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The 3 Questions To Ask Ourselves As Higher Education Marketers

For anyone beginning a career in university marketing, Fareed Zakaria’s In Defense of a Liberal Education (Norton 2015) serves as an excellent, brief introduction to issues facing American universities and colleges today. Zakaria, the Emmy-nominated host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, is a careful observer of developments in a number of critical cultural fields.

The book had its origins in an address to his daughter’s college class and has the flavor of zealous boosterism for the values of a college education. Which isn’t all bad if you find yourself forgetting the big picture, feeling overwhelmed in the trenches of enrollment management, or facing pressure from competing institutions. Read more

Finding Meaningful Points of Difference

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

3 Factors to Keep in Mind when Marketing Post-Graduate Programs

Is your target your target? For post-graduate programs, there are often more layers involved than simply targeting the prospective students for enrollment. Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you communicate your program offerings.

  1. Understand who you need to convince. Often the attendee does not have the final say in enrolling in a program. Sometimes, parents, influencers or alumni play a key role. Or if gaining funding from their current employer, there could be several layers of approvals needed. Student prospects may need to gain the endorsement of their superior in order to champion them to the holder of the educational purse strings at their company – sometimes housed in a HR or talent management function. Read more

Market Your Digital Marketing

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

Understanding Student Motivations

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.

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Social Media Influence in Higher Education

What does being influential on social media mean? It means that people actually care and pay attention. They will respond to your posts, retweet, share, favorite and like them. In order to maximize their influence, higher education institutions must have personality, consistency and engagement.

Collegeatlas.org ranks colleges in different categories based on their social media presence. What makes these colleges stand out above the rest? We decided to take one of the top players in four “most influential” categories and check out how they are crushing the competition.

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So You’re Venturing into Higher Ed Lead Generation

5 strategies to get the most out of your leads

While many B2B and B2C industries are more advanced in sophisticated lead generation programs, most higher education programs, with the exception of big for-profits, are just beginning to test the waters. The biggest challenge isn’t always getting the leads – the right partners will deliver – it is knowing what to do with them once they start rolling in. Here are 5 strategies to help maximize your lead gen ROI: Read more