Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… May 2011

Greetings to everyone as spring flowers start to bloom here in Michigan. I hope the enrollment deposits expected at U.S. universities will arrive in good order this week.

If I had to pick a presentation topic as a personal favorite it would be ‘Writing Right for the Web.” That is why I am especially excited to join with Academic Impressions to present a new two day conference on that topic in July. Check the details at

If a “Writing Right” webinar better fits your plans, we have a new version of that popular session starting May 19 at

Mobile marketing continues as a topic of high interest this year. I will be doing workshops on that at J.BoyePhiladelphia2011 this week and later in the summer at the ACT EPC and eduWeb2011 events. If you have success stories to share now with your colleagues at these events, contact me at

And now here are your marketing news and notes for May.
Reinventing Higher Education: A New Book

Reinventing Higher Education: The Promise of Innovation is a new collection of essays just published by Harvard Education Press. While I would not usually recommend something that I have not yet seen myself, this book will likely get much attention in the weeks ahead.

The promo blurbs are from very establishment folk indeed, including the president of Duke University. Is this a guide to how the old order can reform itself and survive in this new era of scare resources and increased scrutiny of higher education?

Part of me hates sending readers to an 8-page PDF to review chapter titles and authors and read the introduction but you can get there from the “Look Inside the Book” link on the announcement page at
Price Pressure Continues to Grow

Higher education will have to react in a major way to public concern for the cost of earning a bachelor’s degree. Increasing tuition to compensate for reduced public sector financial support is not a politically acceptable solution for any but the most selective institutions.

Expect pricing to be an even more important marketing element tomorrow than it is today.

Can expansion of 2 + 2 programs with community colleges and an expansion of online programs provide a bachelor’s degree for about $10,000 in a public university system?

That solution to the higher education cost dilemma is getting serious study in Texas now. The Chronicle reports details at
Mobile Communication Strategy at William and Mary

Without a doubt, this is one of the best articles describing one university’s mobile communication strategy that I have read.

Key points include the need for simple design and content valued by your audience (which of course requires asking the audiences what to include).

If you are involved in anything “mobile” on your campus, do not miss the article by Susan Evans, director of creative services at the College of William and Mary, at
Mobile Marketing: Selecting Mobile App Alternatives

Marketing with mobile apps today requires at least iPhone and Android versions if reach is your primary goal.

If you have a special interest in enrolling people already working in health care, finance or law, then you had best narrow your focus to Blackberry and Windows users.

Mobile Marketer gives an overview of the various platforms and their expected market strength over the next year or two at
Marketing to Young Adults

If you are recruiting people to graduate programs, recent survey research about attitudes to higher education might give insights into redesigning how learning takes place to gain competitive advantage against traditional programs.

People 18 to 24 year olds are more than a little skeptical of the value of traditional classroom teaching while placing high value on self-learning and internships. About 36 percent said the current higher education system was not relevant to their values.

Read the report on “Young Adults’ Perspectives on American Higher Education” at
20 Year Evolution of Web Design: Infographic

Sometimes a quick look back at history can help us move forward to tomorrow.

If you have an interest in how web design techniques and priorities have changed since 1991, spend a few minutes with the Infographic from KISSmetrics at
Can Software Robots Replace Academic Advisors?

We all know the quality of academic advising varies widely. Now Austin Peay State University has introduced an automated system to help students identify and schedule the right courses better than real people.

The system, says the provost and math professor who created it, will help students find courses they might not have considered in the past.

Needless to say, reactions in 53 comments to article run the proverbial gamut.

Check to see if you think this is part of the future of academe at
Using RateMyProfessor to Pick Courses: Advice from a Student

How do students use RateMyProfessor to select their courses?

Chance Carmichael, a student at the University of Kansas, uses ratings to pick his courses and professors. He compares the comments from students about their experiences to those found on Amazon and advises his fellow students to use ratings them with common sense and to read the detailed comments as well as the numerical scores.

This is interesting advice from one student to others at
Mobile App or Mobile Website?

That is a popular question at my mobile marketing conference sessions, especially when staff time and money are limited. The answer is not the same for everyone.

From a marketing perspective, a mobile-friendly website is the best investment if forced to pick from one or the other. But in an ideal world, apps have a place in the marketing mix.

Tony Long spells out three decision points to consider, including how often the content requires updating, when deciding whether to build a mobile app or not in a Mobile Marketer column at
Best Words to Link to Social Media
: 11 Suggestions

Simple, conventional language is almost always best in online communications.

Best words to use to link to social media: Social Media. Not such good words: Connect with Us.

Check a collection of 11 recommendations from higher education web folk for the best words to use in linking to social media sites from regular websites in my blog post at
My Upcoming Conferences and Webinars in 2011

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.

May 19, May 26, Academic Impressions Webinars: “Writing Right for the Web: Social Media, Mobile, and Traditional Sites.” Register for one or both in 2-part series at

June 8-10, SUNY CUAD Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY: “Mobile Marketing in Higher Education: Challenges & Opportunities” and “Future Students and Their Parents: Exploring a 90% Positive Website Rating.” Visit

June 14, Customer Carewords Webinar: “Recruiting International Students: 10 Top Website Features.” Register for this free webinar at

July 20-22, ACT Enrollment Planners Conference, Chicago, IL: Pre-conference workshop: “Mobile Marketing and Student Recruitment: What’s Hot and What’s Not in 2011” and regular conference session, “Explore a 90% Positive Website Rating by Future Students & Parents.” Register at

July 26-27, Academic Impressions Conference, San Diego, CA: “Writing Right for the Web: Improving Your Institution’s Web Content.” Program at

July 28-29, Education Dynamics – Carol Aslanian Conference Marketing Graduate Programs to Working Professionals, New York, NY: Sessions on mobile marketing and best website practices for graduate recruiting. Details at

August 1-3, eduWeb2011, San Antonio, TX: Pre-conference workshop: “Mobile Marketing in Higher Education: Challenges and Strategies for 2011.” Visit

Improve your online marketing. Expand the writing, editing, and search marketing skills of people on your campus. Host a campus workshop on online marketing.

Contact me at
That’s All for Now

Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your online marketing success with these 6 services.
• Customer Carewords Research with Gerry McGovern
• Writing Right for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, Campus Workshops
• Marketing Communications Website Review
• Competitive Website Reviews
• Content Copywriting Services
• Marketing Analysis for Google Analytics

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