Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… March 2022

March… Spring is almost upon us. We smile as COVID and attendant restrictions diminish. We hope that an ugly war soon does the same. Stay well.

Notable Twitter Quote: “Yield is more about the first interactions than the last. There is no such thing as ‘yield season.” Wise words from Allison Turcio, AVP for enrollment and marketing at Siena College.

What challenges are you experiencing at your campus? Take a moment to share with eduWeb Summit 2022 conference planners as they create a new experience focusing on the problems you face and their best solutions. Register now at 2019 pricing – $975. This year’s conference is at the Hilton at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, July 26-28.

How to create a strong marketing website? Keep potential students smiling after their first visit with rapid completion of the tasks that brought them to your site. Gerry McGovern’s Top Task webinar series continues on March 22 with “Top Task Answers and Questions.”

Join 888 higher education professionals on the members-only Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group at LinkedIn. Review my posts with top tasks for potential high school students and graduate students. Join at

Follow along with 7,200+ people for my daily marketing updates on Twitter.

Forward this newsletter to a friend. Only email required here to subscribe for a personal copy.

And now, your marketing news and notes for March
Cartoon of the Month: The “Hype Cycle” and the Metaverse

Prepare for increasing questions about how to employ the wonders of the Metaverse for brand recognition and student recruitment. Maybe even fund raising.

Start with Tom Fishburne’s “Hype Cycle Methodology,” a subjective path to evaluate new technologies created by Gartner, Inc. in 1995. It hasn’t always been right.

Last fall 68 percent of adults said they were not interested in the Metaverse. Elon Musk is skeptical. Meta (Mark Zuckerberg) invested $4 billion in the last quarter of 2021. More at “metaverse hype cycle.”
Higher Education Marketing: Simpson Scarborough Survey Results

The 4th version of the Simpson Scarborough survey of higher education marketing officers has, as always, a variety of interesting results. My favorites include:

  • While near 90 percent are involved in “Recruitment Strategy,” less than 40 percent are involved in “Pricing and Tuition Strategy.” That’s rather a steep handicap.
  • “Brand performance is infrequently measured.” Only 20 percent do this, a sure way to waste money on brand campaigns.

Review and download the survey results, including marketing budgets as percent of institutional budget and “per enrolled student,” at “State of Higher Ed Marketing.”
Winners: 9th Annual Education Digital Marketing Awards

Agencies and their clients love awards. And so today we link to the winners in 33 award categories in 14 higher ed groupings for digital marketing. If you can’t find a category to enter you just are not trying.

Early entries for next year are just $40. You’ll be happy to know that you can enter in as many categories as you wish. Lots of winners to can in Gold, Silver, and Bronze, and Merit levels.

Winners for “Total Digital Marketing Program:” Alabama State Department of Education, Amarillo College, Arkansas Tech University, Auburn University. You can search for winners in each of the 33 categories.

Check winners in your favorite categories at “Educational Digital Marketing Awards.”
Crypto Currency: Valid for Tuition at a Wharton School Course

Anyone talking about accepting crypto currency for tuition at your school?

Until this January only a small number of schools with relatively low brand recognition were accepting crypto. That changed when the Wharton School decided to accept crypto for a 6-wek certificate program, “Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets.”

That’s a first step. We’ll see if more schools follow. Certainly, a way for an early adopter to differentiate itself and gain brand awareness. “Fortune favors the brave” and all that.

See less than 12 schools in the U.S. and around the world accepting crypto at “Can You Pay College Tuition with Crypto?
“Taster” Courses: First Step in Master’s Degree Marketing

“Some are offering ‘taster’ courses … that provide credit towards a degree at the institution. This has the benefit of engaging or ‘hooking’ students onto an area of study and encouraging them onto an area of study and encouraging them once they’ve completed their taster course to continue with their students.”

That’s folks at Terminalfour describing how many schools are generating interest in their master’s degree programs. No application needed for the individual course. Tuition required. Completion does not guarantee admission to the full program.

Courses are offered by MIT, RIT, Georgia Tech, Michigan and many more around the world. Check the courses, the schools, and the marketing message at “MicroMasters Programs.”
Social Media Marketing: HubSpot’s “Ultimate Guide”

HubSpot starts 2022 with a long, detailed guide to 9 individual platforms, 4 possible benefits, 4 steps to creating an effective marketing strategy, and 10 metrics to measure success.

Useful both to experienced social media marketers and to people with little or no experience that you might want to shift to this area. Excellent for a group discussion re what to expect from social media marketing on various platforms.

Scan this easy-to-read article to compare what you are doing now and steps that might improve your results. Start at ‘Social Media Marketing: The Ultimate Guide.”
2021-22 Application Trends: A Common App Report

Jeff Selingo reports that based on people using the Common App, application levels are running higher this year than last. You can link from Jeff’s newsletter to the Common App reports he’s writing about.

Notable points: Most of these applications are at selective (less than 50 percent admit rate), private sector schools. And thus, it isn’t surprising that “the majority of applicants continue to hail from the wealthiest ZIP codes.”

Texas (up 40 percent) and South Carolina (up 61 percent) are doing especially well. Northeastern schools not nearly as well. Applications in Connecticut, Delaware, and Maine have decreased.

More from Jeff and the full Common App report at “Next / Jeff Selingo.”
Higher Ed Hedge Funds: Endowment vs. Tuition Income at 19 Colleges

“When does a college or university stop being an institution of higher education, and start being considered an investment firm that runs education enterprises on the side?”

That’s Jon Boeckenstedt’s question as he introduces a ratio of endowment vs. tuition income for 19 colleges and universities. Top on the list is Princeton. Second is Berea College (no tuition charged).

Princeton best fits the “hedge fund” description, Berea not so much. See the other 17 schools at “Higher Ed’s Hedge Funds.”
Writing Right for the Web: Key Tips from Mongoose Research

“Most higher ed websites read like a novel, with large paragraphs that overwhelm most visitors.”

True words from Mongoose Research to introduce a brief 60 second video with tips to improve.

Website visitors scan before they read. If they can’t scan, most don’t read. Many first-time visitors will leave and not return.

Make your website a friendly place to visit after reviewing the scannability tips at “Tips to Keep Your Website Visitors Happy.”
Most Popular in February Newsletter: Low Income, Economic Mobility Rankings

Jon Boeckenstedt created a new ranking of colleges and universities using economic mobility data. Criteria include low-income students enrolled and graduated and affordability, based on low cost in relation to student income.

Sort by state (recommended for best comparisons given different public sector funding policies) and public and private sectors, including for profit-and not-for-profit.

See how your school is ranked when you visit “On Rankings, 1911, and Economic Mobility.”

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