#EMchat Marketing Panel - 10/9/2014

We’re excited to be trying something new this week on #EMchat! Join us this Thursday at 9PM ET for a panel on institutional branding and marketing. We’ve pulled together a great group of professionals from across the industry to discuss best practices and trends…and it’s live!

This week’s panelists include:

Michael Wolaver, Owner of Magellan Promotions: The Collegiate arm of Magellan Promotions specializes in helping institutions find the right products to “raise awareness, increase engagement, reward and recognize achievement, and above all create excitement” for their brands. Michael is an #EMchat regular and if you’ve ever picked up an #EMchat button at a conference, he’s the man to thank. He’ll be kicking the chat off with a brief presentation highlighting the best approaches to building a brand strategy for your department.

Jeff Kallay, CEO and Cofounder of Render Experiences: We recently held a great chat with Brittney from the Render Experiences team and are excited to have Jeff join us for this panel. Jeff has become “the nationally respected authority on the emerging “experience economy” and the all-important campus visit experience.” Render Experiences works with institutions to craft campus visits that give an edge, helping them to truly stand out from the competition.

Jake Youmell, Digital Services Program Manager at Carnegie Communications: Jake is another #EMchat regular, as are the rest of the team members at Carnegie. Jake is most interested in the intersection of technology and education and brings experience from across both of those sectors with previous positions at Boston University, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and Google. At Carnegie, he works directly with client institutions to ensure long-term success with digital solutions.

Adam Castro, VP of Enrollment Management at Bloomfield College: If you don’t know Adam, this must be your first #EMchat. According to his Twitter bio, he’s “a true believer in the sweet science of EM,” and it shows through in his understanding of where the EM industry is heading and appreciation of data in the field. Also, he’s a Dogfish fanatic and that makes him pretty awesome in my book.

Eric Nichols, Dean of Admissions at St. Anselm College: Eric is another #EMchat regular and is this week’s moderator (on the Twitter side!). He’s on the road this week meeting directly with prospective students and we’re thrilled that he’s still managed to make time to help pull this panel together!

The video panel will be moderated by Alex and Eric will handle the Twitter side of things. While we’ll have a set of questions directed to our panelists and are looking forward to their expertise, Eric will be pushing out related questions to our participants during the chat. There is A LOT going on and we’re positive that it’s going to be great!

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Here are the directions for accessing the panel (make sure you mute your mic!):

Join the meeting: https://join.me/magellanpromotions

On a computer, use any browser with Flash.  Nothing to download.

On a phone or tablet, launch the join.me app and enter meeting code: magellanpromotions

Join the audio conference:

Dial a phone number and enter access code, or connect via internet.

By phone:

United States - Hartford, CT   +1.860.970.0010

United States - Los Angeles, CA   +1.213.226.1066

United States - New York, NY   +1.646.307.1990

United States - Thousand Oaks, CA   +1.805.309.5900

Access Code   904-729-856#

Other international numbers available

By computer via internet:

Join the meeting, click the phone icon and select 'Call via internet'. A small download might be required.

This Week on #EMchat: Enhanced iBooks & New Recruitment Tools

One thing I love about #EMchat is the fact that we get to learn something new each week. We get to see innovative tools in the field and connect with people we may have not known about before. I'm excited to say that one of these companies is Tosler. This week we'll be welcoming Jake Mueller, co-founder and VP to talk about enhanced iBooks and new recruitment tools. We've got a great round of questions planned and are looking forward to seeing what your institutions are using and how your tools have transformed over the last few years. Join in at 9PM ET this Thursday for the conversation! We asked the Tosler team to pull together some thoughts for the post below -- it's a great read!

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The world of College Viewbooks is changing. Prospective students are growing up surrounded by technology. They surf the web, read on their devices, and share their lives, all on mobile. These actions center on digital content. They consume digitally. It’s a foreign concept to us old folks, but it’s their world. When the 1 to 1 program was implemented in LA, Students overrode the social media restrictions built by adults. In one day.

As a result, Higher Ed institutions must shift to digital content to reach the up and coming generation. Producing a digital viewbook is the best way to start. There are currently over 10 million iPads in primary-secondary education, 94% of tablets in education are iPads, and the number of 1 to 1 programs is exploding. Not only are these numbers impressive, they are already outdated as of the writing of this article. Some institutions have turned to mobile apps to fill the digital viewbook role (U of Dayton, U of Chicago). With enhanced iBooks, however, converting to digital is not only more affordable, but it is also quicker than producing/out-sourcing a mobile app. Additionally, using enhanced iBooks provides access to the intuitive and popular iBookstore. Many high school students use the iBookstore already for textbook curriculum and general reading. Thus the tech-savvy college reaches the student on their own turf and displays an important generational awareness.

Typical print publications are expensive, less engaging, and provide no analytics. You print the material, mail it off, and never know how many students open the front page or toss it in the trash. With enhanced iBooks, you receive measures of engagement and measures of downloads. Armed with these analytics, colleges can study the effectiveness of their recruitment campaigns or college fair attendance. Real figures for real ROI.

Ultimately high school students eat, live, breath digital. And if they don’t already, they will be in a year. Every Institution of Higher Learning must meet their recruits on mobile. It’s a fact, not a question. The question is, how? 

Enhanced iBooks.

Communicating and Communicating Well.

Last night I had the opportunity to read this article from Gil Rogers. I liked it from the second I read the title: “Right Message. Right Time. Right Channel.” If you haven’t read it, the post is about ensuring that your communication strategy aligns with said title and pulls on the stats from the recently released State of College Admissions Report.

Here’s what resonated with me most from it:

"The reality is that at the end of the recruitment cycle when you report to your Vice President why you did not achieve your enrollment goals, not that many people get fired for buying more names. That’s because buying more names is the norm. It’s the traditional way of squeezing a little more water out of the rock to boost selectivity by getting a few more applications. One could argue that if you had invested your resources more wisely up front, you wouldn’t be in such a tough position come reporting time."

Gil’s right. Buying more names is the norm. And, some companies that pull those lists together are able to do a fantastic job at providing a highly targeted list that will give you a decent return. Some of those companies are also very expensive.

So how can institutions invest their resources more wisely up front? And, what are we considering when we use the term “resource?” Every fall, admissions reps hit the ground and offices allocate both human and financial capital to make this happen. Road warriors are the “up front” of admissions. Each year, strategic EM’ers map out travel plans that they believe will net them the greatest ROI.

The main events during travel season are college fairs. They offer the chance to meet some amazing prospective students (and some not-so-much, to be fair), interact with school counselors, and build relationships that will hopefully turn into applications. Aside from the conversations at the tables, after a college fair, communication with students, counselors, and families pretty much comes to a halt...for weeks…months. Data has to be brought back to the institution and manually uploaded before targeted communications actually commence. Missed opportunities doesn't even begin to sum it up.

But, what if you could upload student data immediately (virtually), avoiding the road card fiasco, and not worry about having to begin a conversation with prospects all over again. You’d simply continue the conversation. You’d leave a stronger impression. You‘d get more leads and because of enhanced efficiency in the data collection and evaluation process, end up with higher quality ones as well. What’s better is that the product that affords you higher quality communications also provides benefits to those on the other side as well—the ones who the college search process is really about. Students. We know students can't (and shouldn't) do it alone, so we're including school counselors in the mix, too.

And that’s about all I can say.

Excited to hear about your college fair experiences this Thursday at 9PM ET! And, if this post piqued your interest at all, let’s chat.