Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… April 2018

April. Ready for spring, but it still feels like March here in Michigan, A challenging student recruitment season comes to an end May 1 for some and will continue into the summer for others. Good luck to everyone for a strong closing.

Review of email and social media content from online MBA programs at American, Dayton, and Syracuse universities and Simmons Collegecontinues. In the 4th installment are 44 emails received from August through February from University of Dayton. Visit and scan subject highlights and frequency.

The Call for Papers for the American Marketing Association Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education next November is open until April 30.

Registration for the 2018 eduWeb Digital Summit (July 23-25, San Diego) is open now. Registration details are here.

Gerry McGovern presents the 3rd in a 3-part webinar series (Customer Experience Architecture: Designing for the Customer) on April 10. Content preview and registration.

Join 601 higher education professionals on the Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group at LinkedIn. Read “New UNO Home Page Focuses on Top Tasks” from the UNO director of digital communications.

Updating your website in 2018? First find out what potential students like and dislike about it. Feedback in 5 days on 13 quality points is yours with Gerry McGovern’s unique survey approach. See “How it works.”

Join 7,526+ people on Twitter at twitter.com/HighEdMarketing for daily marketing updates.

And now here are your April marketing news and notes.
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Cartoon of the Month: New Data Secrecy Changes Arriving Soon

Our April cartoon challenges what we hide in “Terms of Service” agreements. And it presages what our friends in the European Union are sending our way in May: new GDPR privacy requirements that will change the way we communicate with potential students and alumni in Europe. Laugh now, weep later.
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April 1 Special: Essential Usability Principles for Dogs

OK, April 1 is past. By a bit. But there is still time to laugh along with this Nielsen-Norman report. Special attention to the role of AI and VR. And to why hamburger menus (not especially effective with humans) are a disaster for dogs.

If you believe “Dog-friendly design is the next logical step in user experience” learn more here.
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Generation Z: 5 Points Impacting College Choice

College bound students born between 1997 and 2012 offer little hope for colleges and universities struggling to contain or reduce tuition discounting. Why? These students “Plan to Avoid Student Loan Debt” Presenting “loans” as “financial aid” will not work. Presenting overall loan levels less than rival schools likely is a competitive advantage.

Read more about what drives Generation Z in the college search.
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Communicating with Parents: 4 Top Tips to Gather Names

Relative few colleges and universities keep a data base of parents for communication throughout a recruitment cycle. Communicating with parents is especially important early in the process when their influence and participation is highest.

Mongoose Research offers 4 tips on creating an inquiry form that is most likely to generate parent participation. The overall message: keep it simple. And mobile friendly. Parents will read email and receive text messages. Start your database after reviewing the tips.
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GDPR: What do those letters mean for student and alumni communications?

If you recruit international students from Europe or communicate with European alumni, the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules from the European Union will dramatically change the way most U.S. schools communicate, from the time you first contact a person to the way you store and maintain your records and allow people access to them.

The regulations take effect in May. The penalties are large. Start your visit to GDPR at the official European Union site.
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Marketing and Artificial Intelligence: Optimism for the Future

People who use in-home Apple and Google AI devices is growing rapidly for both practical reasons and as entertainment that often replaces television.

Marketers, according to Adweek, have been reluctant to adopt AI from fears that range from privacy to a reluctance to invests in innovation that replaces people. If that’s the case on your campus, have folks on your marketing team read and discuss “AI’s Takeover Involves More Humanization than Skeptics Anticipated.”
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Test Optional Admissions: The Debate Intensifies

What do ACT and SAT test scores contribute to the college admissions process? That question is receiving new attention as 2018 unfolds. Require tests? Or be test-optional?

When Inside Higher Ed ran a March article (“Change the Discussion on Standardized Tests”), Jon Boeckenstedt at DePaul University referred to it on Twitter as “More of the same crap we’ve come to expect.” As Jon also said, “Read it and decide for yourself.”

The article is here.
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The Need for Speed: Marketing Success Depends on It

How successful will your marketing be if impatience drove 47 percent of visitors to your website or landing page away?

New research from Adobe reports that if “Content takes too long to load,” 47 percent of visitors will “stop altogether” on a site and leave. Just 22 percent will persist.

Review these results and others for content length, impact of broken links and more.
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Top 10 MBA Schools: “6 Biggest Surprises” in US News Rankings

Will minor ratings changes among elite MBA programs impact the number and quality of applications?

The Booth School at University of Chicago claimed a 1st place finish this year, moving up from 3rd place last year. The University of Michigan climbed into 7th place spot after a Top 10 absence for the first time in 14 years. Last year it was only in 11th place.

Does any of this jiggling about among the highest ranked MBA schools make a difference? Skeptics abound. In a year we’ll know. Meantime, check other changes in the Forbes “6 Biggest Surprises in the New MBA Ranking” article.
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Most Popular Topic in March Newsletter: American University Online MBA Recruitment Emails

Detailed review of 40 recruitment emails (September through February) from Kogod School at American University.
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Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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

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

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