eduWeb2011… marketing & web design panel discussion topics

eduWeb2011: Expert panels will discuss marketing & web design

Marketing and web design are the topics of 2 panel discussions planned for the upcoming eduWeb2011 conference in San Antonio in August.

Earlier this week conference chair Shelley Wetzel asked her advisory board members to share their thoughts with her on the most important elements for each panel. With just a bit of refinement, I’m also sharing with blog readers what I sent along. To add your thoughts, email Shelley at
Marketing Communications and Social Media: Panel Discussion 1
  • If we are talking about the recruitment cycle, we need first to define when and how in the cycle social media is most important in the marketing communications mix. For traditional students, this is from about the mid-point on, let’s say after a person has visited campus and certainly after they have been admitted. 
  • We need to focus first on how to use 2 related elements: video as per YouTube and conversation as per Facebook.
  • Some people place inordinate emphasis on ROI. I’m not one of those. We do need to monitor and measure what’s happening so we can adapt how we use social media, but there is no doubt in my mind that it is a mandatory element, similar today to the way people once used the telephone. (And the telephone of course remains important.) Fact is, few people in the past 25 years have had very precise ROI measures for things like view books and high school visit programs.
Design and Development and Information Architecture: Panel Discussion 2
  • We need more emphasis on first identifying the “top tasks” that people want to complete on a website and then designing the IA to help them get those tasks done. 
  • The tasks of course will vary with individual audiences and that will complicate the “design and development” process. The top tasks define the “content strategy.” If something is not a top task for someone using a website, then why should it be content on a website? (Reasons might exist, but the design should not place mandatory content that is little used in a place that hinders task completion for people in your most important audiences.)
  • The “top task” approach is also useful in deciding what content to remove from a website. In the “design for mobile” era, content culling becomes important as mobile design must be more straight forward and direct than design has so far been for most traditional websites.
Examples of Site Design for Task Completion: 2 Favorites in Higher Education
Join us at eduWeb2011 in San Antonio
Review the program and register after you visit the conference website. Don’t miss my Monday morning workshop: “Mobile Marketing in Higher Education: Challenges and Strategies.

New “Writing Right for the Web” Event

That’s all for now.

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