read more
With the abundance of education opportunities today, understanding the key differentiators student prospects are looking for is crucial to best targeting potential prospects for specific programs. And with the flood of communications on various programs, from online, to weekend, to part time, understanding your target is key to creating a message that will resonate with them and uniquely identify that program’s benefits.