Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… February 2012

Higher education marketing news and notes…

February greetings from Michigan in this most strange, warm mid-winter time.

Note a new feature this month: the most popular item from the previous
newsletter is now included at the end of each new one. Scroll down for social
media predictions for 2012.

This year I will be doing a new conference
session on digital marketing strategy. The first rendition is set for the
J.BoyePhiladelphia2012 Web and Intranet Conference in May. For details on a
superb event where you will share ideas with people outside higher education,
visit the website at

Next week I will start on a new
2-day “Writing Right for the Web” conference, also in May. The outline that
includes traditional, mobile, and social media is at

Do you have a friend or
colleague who might like this newsletter? To subscribe, send them to

And now, here are your
marketing notes for February.
Words “Lazy PR Writers” Should Avoid

Whether or not you work in
public relations, if you have any role in creating or reviewing marketing copy
you should review this list from Tom Gable. Tom starts with “best of breed” and
ends with “world class.”

You will not want to miss the 30 in between
these at
and Today’s World

NAICU presidents are meeting in D.C. this week,
just after President Obama’s State of the Union and University of Michigan
speeches made many of them nervous about the possibility of “price control”
measures from the federal government. Some, but not everyone, gave a standing
ovation to a speaker who urged them to resist the “juggernaut” of accountability
headed their way.

Question for marketers: Can schools openly resist
accountability today? More on the meeting at
College Fakes SAT Scores to US News

Claremont McKenna College has
admitted that for the past 6 years it has inflated SAT scores of new freshmen
reported to U.S. News and World Report.

Higher education does not need
sad and silly news like this. Sad because it just should not happen, silly
because the actual score inflation was so low. The details are at
Gives Direct Marketing a Boost

Google plans to change existing
privacy policy and consolidate information about people using Google sites in a
single data base is creating controversy.

The advertising community, on
the other hand, sees this as an opportunity to more carefully place advertising
based on known preferences of the people receiving it. If advertisers adopt the
right direct marketing approach, they will stop blasting ads to everyone
regardless of interest and more carefully use available data to get higher
conversions from fewer people reached.

Careful targeting is what good
direct marketing has always been about. Online marketing from colleges and
universities can benefit from the change. Read more in an AdAge article at
Owns Tablets and E-Readers?

Yes, the time truly is coming when print
view books for student recruitment will vanish. Not today and not next year. But
somewhere between now and 2020 it will happen.

The folks at the Pew
Internet and American Life Project continue their fine reports with 5
demographic segments using tablets e-readers now: gender, age, race, income, and
education level.

Holiday gift-giving was responsible for an ownership
jump from 18 percent of the U.S. population in December 2011 to 29 percent in
January 2012.

Note that e-readers are not about to disappear. Kindle
Fire is selling well, no doubt in part because of the low price point compared
to more fully featured tablets. Talk to agencies that do electronic view books
for the iPad and be sure to ask them what they can do for a Kindle.

the details at
Percent of Students Taking Online Courses

The Sloan Consortium
reports that nearly one-third of all higher education students were taking at
least one online course in fall, 2010. The 10 percent growth rate for online
enrollment is much higher than the 2 percent growth rate for higher education
overall. Expect demand to continue to grow and include students at traditional,
residential institutions.

The free report is available as a PDF or for
your iPad, Kindle or Nook. Download your preferred copy of the 2011 report at

Noel-Levitz Survey: Mobile
Marketing and Social Media

Later this month Noel-Levitz will publish
the results of a new survey of college-bound high school students about how they
use mobile devices.

For now, you can review an early slice of the results
on how these students use mobile to access Facebook and YouTube: 76 percent
access Facebook from a mobile device and 63 percent do the same for YouTube.

From that point, Noel-Levitz notes the critical implication for people
using these social media sites in student recruitment plans. If you link from
social media to your website, you are in for a major failure if the website
landing pages are not mobile friendly. You will not survive the high bounce
rates that will happen when people using a smartphone attempt to visit a
traditional website.

Check the early survey results and pre-order your
copy of the full report at

Writing Effective Website

In our Carewords partners’ world with Gerry McGovern, we have
done nearly 20 surveys of people using higher education websites. The number one
problem among every audience is now predictable: confusing menus and

Why is that the result? Most links are written from the
organization perspective, rather than from an attempt to think like the
potential students (and their parents) using the site.

Gerry has just
written a great column on how to write links that work, including why the link
to Frequently Asked Questions is most often “a very poor one” to use.

tips on effective link writing that start with an admonition to write links as
if they were headlines, visit

State Appropriations for Higher
Ed at a Glance

OK, you know what is happening in your state. Are you
doing better or worse than other states across the U.S.?

Scroll down just
a bit in this Chronicle of Higher Education article on declines in state funding
until you see the map that shows the two states that have increased funding for
2012, the 19 that have decreased funding by 10 percent or more and those that
fall somewhere in between.

The Chronicle article is at
University: Continuing Budget Gap

Why should you care about an Ivy
League university with the highest paid non-profit sector president in the U.S.?
Perhaps just to see how even the most affluent of universities still has major
problems adjusting to post-2008 economic realities.

Do not skip the
comments following the Yale Daily News article at

Deceptive Advertising, Higher
Education, and the FTC

Do use lead generation agencies to identify
enrollment prospects? If you do, do you know what advertising is being used? Are
you in danger of violating Federal Trade Commission rules on deceptive
advertising if the ads are, shall we say, just a bit shady?

If you
answered “yes” to the first question, read my mid-January blog post at

Most Popular Item from the
January Newsletter

“30 Social Media Predictions for 2012 from the
Pros” had the most clicks in January. If you missed it, visit

Conference Presentations in 2012

Attend a conference in 2012
to share questions and answers with people who are building a competitive
advantage in higher education marketing.

May 8-10, Philadelphia:
J.BoyePhiladelphia12 Web and Intranet Conference. Tutorial presentation:
“Digital Marketing Strategy: 2015 and Beyond.” See all sessions and register at

May 24-25, Atlanta:
Academic Impressions Conference: “Writing Right for the Web: Improving Your
Content.” Program details and registration at

July 11-13, Chicago: ACT
Enrollment Planners Conference. Visit the conference website at

July 30-August 1, Boston:
eduWeb2012. Conference website is at

Expand the marketing skills
of people on your campus. Host a campus workshop on any of the conference topics
listed here.

Contact me at or call me at
That’s All
for Now

Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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

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
• Competitive Website Reviews
• Search Engine
Optimization Reviews 

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