Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… November 2011

In this new emerging era for higher education, innovations in enrollment building strive to take advantage of the new landscape rather than struggle to maintain or restore the past. This month’s newsletter highlights new ventures from each U.S. coast: Northeastern University andCalifornia State University.

Does your interest in mobile marketing include the best way to use QR codes? If so, make sure that you do not doom your experiment to failure with landing pages that are not mobile-friendly and placements where smartphones don’t work. More on QR codes in my interview article with Academic Impressions at bit.ly/v8mind

Last month I visited Adelaide, Australia for a workshop presentation on mobile marketing for the Australian International Education Conference. Review the slides and download a copy atslidesha.re/w5debM 

November 18 at 3 PM I join Brian Niles for a “Free on Friday” mobile marketing discussion broadcast on Facebook from the TargetX offices outside Philadelphia. Join us aton.fb.me/vBHNoU 

Two Writing Right for the Web webinars in December will close the conference and webinar season this year. Register for one or both parts at bit.ly/n5S83d

And now here are your marketing news and notes for November.
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California State Plans Expansion of Online Undergrad Programs

Faculty may be uncomfortable with online programs but that is not stopping the inexorable growth underway. The latest example comes from California State University, where a recently announced plan calls for an initial consolidation of online programs underway at several campuses into a system-wide effort.

Overall, 44 master’s degree and 19 bachelor’s degree programs are offered now.

Market demand is a factor. Planners envision that some students will pay higher tuition for an online course that is overcrowded and unavailable as a regular undergrad offering.

More on the plans and faculty reaction at bit.ly/u0FL7n 
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Northeastern University Expanding Graduate Programs outside the Northeast

Boston is a fine city, but Northeastern has larger plans to open graduate degree programs and form research partnerships across the U.S. The first new center has opened in Charlotte, NC. Look for future sites in SeattleAustinMinneapolis, and the Silicon Valley.

Each city is a market where the university believes the demand by adults for master’s programs is growing but is underserved. An initial investment of $60 million fueled a major expansion of faculty who will travel to teach in the programs that will combine online and in-class education.

Review the Northeastern effort in a Chronicle article at bit.ly/sWGNmN
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Jakob Nielsen and Ruthless Editing for Mobile

Web sites for every large organization have an enormous amount of useless content, added over the ages but never deleted.

People who are thinking about mobile websites need to think first about content elimination. Yes, this is politically difficult but it is also imperative. 

The latest Nielsen Alertbox usability report provides ammunition for anyone who needs help in advancing this argument on their campus. See “Mobile Content, If in Doubt Leave it Out” atbit.ly/qjo3Uj
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10 Tips for Best Facebook Writing

When and how often should you post to Facebook? How long should a post be? What days and times are best?

Andi Graham gives us 10 clues to more effective writing for Facebook based on her reading of what will make your content score higher on Facebook’s EdgeRank factors.

One plus for Twitter fans: posts of less than 80 characters get 66 percent more engagement than longer posts. Yes, brevity counts here as everywhere online.

For more on Facebook success, read her column at bit.ly/pVD3VP
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Test Your Website: 31 Criteria for Mobile Effectiveness

Brian Niles sent this along after our first “Free on Friday” conversation.

Visit the mobiReady website, enter the URL for your site, and get back a rating for how your traditional site performs on 31 factors that help or hinder viewers from a mobile device.

Harvard.edu, for instance, passed on 10 elements and failed on 9 others. It will not do well when visited from a smartphone. And neither will bobjohnsonconsulting.com.

Neither result was surprising. Yours will probably be similar. But if visits to your regular site are increasing and you need something to shock people into the need to create a mobile friendly web presence, share the results for your site after you visit bit.ly/rNX4t9 
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Results of the Quest for Full Pay Students

Enrollment managers were treated to an indictment of the current emphasis in higher education on enrolling more students who do not need financial assistance. Competition for that Holy Grail has increased since the economic bottom fell out a few years ago, often seen as a search for more international students and, in the public sector, more out-of-state students.

At the ACCRAO SEM conference this week Kati Haycock took the enrollment profession to task for not resisting this focus, with the result that income inequality at colleges and universities in the U.S. inevitably will increase.

Compare your school to the picture she paints after you read the InsideHigherEducation article at bit.ly/vv26VF
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University Magazines on an iPad

Thinking about making your university magazine available on an iPad or other tablet device?

If so, do not miss the AdAge review of the success of commercial magazines and newspapers on these devices. In short, you cannot take the quick and easy route of an “enhanced PDF” format on the iPad. That does make the sophisticated readers on these devices any happier than PDF publications do on regular websites.

For factors that will increase the success of your magazine on a tablet, check the report atbit.ly/uh5H3U
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Text Messaging in the U.S.

A September report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports a leveling off of the frequency of text and phone use on mobile phones from 2010 to 2011. More people overall prefer to phone than text. Heaviest text use is by people 18 to 24 years old, who send about 109 texts each day or about 3,200 each month, but texting is very strong right up to 49 years of age.

Download a PDF of the 14 page report at bit.ly/tVgeME 
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In the Chronicle of Higher Education: College Not Worth the Debt

Yes, a sentiment that higher education does not need to see spread starts off this month of November in the Chronicle.

Do you think this belief will spread? With few exceptions, the unemployment rate for current college graduates is unacceptably high in relation to the debt incurred and that is not likely to change in the immediate future.

The opinion piece by Frank Donoghue is at bit.ly/tYyQsb 
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My Upcoming Conferences and Webinars in 2011

Attend an upcoming conference to share questions and answers with people who are building a competitive advantage in higher education marketing. Join me at these events.

November 6, AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, Chicago, IL: “Mobile Marketing in Higher Education: Getting Ready for 2012 and Beyond” pre-conference tutorial. Link to the program PDF and register at bit.ly/hzODPI 

November 8-10, J.Boye Conference Aarhus11, Aarhus, Denmark: Tutorial on top task analysis for mobile communication and regular session, “Websites and Brand Strength: Achieving a 90% Customer Rating.” Review and register at aarhus11.jboye.com/ 

December 6, 8: Academic Impressions Webinars: “Writing Right for the Web: Social, Mobile, and Traditional Websites.” Registration is open now at bit.ly/n5S83d. 

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

Contact me at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com
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That’s All for Now 

Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com) 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
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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 Reviews 
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