You are here

Articles: Marketing

In America, we lavish attention on our most talented fellow citizens—star athletes, film and television celebrities, brilliant scholars and scientists, and sometimes even college presidents—but we also insist that our celebrities not act like self-styled royalty. When members of America's elite are aloof and ignore the public's welfare—as many titans of Wall Street did, first ruining the economy, then paying themselves bonuses—Americans insist on retribution.

WHEN IT BECOMES HARDER TO raise funds and the notion of success is coming up with just 90 percent of last year's revenues, fundraisers must get smarter--by better understanding their donors and the different tools and approaches to connecting with them. Colleges and universities of all sizes now have the opportunity to influence and motivate a new generation of donors and get them in the "habit of giving," but it's an uphill climb. The competition for every second of attention and each dollar is frenetic.

Many colleges and universities are confronting even more complex challenges than usual. Indeed, the timing, intensity, and consequences of some of the most serious challenges qualify them as outright crises.

Managing multiple difficult events such as salary freezes, budget cuts, job reductions, enrollment declines, and rising discount rates can seem overwhelming to even the most experienced among us. Can there be any doubt for higher education leaders that it truly is "lonely at the top" these days?

WHILE ONLY 19 PERCENT OF Americans aged 12 to 17 have ever listened to a podcast, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, many institutions have invested in academic or marketing initiatives to offer content and updates via podcasting. At the other end of the line, the possibilities for reaching and engaging the 75 percent of teens glued to their mobile phones are still mainly ignored by the majority of marketing strategists in higher education.

With all the Web 2.0 hype these days, it’s no surprise that student expectations of the web continue to swell. Is your institutional website living up to these expectations? Today higher education websites are more than just static pages. They are strategic assets for admissions and enrollment, advancement and fundraising, brand awareness, disseminating information such as news and safety alerts, and, now more than ever, they are strategic assets for social networking. Research shows that social networking is the most popular online activity among today’s internet users.

As branding initiatives in higher education have emerged and evolved over the past two decades, the media-outreach segments of the plans often continue to miss the mark. The reason? The campus professionals who are responsible for strategic communication are often relegated to a back-seat role in the process, or are left in the dark until the branding campaign is ready to be rolled out.

 

A DEFINITION OF STRATEGY that centers around the idea of “more”—we will serve more students, offer more programs, and be in more places—is highly likely to fail. Dollars are finite, so doing more will actually decrease quality because tight resources are spread even more thinly.

When I applied to colleges 40 years ago, I wrote letters to six schools and received a view book from each with a friendly cover letter, an invitation to visit the campus, an application, and a pointer to an alum or two who would be glad to sit down with me and discuss my future.

 

FOR MANY FAMILIES GOING through the college search and selection process, there may be a big difference between the ability to pay college expenses versus the willingness to pay.

 

THREE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN MAKING the rounds at the marketing conferences this year, as more and more schools are trying to get a better handle on their marketing expenditures:

1. How much does marketing cost?

2. Is marketing worth the money?

Pages