Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… December 2016

Our Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group on LinkedIn continues to grow, with 27 new members since the November newsletter bringing the total to 294. If you are on LinkedIn and work at a college or university, join us. Request your membership at

My new website has been running for 4 days now. Start your visit at and read about our free web visitor survey service at
Conference Event in December

My December conference event finished yesterday with the Sunday afternoon Digital Marketing Strategy tutorial. We had strong international participation this year among the 51 who attended, with people from Australia, Canada, China, Columbia, Greece, New Zealand, Panama and Peru. Now for the next two days I can visit with friends, attend sessions, and learn more about what people are doing in higher education marketing.

You can view a PDF of the slide in the presentation on my blog at

Join 7,300+ followers on Twitter at for daily marketing updates.

And now here are your December marketing news and notes.
Cartoon of the Month: Serious Advice on Digital Transformation

Tom Fishburne gives wise advice on how to avoid organizational traps as we move forward in a digital era, especially on the marketing side. Start with his organization outline that includes a spot for Director of Shiny New Things and a vacant position for Manager of Business Results.

The December cartoon of the month is at
New Brand Video: University of New Mexico

How well do you think this new 1:45 video from University of New Mexico differentiates UNM from other flagship state universities? Watch at
Branding and Higher Education: Add Direct Marketing to the Mix

It is indeed quixotic to tilt against windmills but that is rather what Seth Odell is doing when he writes about “What’s Driving the Demand for Brand in Higher Ed?” in recent years and how effective that drive might be.

Can brand campaigns not be good?

Yes, if the investment in time and money fails to produce the expected results. And in the higher education marketplace today where supply is greater than demand, that is quite possibly the result. In this context, effective direct marketing in addition to a brand campaign is essential to reach desired enrollment levels for the various programs within colleges and universities.

Read more on the need for a more comprehensive approach to higher education marketing than brand promotion at
Email Marketing: A New Revolution

Despite the many times that people have said that email is dead, it continues to serve as an important marketing tool. And that is because it has continued to evolve.

To help keep email alive and well as part of your marketing communications, see “The Coming Revolution in Email Design” at
Better Landing Page Results: 7 Words that Kill ROI

If you run ads online or anywhere else to bring people to your website, the strength of your landing page is critical to your success in gaining new enrollment inquiries. And so, take a few minutes to read “7 Conversion-Sabotaging Words to Avoid at All Costs” from Wordstream.

After you read this, you likely will never use the “Submit” word again. See the other 6 words at
Admissions, Enrollment, Financial Aid: Short Survey on 2017 Prospects

University Business magazine is conducting a short survey of people who work in college and university admissions, enrollment, and financial aid positions about what to expect in 2017.

People who complete the survey will receive a copy of the results. Start at
Transfer Student Recruitment: New Marketing Opportunity

If recruiting transfer students is an important part of your enrollment plan, review the possible benefit in a new service from Affordable College that seeks to create an online database to let community college students learn which courses will and will not transfer to participating 4-year schools.

An introductory “Shopping for Transfers” article from Inside Higher Ed is at and from there you can link to the Affordable College website.
Snapchat and Instagram Advertising: What Teens and Millennials Think About It

Advertising online can work. But not likely on either Instagram or Snapchat. This Adweek survey reports not only on attitudes toward advertising but on which one is cooler than the other, how long people think they will last, and which one is preferred if people had to pick only one.

See the clear and simple graphics at
Shiny Object Example: AdWeek on the Vine Demise

The next time someone on your campus asks about when you are going to add the latest new shiny tech innovation to your marketing mix, send them along to this story on the demise of Vine and short, looping videos at
Reality Marketing: A College Announces a Tuition “Reduction”

Several colleges in the last few years have reduced their tuition, in part to seek an antidote to tuition sticker shock and thus a more competitive market position. Most of them refer to the change as a “tuition reset” rather than a cut or a reduction.

And so, congratulations to College of St. Mary for announcing in a very large home page heading that “We’re Reducing Tuition.” Visit the home page at
Two New Books: Digital Transformation and Higher Education Marketing

Transform: A Rebel’s Guide to Digital Transformation is the new book from Gerry McGovern that includes a chapter on the marketing transformations needed. More at where you can read the first chapter for free.

Nobody Cares About Your University… Yet: The Marketer’s Winning Playbook is new from Sean Carton and Andreas Zapata at idFive. I wrote the forward for this provocative work. Read the description at
Most Popular Topic in November Newsletter: Gen Z and the Future of Marketing

Target Marketing video interview with Jamie Gutfruend, global CMO for the Wunderman agency, on the impact of Generation Z on the future of marketing was the top item last month. If you missed it, you can watch now at
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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

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