Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… November 2018

November. And the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education that started Sunday. Not there this year, so a distant hello from Michigan to friends attending. Enjoy. If you’re not in Orlando, review Monday’s tweets and follow along with new ones.

Gerry McGovern has a new book: Top Tasks – a How-to Guide. You can read the first chapter here. And Gerry will do an introductory webinar on November 12 at 10 AM Eastern. Register in seconds with just name and email.

Updating your website? Set priorities after you find out what potential students like and dislike about your current site. Feedback in 5 days on 13 quality points with Gerry McGovern’s unique Customer Centric Index (CCI) survey approach. Visit “How it works” at

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And now here are your November marketing news and notes.
Cartoon of the Month: Can you accept “Evidence Based Marketing”?

Tom Fishburne’s cartoon this month introduces a new book (Eat Your Greens) that challenges many long-held marketing conventions in a collection of 35 essays. Here’s a sample: “They challenged the idea of differentiation and the absurdity of much of the overcooked, incredibly self-aggrandizing brand positioning” to “puncture many of the helium balloons of horseshit being inflated across the conference stages of the marketing world.”

Start a journey that might make you uncomfortable while making you a better marketing with Tom’s Evidence Based Marketing cartoon.
Test Optional Colleges: List of the “Best” from Niche

Without doubt the test optional movement is growing despite the best efforts of ACT and The College Board to slow the recent momentum.

Potential students who search for a list of test optional colleges and universities likely will find the “2019
Best Test Optional Colleges in America” list from Niche. The listing for each school also includes acceptance rate and net cost numbers.

First on the Niche list is University of Chicago. Visitors can break schools on the 28 list pages by selectivity: Extremely selective, Very selective, Selective, Average, Not selective. And, of course, a host of other characteristics.

Find your school (and maybe your competitors) on the Niche list of test-optional colleges and universities.
Online Advertising: Landing Page Example from Elon University

Elon University in North Carolina is advertising in online editions of the Boston Globe to bring traditional age students to apply for admission. Elon opens with a prompt to “Experience a place like no other” and a CTA to “Explore Elon.”

What will potential students who take the bait find on the landing page? How did Elon follow through on that “place like no other” claim? See for yourself when you visit the “Applying to Elon” landing page.
College Presidents & US News Rankings: Only 15 of 90 Commented

Does anyone not think that college presidents are interested in their standing in the US News ranking report?

In my review of 90 presidents with Twitter accounts that I follow, I found only 15 presidents who had something to say about their results, including four who celebrated ranking advancement and one who was critical of the whole process. What are presidents most likely to tweet about? Athletics. And more athletics.

The 15 comments and other notes on presidential tweets are at “College presidents… what they say on Twitter.”
Best U.S. Universities on YouTube: 5 Examples

Localist, an events calendar frim, earlier this year picked 5 higher education YouTube channels that it thought were best in the U.S. The five: New York University, The University of Oregon, Mount Holyoke College, MIT, and The University of Texas at Austin.

You’ll find short summaries of why these are strong along with links to each site at “5 Colleges and Universities that Rock on YouTube in 2018.
College Costs: Potential Students Don’t Have Accurate Information

Despite all the talk about “affordability” in higher education, most 9th grade students included in a report from the National Center for Education Statistics” either over estimate or underestimate public university costs in their state by wide margins. Significant disparities exist within every ethnic group.

Granted, these folks are early in high school. We’d like to think that enlightenment might happen as students explore cost presentations on higher education websites. Alas, my explorations say that’s not likely to happen, at least at the start of the college search process.

You’ll find a summary of the results from Inside Higher Education and a link to the full 38-page report when you visit “What High Schoolers Don’t Know about Tuition Rates.”
Artificial Intelligence & Marketing: The Future is Here

Are you ready to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to your higher education marketing plans?

If you’re like most marketers, you’re still trying to puzzle out the most valuable opportunities and deal with resource allocation.

Daniel Faggella at TechEmergence gives us useful oversight of the possibilities, including sections on (1) Search, (2) Recommendation Engines, (3) Programmatic Advertising, (4) Marketing Forecasting, and (5) Speech/Text Recognition. At the end you’ll find a glossary of important AI terms.

If you want to lead the discussion on your campus about AI marketing possibilities, schedule your reading to include “Artificial Intelligence in Marketing and Advertising – 5 Examples of Real Traction.”
Website Marketing Strength: 4 Steps from the Content Marketing Institute

Aleh Barysevitch details how to approach website improvements to help your website standout in Google searches. Start with (1) Rethink your speed statistics, and then move along to (2) Identify areas of improvement with Google Page Speed Insights and (3) Work on your optimization score before finishing with (4) Reorganize your website.

If you score well in the first three areas, don’t have to worry about a website reorganization. If you do not, then this goal is critical: “try to simplify your site as much as you can.”

More from the Content Marketing Institute at “4 Steps to Speed Up Your Website…
Facebook and Americans: 8 Facts from Pew Research Center

Despite Facebook problems this year, it remains a dominant social media force among most Americans as the results of these 8 Pew Internet surveys in 2018 tell us.

But people recruiting high school students will focus on one survey: Facebook use among teens 13 to 17 today is just 51 percent, down from 71 percent in 2014-15. YouTube is the top site for teens today at 85 percent participation. Instagram (72 percent) and Snapchat (69 percent) follow.

Change the question to which site teens use “most often” and Snapchat (35 percent) is on top, followed by YouTube (32 percent). Instagram (15 percent) is a distant third. Facebook follows along at 10 percent

More on social media use among Americans of every age at “8 Facts about Americans and Facebook.”
Most Popular Topic in October Newsletter: Creating Stronger Leads with “Gated Content”

One way, maybe the best way, to reach final enrollment goals at the end of the recruitment process is to start with the strongest possible inquiry pool. To help do that see “What is Gated Content and How Can Higher Education Leverage It for Lead Generation.”
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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

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