Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… January 2013

A Happy New Year to everyone. Here we are in 2013, ready for another year of
change and challenge in higher education around the world. Best wishes to all of
you as you seek to navigate to success these next 12 months.

time at the conferences that best fit your interests is an important part of
learning new navigation skills and hearing from friends and colleagues about
what has worked best for them and what has not. Three of my favorites the first
half of the year are down below at the end of the newsletter.

One of
those, eduWeb, the Call for Papers for the 2013 eduWeb conference in Boston
opened today and will run until February 15. Visit for

My secret shopping series on email inquiry responses from 6
colleges and universities is winding down. For a new report last week that
includes the application deadline that was not really a deadline visit

And now here are your
marketing news and notes for
Kiplinger’s Magazine: 2013
Public Sector Best Value Schools

January brings the new Kiplinger
edition of the best values in public universities. The first 100 start with
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and end with Missouri University of
Science and Technology.

The report includes not only in-state and
out-of-state total costs and costs after need-based financial aid, but also
average loan debt. The debt leader among the first 100 schools is University of
New Hampshire at $34,194. The lowest average debt was at North Georgia College
and State University at $10,128.

Check for your school when you visit

University of California: A Video to Fan the
Flames of Logo Change

The University of California will not be using
its new logo after all, given the huge negative response to the new symbol. That
announcement came in mid-December. Logo change is never easy, from the internal
deliberations to the first public exposure.

One thing you do not want to
do is create a special promo video that seems to (literally) dismissively brush
aside the old in favor of the new in an effort to shed light on a university
that few believed was in the dark before the new logo appeared.

the official UC promo video at for an example of how not to
introduce a new logo.
New from Mobile
Marketer: The Classic Guide to Mobile Marketing

As a marketer, you
cannot escape the mobile element today. One good place to refresh and renew is
with the new 5th edition of the Classic Guide to Mobile Marketing, released in
late December. The collection of short articles includes several on the
challenges of advertising successfully in the mobile world.

Download your
copy of the 46-page PDF at

MOOCs Search for Business

If you thought the providers of Massive Open Online Courses
were oblivious to the potential of making a financial profit, read the Wall
Street Journal article outlining the interest of venture capitalists to invest
large amounts of money in the expectation that profits will indeed be

The path is not yet clear. But initial steps are underway and
those who venture are optimistic. Learn more from the WSJ at

Advertising ROI: 10 Landing Page Tips
to Increase Inquiry Conversion

As many of you know, I collect
examples of the landing pages that follow after an online ad. Often those
landing pages seem designed by people who are afraid of receiving too many
inquiries. The inevitable result: too much money spent on creative and media
buys is wasted.

To increase your conversion rates, check “10 Ways to
Optimize for Lead Generation” from Website Magazine. The first tip: “Focus on
Simplified Design.” In the higher education world that means do not ever take a
potential student to a regular website page.

Read more about the value of
simple design and 9 other steps to increase your inquiry pool at
Information Reported Again: Tulane MBA Admission Stats

Will we have
more revelations in 2013 of false information reported to US News and elsewhere
to gain ranking points?

In late December Tulane became the fourth
well-known school in 2012 to make a public admission. This case involved GMAT
scores and application numbers for the MBA program. Details from Inside Higher
Ed are at

Online Advertising: Debating the
Value of Banner Ads

In a December column for AdAge, Jeff Rosenblum
was direct in his opinion that banner ads are “worthless real estate” bought my
marketers who do not know how to use them online.

On major point: banner
ads in traditional marketing work best to move a person to action when there is
already awareness of a brand and appreciation of what it has to offer. Many
marketers, on the other hand, buy online banner ads to create initial brand
awareness. And in that case, most people ignore banner ads.

Do you agree?
Be sure to read the comments to his article as well as more of the Rosenblum
analysis at

Mobile App for Admission and
Financial Aid: New at Harvard University

If you have the resources, a
mobile app can still be a better way to cover specific tasks for mobile visitors
than a responsive remake of your regular website. At Harvard, a new mobile app
is available for smartphone users: Harvard College Admissions and Financial Aid.

Review 6 mobile apps that cover things from the university as a whole to
the Law School, the School of Public Health, and the arboretum when you visit

Trustees & Higher Education: My
School is Good, Others Not so Much

Trustees at U.S. colleges and
universities seem to agree with much of current public opinion about higher
education: cost is too high and schools are not doing a good job of preparing
people for career success. Those are some results from a survey of trustees
taken by the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities.

Thanks change when AGB asked trustees to differentiate between their own
school and others. In that case, for instance, 45 percent felt their schools
were doing a good job of career preparation compared to only 18 percent who felt
that other schools were doing the same.

Download the 18-page PDF report
from AGG at

Wish I Had Said This: Deb Maue on
MOOCs, Napster, and Higher Education

Today starts an occasional new
feature for the newsletter: a direct link to something I have read that I wish I
had written.

This item is for deniers who still think that the way higher
education is delivered is not about to go through serious change much faster
than many anticipate. Deb has picked up on an important recent event. The
American Council on Education is undertaking a study about whether or not it is
OK to give credit for MOOC courses. That’s the end of the story. The end game is upon us.

Deb tells us how MOOCs are the Napster event of higher
education at

Most Popular Topic in the December
Newsletter: NSSE Student Survey Results for 2012

The most visited
item in the December newsletter let people download a copy of the 2012
undergraduate report on student engagement. Get your copy and see if your school
participated at

Conferences and Webinars in

Look for presentation details in the February

In the meantime, do plan to attend one or more of my
favorites: J.Boye Web and Intranet Conference in May, ACT Enrollment Planners
Conference in July, and eduWeb Conference also in July.

Expand the
marketing skills of people on your campus. Host a campus workshop on any of my
conference presentation topics or “Writing Right for The Web.” Scan the
presentation topics at

Contact me at or call me at 248.766.6425 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 248.766.6425 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
All for Now

Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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

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