August brings a welcome hiatus to a busy July conference season.
Review several of the July presentations (Mobile in the Marketing Mix, International Student Recruitment, Websites for Graduate Student Recruitment and more) from the ACT Enrollment Planners Conference, eduWeb2010 and Carol Aslanian’s Graduate Marketing Seminar online. Visit www.slideshare.net/bestbob
Look for more on mobile marketing in an AMA webinar in September and a 3-hour tutorial at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in November. Registration details are coming soon.
A new book by my Carewords partner Gerry McGovern was published in July. Read the first chapter in The Stranger’s Long Neck and order a copy at www.gerrymcgovern.com/sln-buy.htm
And now here are your marketing news and notes for August.
11 Schools on Financial Aid Honor Roll
Princeton Review is out with another college ratings list, with financial aid scores of 60 to 99 for 606 schools based in part these criteria: percent of students with need who received aid, percent of need met, and percent of students whose need was met in full.
Ratings in include an honor roll of 11 schools with a score of 99 points. The alpha listing starts with Bowdoin College and ends with Williams College.
Find more on the awards and the other 9 honor roll schools at bit.ly/cnNBxZ
E-Expectations 2010 Survey Results
E-Expectations results for 2010 went online in July and are already making the conference rounds. As always, different people will find different things of special interest.
One item this year is getting special notice: about 23 percent of college-bound seniors visited a college or university site from a smartphone. Have you tried that lately with your site? Couple that number with the finding that over 20 percent of these students who have an unpleasant web experience when first visiting a higher ed website will drop that school from consideration.
Results like these may help answer the question: do we do mobile apps or create a mobile-friendly website?
Explore the results when you link to the PDF report at bit.ly/spJxC
Rate My Professors Expands to Facebook
The site many love to hate is expanding into social media with a new Facebook site at bit.ly/aw0LFG
Before you dismiss the role of the rankings here, consider this. Overall evaluations for faculty at most schools I have visited are far more positive than negative. Be sure to check yours to find faculty held in high esteem that you might want to highlight at your website and in other promotional efforts.
CUNY: Still the Best Advertising Landing Pages
Another issue of the NY Times Education Life supplement came out July 25. And for at least the third time in a row, City University of New York continued to set a premier example of how to create a landing page that repeats and reinforces the ad that brings people to the website.
Visit Breaking Boundaries in Science Research at www.cuny.edu/site/science.html and compare with landing pages for your advertising.
To review articles in the supplement online, visit www.nytimes.com/pages/education/edlife/
Mobile Use: Changes from 2009 to 2010
Our friends at the Pew Internet and American Life Project have another useful report to review: changes in the way people use mobile communications from 2009 to 2010.
Higher education marketers will be most interested in the results for people 18 to 29 and 30 to 49 years old. While the younger group is most active, people in their 30s do not lag far behind. Both are heavy users of text messaging and 65 percent of the younger group uses a mobile device to access the Internet. Mobile use for email is strong as well.
Check the full details at bit.ly/cqxi6D
9 College Visit Alternatives
If you can’t visit a campus, what are the next 9 best things to do? That’s the focus of a July US News column by Lynn O’Shaughnessy.
Admissions people not yet adjusted to stealth applicants will applaud the first item: get on the college mailing list.
Not everyone will be as happy with Number 4: visit the academic website pages and look for academic credentials of the faculty and course descriptions.
The full list for those who cannot visit is at bit.ly/awfPrX
Higher Education PR: Another Blow
The WSJ reviews “Higher Education?” by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Driefus and makes special mention of many failings cited by the authors: faculty and administrative salary levels, light teaching loads, research that is less than essential.
A key message may find more traction in this time of economic scarcity: students should seek out lower cost institutions and graduate with less debt. The authors make recommendations that range from Berea College to Western Oregon University.
The review is at bit.ly/bztiSX
Online Newsletter Done “Right for the Web”
If you need more ammunition to convince people to move away from PDFs and stay away from various forms of “flip” technology to put publications online, refer them to the Sellinger Business Update at Loyola University Maryland.
The current issue is at loyola.edu/newsletter/Sellinger/August2010/
Email Marketing is Alive and Well
In this era of social media and mobile communications, we just might forget that millions of people rely on email as a valuable form of communication. Indeed, in the emerging mobile era sending email that make a strong first impression when opened on a smartphone is more important than ever.
Take a few minutes to review Michael Brownlow’s column on getting “inbox attention” for your email. No matter how much we think we already know it is always a good idea to review and remind ourselves of the importance of from lines, preview panes and more.
Check the advice for better engagement at bit.ly/dbiMlg
Feedback on Your Website
Do you get regular feedback on how people are using your website?
Gerry McGovern writes about the perils of ignoring the customer experience in “Web teams need constant feedback,” with special attention to the perils of forcing people to register to do something online.
Do not make people register to do things at your website unless absolutely essential. Read about the consequences at bit.ly/aoURzH
Gainful Employment Criteria
The for-profit sector of higher education is not happy with possible plans by the Department of Education to impose “gainful employment” criteria as a condition before their students can receive financial aid. Nobody is quite sure of the possible application of the principle, but many are nervous.
The actual impact will vary. At a recent conference, the DOE’s James Kvaal estimated that 40 percent of for-profit schools would not be impacted, 48 percent would have to increase loan debt disclosure to potential students, 7 percent would face enrollment restrictions, and 5 percent would no longer have eligibility to receive financial aid funds.
More about what might be coming is at www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/08/02/kvaal
My Upcoming Conferences and Webinars in 2010
Attend an upcoming conference to share questions and answers with people like you who are building a competitive edge in higher education marketing. Join me at these events.
September 22, American Marketing Association: Webinar on mobile marketing in higher education. Date and registration details available soon.
October 28-29: Education Dynamics Aslanian Conference: How to Market Online Programs, Washington, D.C. Program topics are at www.educationdynamics.com/services/market-research/conferences/
November 3, Academic Impressions: Webinar, “Writing Right for the Web.” Details are coming later in August.
November 7, Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, San Diego, CA: Mobile Marketing Tutorial Workshop. Online link is coming soon.
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Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
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