Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… March 2012

Hello to everyone and best wishes for marketing success as spring arrives on the
horizon. I am just back from Michigan Technological University where more snow
fell during my visit day than we have had all winter here in the Marshall area.
Join me in wishing for the rapid arrival of the first crocus.

continues this week on a new “digital marketing strategy” tutorial for the
J.Boye Web and Intranet conference in Philadelphia in May. Check the higher
education track and more at

“Writing Right for the Web”
updates will start this month for a 2-day conference in Atlanta in May. We cover
traditional websites as well as social media and mobile sites. Join people from
Hawaii to Long Island who are already registered after you check the outline and
sign on at

An early bird registration
discount is open for eduWeb2012. And the Call for Papers runs until March 30.
Plan to share your expertise, ideas, and experiences at

And now here are your
marketing news and notes for
Pinterest Interest
Explodes in Higher Ed and Elsewhere

As if we do not have enough
social media sites to integrate into our communication plans, we are now blessed
with the rapidly growing popularity of Pinterest. For the week of February 18,
Hitwise lists Pinterest as the 5th most popular social media site but still a
bit shy of one percent total traffic. Join me in wondering how soon it might
pass Twitter at 1.55 percent.

To help fuel your discussion of whether or
not to play with pins, Brandon Uttley gives you four reasons why “It’s Time to
Pin Your Brand to Pinterest,” including increasing traffic to your website and
improving SEO results.

Read more about those two and two others at

Marquette University Pinterest

Marquette is an early Pinterest adopter, with a site that
includes 19 boards with 289 pins and, as of last Friday, 9 likes. Board subjects
include campus buildings, weddings, alumni, the university magazine, and 100
things to do before graduating.

This was a Link of the Week selection
last week. If you missed that, visit the Marquette Pinterest site at
Apps and Mobile Websites: Where and When to Invest

Jakob Nielsen
updated his recommendations about where to best invest your mobile time and
money in a new Alertbox last month. His recommendations likely will not thrill

For now, Nielsen sees apps as the best way to communicate with
people in the mobile world for the simple reason that they work better than
mobile versions of regular websites. In the future, particularly as the
operating speed of mobile devices increases, he sees mobile websites as the
important investment to make. When will this transition take place? Nielsen
admits that he does not know.

Stay up-to-date with the possibilities.
Visit the Alertbox at
and Free Courses at Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon is
firmly in the ranks of universities offering no cost educational opportunities
or “academic courses” at fees less than $100. Certifications and credits are not
awarded, but “tips” are provided on how to work with a professor at other
institutions to earn credit for these Carnegie Mellon courses.

You’ll see
logos from about 20 institutions (including Miami University, University of
Alaska Anchorage, University of British Columbia) already taking part in the
“future of higher education” when you visit
Again: Email is Not Dead

Email is still very much alive and well as a
key marketing element, but only if adapted to 2012 realities. Or, as Simms
Jenkins asks in “4 Email Marketing Trends That Matter In 2012,” is your email
still being delivered as if iPhones did not exist? Reading email is the number
one thing people do from smartphones but they will only read yours if you
prepare it for the iPhone era and not the fading Blackberry world.

more on email creativity and other tips for success at
Strategy in the World Today

“Ease of use and simplicity” are the core
elements for marketing strategy today, particularly on home pages that first
greet visitors to a website. That is the key message in a New Thinking column
from Gerry McGovern.

Success in marketing strategy is hindered if a
campaign is based on a traditional marketing approach “oriented towards getting
attention.” Home page visitors already want to be there and have a task in mind
when they arrive. Anything that blocks completion of the task hinders marketing

Read more from Gerry on how to achieve online marketing success

Mobile Marketing: Update on
Smartphone Ownership in U.S.

The research folks at Pew Internet are
out this month with an update on the growth of smartphone ownership, including
great demographic data. The bottom line: ownership in the U.S. is now up to 46
percent of people 18 years and older. That is an increase from 39 percent in May
of last year.

Ownership is growing in every income, education, and ethnic
category but only passes 50 percent among people with at least some college
and/or household income higher than $75,000. Among the $75,000+ group, ownership
is at 68 percent.

For more data, visit the Pew Internet site at

Web Content Editor Position

Do you have a web content editor on your campus yet? Are you
thinking of applying for a position like that?

Details of a new opening
for a “Web Content Editor and New Media Specialist” at Radford University in
Virginia were just added to the collection of position descriptions on my blog.
Check the skills, qualifications, and experiences to compare with your position
or plan for a new one at

Net Price Calculators: Links to
250 Examples

U.S. News notes that while online net price calculators
are now mandated by the Federal Government, it is not always easy to find them
on college and university websites.

To simplify that task, U.S. News has
created a page with links to the price calculators for more than 250 National
Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges, with plans to add

To see if your school is listed and to compare how your calculator
compares for ease of use with those of your competitors who are already listed

Marketing on Facebook: Big
Brand Failures and a Success Story

J.C. Penney, Gap, and Nordstrom
have closed Facebook stores after a lack of success with efforts started over
the past year. Lessons are here for higher education re reasonable expectations
from social media marketing efforts.

As a direct sales tool, Facebook is
not the right place. Burberry, on the other hand, has had great success crafting
a marketing effort designed to move visitors along from Facebook to a
traditional website. In September 2010, Facebook produced 1.9 percent of website
visitors. A year later, 29.1 percent of website visitors arrived from Facebook.
One result: less need for paid online advertising.

Read more on what
works and what does not for effective Facebook marketing at

Most Popular in the February

“The Essential Word List for Lazy PR Writers” was the
runaway popularity winner. If you missed the 32-item list last month, visit
Position at Northeastern University

The position of director of
enrollment marketing and communications is open at Northeastern

For a description of the position, qualifications needed, and
application details send an email to Margot Lansing at the search firm of
Lansing & Whitfield at

Conferences and Webinars in

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

May 8-10, Philadelphia: J.BoyePhiladelphia12 Web and Intranet
Conference. Tutorial presentation: “Digital Marketing Strategy: 2015 and Beyond”
and a regular session: “Top Task Website Design: Lessons from University
Research.” Check the program 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 5 services.

• Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
• Writing Right
for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, Campus Workshops
• Expert Marketing
Communications Website Reviews
• Competitive Website Reviews
• Search
Engine Optimization Reviews 

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