Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… June 2014

May zipped on past and here we are in June. But on Lake Superior the ice is not quite gone yet.

More time now to plan your summer professional development activity. Here are three conferences to consider for June, July, and August. I am looking forward to meeting old and new friends at each one.

June 25-27 brings “Building a Strategic Recruitment Communication Plan” from Academic Impressions. Details are at bit.ly/1rjGVq6

On July 23-25 the excellent ACT Enrollment Planners Conference convenes in Chicago. Check the program for sessions of interest, including my pre-conference workshop on “Essential Keys to Successful Online Recruiting,” at bit.ly/1rjGVq6

The eduWeb Conference for 2014 runs from August 4-6 in Baltimore. Start your exploration with a strong selection of pre-conference workshops, including my own “Advertising Online: Strategy and Tactics for Recruitment Success,” at bit.ly/1rtHaMw

And now here are your marketing news and notes for June.
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Lead Generation: Schools on Demand 

Not many days ago a TV ad appeared touting SchoolsonDemand.com as the perfect place to find the perfect school. And so I went along to see just what was afoot.

Schools on Demand asks a few basic questions, including how much you want to spend, what region you want to study in, and what level degree you plan to earn. Schools sign up for the service to receive leads. 

Degree level and geography matching and need tweaking. My bachelor’s level interest schools in the Great Lakes region turned up Baker College Center for Graduate studies. Another of the schools was at the University of Cincinnati. Ohio, yes, but not especially near the Great Lakes. 

The site is also selling ACT and SAT test prep for “guaranteed results.”

Schools can put a video online. When I went to watch videos for University of Miami, NYU, and Boston College I had to wait 30 seconds for Buick or GMC Sierra commercials to end. Comcast Cable owns the service.

Check the 6 schools listed under “Most Beautiful Campus” when you visit to see how the site works at bit.ly/1kco3rR 
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Online faculty: New hiring model from Southern New Hampshire University

For-profit universities and other schools with large online enrollments designed to generate high revenue margins often are criticized for having too many courses taught by part-time faculty. And part-time faculty often have to teach at more than one school at the same time to have any chance of earning a decent living.

SNHU has adopted a model that offers security to adjuncts. Teach 20 courses in a year and you can earn $55,000 plus benefits from the same employer. And for about $2,750 plus benefits per course SNHU can deflect criticism re the coming and going of too many part-time people and still keep instructional cost low. 

For more on the new approach visit the Chronicle of Higher Education article at bit.ly/RqGyMU 
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Marketing Automation: The “Must Have” elements

Experts in marketing automation share top tips in this Website Magazine article at bit.ly/SXZy65

My favorite: ease of use is critical. Not everyone remembers that when making a purchase decision. Have your people who will use whatever you might buy test system components before you spend your money.

This is the first in a series that that will help you keep your student recruitment operations as effective as possible. Part II and Part II are available now for your continued reading.
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Branding and Promotion vs. Direct Marketing: A need to shift marketing resources?

Some colleges and universities invest scarce resources in research and creative efforts for branding campaigns without having the resources or patience to sustain a campaign long enough to achieve meaningful results. 

Many colleges and universities have not yet invested resources to purchase CRM systems and train admissions recruiters on how to use them. The result: less than optimum enrollment conversion.

If you can do both, great. If not, shift resources. For more on the future direction of higher education marketing, visit bit.ly/1hh5Q6G 
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Mobile Advertising: Google still dominates

Spending on mobile advertising continues to grow and Google continues to take the lead in spending with 57 percent of the total. Facebook, Pandora, and Twitter follow along behind. Far behind.

People respond to smartphone ads, with 64 percent reporting that they have made a purchase based on a mobile ad. 

For more on what is happening now and what to expect between now and 2017 read “The Growth of Mobile Ads” infographic at bit.ly/1iTsA1y 
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Tuition Discounting and Summer Melt: Increasing one to decrease the other

The “Summer Scramble” article from Inside Higher Ed begins with the use of revised financial aid packages by some private sector schools that did not meet freshmen enrollment goals by May 1. 

How high can
tuition discounting go as a strategy to maintain a market position before the impact on net revenue has seriously negative results? 


Philadelphia area schools are the focus but the same can likely be said about competitive clusters across the country. For more visit bit.ly/1hkhByI
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SEO for Dummies: 10 simple steps

Social Media Today brings us a quick review of 10 important elements needed to build a road to better search optimization for your web pages.

 

Whether
you do this yourself or just want to have better discussions with the people
who do, visit
bit.ly/1oRj930  

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36 Rules of Social Media: How many do you know?

Make wagers with your friends on how many of the 36 you already know. Then test your expert ninja knowledge when you visit the infographic on Pinterest at bit.ly/1nM8Cq5 

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Website Speed: More important than website beauty

Yes, it might be an artificial choice but if you have to pick between speed and beauty on your website, opt for speed. The pity is that website download speeds are getting slower, not faster. 

You pay a penalty for losing speed. Learn more about the impact of a one second speed decrease on bounce rates and page views in a Website Magazine article at bit.ly/1kHatYf 
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Most Popular Topic in May Newsletter: Gerry McGovern on the Bucknell University Website

Visit the home page for the new Bucknell website and you will know you have fallen into a different world. Gerry was inspired to write a “Revenge of the brochure billboard designers” column at bit.ly/1s7P00u 
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Conference Presentations in June, July, August

June 25-27, Orange County, CA: Academic Impressions Conference, “Building a Strategic Recruitment Communications Plan.” Agenda and registration at bit.ly/1rjGVq6 

July 23-25, Chicago, IL: ACT Enrollment Planners Conference, “Affordability and Financial Aid: Crafting a New Student Communication Message,” and a pre-conference workshop, “Essential Keys to Successful Recruiting Online: Speed, Simplicity, and Top Task Completion.” Details at bit.ly/1lyqfdF 

August 4-6, Baltimore, MD: eduWeb2014 Conference. Program details coming soon in April at bit.ly/1pGmaBr 

Plan a custom presentation on your campus. Host a workshop on any of my conference topics. Review the 2013 and 2014 topics at bit.ly/NVQR8c and contact me at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com or 248.766.6425.
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