Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… August 2018

August, and here in Michigan the proverbial “dog days” of summer have arrived. Legend says they will pass by August 11, well in time for summer move in days for new freshmen at residential colleges. We shall hope.

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Ready for the European Union’s GDPR privacy rules? If you recruit European students or communicate with alumni who are EU citizens, visit and download the slides from my eduWeb Digital Summit workshop, “GDPR: New Privacy Rules, Digital Communications, Marketing Opportunities.”

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Updating your website? Set priorities after you first find out what potential students like and dislike about your current site. Feedback in 5 days on 13 quality points is yours with Gerry McGovern’s unique Customer Centric Index surveyVisit “How it works.”

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And now here are your August marketing news and notes.
Cartoon of the Month: “How to define your brand positioning”

As important as “brand” is to marketing efforts, people, agencies, and organizations can get over the top as they try to differentiate one brand from another. Before you set out to discover your “brand essence” or “brand promise” or “brand purpose” or “brand personality,” circulate this cartoon from Tom Fishburne.
Purdue University Global: First TV ads ran in July

Looks as if Purdue is ready for the online enrollment wars with Arizona State University, Southern New Hampshire University, University of Phoenix… and a plethora of others.

First report of a TV ad (during a baseball game) came from Robert Kelchen on Twitter a couple of weeks ago. Soon after I saw one on USA network’s “Queen of the South.”

The basic message is simple: “Online Education for Working Adults.” Check scenes from a mom driving her kids to aerial balloons to a space station when you watch the 60-second ad. You’ll also see others that are just 19 seconds. The education, in case you wondered, is “rigorous.”

Visit the Purdue University YouTube channel.
“25 Best University Websites”: Mobile speed tests

A new ranking of the “Best 25” university websites in the U.S. was published last month by Jay Baer using a variety of criteria from navigation to content to mobile friendliness and more. How did these 25 universities compare specifically for home page mobile download speed.

The results of my tests on Advertising Online: Are short ads effective?Google Test My Site: 11 were “Good” and 4 were “Poor.” Google warns that “Most sites lose have their visitors while loading.” None of the 25 were that bad. See the best of the best for speed and estimated visitor loss.
Advertising Online: Are short ads effective?

AdAge reports on research comparing the effectiveness of 6-second, 15-second, and 30-second ads.

By themselves, 15-second ads were most effective. The best impact from 6-second ads came when they followed and reinforced an earlier 30-second ad rather than appearing first as a “teaser” to the longer message. Run alone, 6-second ads were least effective.

More on the research in “New Research: The Six-Second Ad Experience.”
College and University Rankings: New College Consensus style

The style twist: College Consensus creates a single ranking score by averaging a “publisher consensus” and a “student consensus” from scores drawn from several different sources. The top 5 results in “national” and “regional” sectors for “colleges” and “universities” are presented on the home page for easy scanning. Follow a “more” link to see many more schools in each category.

The site also presents “best” schools in categories that include “Christian” and “Catholic” on the home page and “Mountain” and “Beach” elsewhere. FYI, University of Colorado – Boulder leads the list for “Best College Waterparks.”

See where your school falls in the array of possibilities as you explore the College Consensus site.
“Full-Pay” Students: Does your president want more of them?

Searching for students who might enroll without any institutional aid is not an easy task. Unicorns, anyone?

Full-pay students (defined as anyone enrolling without any institutional aid of any sort) exist. And Jon Boeckenstedt is back with a new Higher Ed Data Stories article on where they are most likely to enroll. Advantage: schools with admissions selectivity rates under 45 percent. Percent of full-pays at schools with 60 to 90 percent selectivity hovers around 5 percent.

For details that might bring reality to your plans to increase full pay students, visit “All the 2015 Freshman Full-pays.”
College Viewbooks: A brief history

Starting in 1866 at Berea College and continuing through other examples that include a detailed review of Carleton College efforts from 1907 to 1950 you can follow along as Jens Larson takes you through a history (brief!) of how colleges have been promoting themselves to potential students.

Some things change. Like the balance between text and photos. But some things are not so new. Like an aerial view of a campus. And descriptions of beautiful locations. One wonders how often the “nestled” word appeared in these early communications.

Take a break today and follow along with Jens at “A Brief History of College Viewbooks.”
Email Marketing: 5 tips for happier audiences

In the mix of communications tools, email marketing remains a strong element. If, of course, it is done right. Check your efforts against the words of wisdom from Jake Solyst at idFive.

My favorite of the 5 is the last one: “Flashy design isn’t always the best.” Check the others at “5 Ways to Keep Your Email Audience Happy.”
Top Tasks Master Class: Gerry McGovern in Chicago

Gerry is doing a Top Tasks Master Class in Chicago August 29 at the “An Event Apart” conference.

Details: “Top Tasks: Helping You Deliver a Better User Experience.”
Most Popular Topic in July Newsletter: “Start Your College Search with Google”

Search for a college or university on Google and you’ll immediately get info on admissions, cost, student life and more. Check the new Google plan at “Start Your College Search with Google.”
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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

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