Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… January 2017

Happy New Year to everyone, everywhere. May your marketing plans bring you great success in 2017.

The Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group on LinkedIn added 26 members since the December newsletter for a total of 320. Our first 2017 member is Gaelle Le Goff, International Development Manager at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. If you are on LinkedIn and work at a college or university, join us. Request your membership now.

My new website went live early in December. Start a visit on the home page. Learn what people love and hate about your site with our free web visitor survey.

The eduWeb Digital Summit is set this year for August 7-10 in Boston. The Call for Papers is open now.

New year thanks to Brian Niles and TargetX for continuing to host the email database for this newsletter for the 15th year. Learn more about how TargetX can help you recruit and retain students at
Digital Marketing Strategy: Tutorial + Bonus Slides

View and download a PDF of my Digital Marketing Strategy tutorial at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, with 6 bonus slides not used in the original presentation, on my blog.

And mark your calendar now for the 2017 AMA marketing symposium: November 12-15 in Atlanta.

Join 7,350+ followers on Twitter for daily marketing updates.

And now here are your January marketing news and notes.
Cartoon of the Month: Pleasures and Perils of Predictive Analytics

2017 is a year to explore how predictive analytics might help colleges and universities recruit more effectively by sending people messages that better match their interests.

Tom Fishburne notes the possibilities and warns against the pitfalls in a December cartoon.
High School Graduates: State-by-State Changes, 2016 to 2024

Jon Boeckenstedt at DePaul University took time in December to explore macro and micro levels of change in students graduating from high school between now and 2014. The result is an easy ability to compare changes by state and regions, by ethnicity, and by 2-year comparisons.

Find the numbers that are most important to you.
Higher Education in 2017: Moody’s Sees Relative Stability

The people who focus on higher education finances see modest increases in tuitions and state funding levels combining with a small increase in enrollment to predict overall stability in 2017.

Moody’s notes, however, that financial challenges will persist for many small private colleges and regional public universities. More in an Inside Higher Ed report.
Advertising Online: Google Expands AdWords Text Limit

Google recently expanded the possible size of text ads you can use online.

A WordStream article on “7 Best Practices” for the new Google ads will help craft changes that should produce higher response rates. But keep in mind number 4: “Don’t pause your old ads right away.”

More on how to take best advantage of the new opportunity.
Busting Myths: What High School Students Expect from College Web Sites

College enrollment professionals often believe the wrong things about what high school students believe are the most important elements at higher education websites. Serious mistakes can result.

Students, for instance, are more interested in text content than videos. Higher education people believe the opposite is true. Video has a place on websites but do not let it obscure key text content.

Find out more about where professionals and those they recruit agree and disagree when you download the “Mythbusting Websites” research from mStoner and Chegg.
Reading on the Web: Mobile and Large Screen Differences

New research from the Nielsen Norman Group should encourage everyone who wants to believe that people read and understand web content on either mobile and large screen devices.

The Nielsen folk note an important point: brevity counts everywhere online. But people will read and can comprehend even complex content on any device. On mobile, for instance, the reading rate slows but it does not stop.

More on how to improve your “Writing Right for the Web” success rate.
Gen Z: Not Like the Millennial Generation

Millennials no long populate our high schools. Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2011, is upon us. And for student recruitment success, that means noting some important differences.

Gen Z, Ad Age reports, is even more “brand wary” than Millennials are. Traditional brand marketing that still rules the day at many colleges and universities will fail with this group. And Gen Z is more frugal, warier of perceived financial traps that will limit their future success. That puts more pressure on colleges and universities to deal with the cost issue early in the recruitment process.

Read “Welcome to the Gen Z Challenge.”
Email Marketing: 3 Reasons it Beats Social Media for Lead Generation

Yes, social media has a marketing role. But it is not nearly as effective as email in generating new leads. In fact, according to a 2014 McKinsey report, email was about 3 times more effective at lead generation.

Why? Review 3 reasons that include the simple fact that people in an email database are more likely to see a message than people who are social media connections. Check the other 2 reasons.
Fun in January: Top 50 Super Bowl Ads

If you watch the Super Bowl as much (or more) for the ads than for the game, you will want to visit the Ad Age archive of the 50 best ads. Scan the list, watch your old favorites, and ask yourself this question: How many of these do I remember?

Start your trip down memory lane.
New Books: Digital Transformation and Higher Education Marketing

“Transform: A Rebel’s Guide to Digital Transformation,” a new book from Gerry McGovern, includes a chapter on how we can be better marketers in the digital world. My review is on LinkedIn.

“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 to a book that will help you build a better marketing plan in 2017. Read the description here.
Most Popular Topic in December Newsletter: 7 Words that Kill Conversions

If you advertise online or anywhere else to bring people to a website form you want them to complete, review these 7 “Conversion Sabotaging Words to Avoid at All Costs” from WordStream.

You will never use “Submit” again.
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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

Increase your marketing success with one or more of these services. Contact me for details at

Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
Communication Audits
Expert Marketing Communications Website Reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *