ABCs of Digital Marketing for Higher Education

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For many higher education institutions, students and alumni represent a wide diversity of backgrounds and interests. Those differences are clearly reflected in what information they consume and how …

For many higher education institutions, students and alumni represent a wide diversity of backgrounds and interests. Those differences are clearly reflected in what information they consume and how they respond to communications. While the established institutions with brand and name recognition are experiencing an unprecedented spike in applications, the relatively unknown local colleges and universities are still struggling to establish their mark, attract students, and ultimately prove that a degree from their establishment holds weight in a challenged economy.

Higher education marketers are challenged to build a loyal student and alumni base, increase revenues to the institution, and measure individual campaigns and their impact. These very same schools face additional challenges in media too. Traditional methods of advertising such as print, television, and radio are expensive and difficult to measure. The solution is an aggressive yet holistic inbound and outbound digital communication strategy. To develop an authentic 1:1 relationship with students and alumni requires a steady stream of personalized messages and content that nurture while cultivating long-term engagement and loyalty. Higher education marketers must replace the methods of the past and begin the journey to Modern Marketing where technology and expertise deliver the power they need to succeed.

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  • We’ll cover what it is “industry solutions” focuses on. We’ll also cover the history of college communications and its evolution, the psychology of influence, communication strategies, and metrics that matter.How to apply strategies that work for Higher Education and make constituents feel individually valued and respected.  How to build a loyal student and alumni base and How to leverage social media to reach and engage with the students, alumni, and potential recruits that are relevant to your institution.How to obtain accurate measurement and reports regarding engagement programs, events, and tours.
  • And we provide best practice tools targeted to your industry. Our focus in on delighting the customer and we do that by providing tools and best practices to make them successful.
  • Here’s how I selected a college in 1998
  • I filled out paper applications, printed off my essays, gathered my transcripts and mailed in everything along with a check.
  • Then I received it! My acceptance letter! I then received a series of letters about orientation, a note regarding my dorm assignment, and a phone call from my RA. And it wassufficent ... back then. But let’s take a look at how University engagement has evolved over time.
  • Then and Now:College discovery Review: Books/letters/brochures – websites/social/friends/family
  • Then and Now:College discovery Tour : in person - virtual
  • Then and Now:College discovery Selection/sphere of influence: immediate circle – immediate circle/extended social network
  • Then and Now:College application process: paper-electronic
  • Engaging as a student: chalking/bulletin boards/email – blogs/social (tweeting, FB, instagram)
  • And universities aren’t just facing a change in communication channels. The pressure to demonstrate results is on the rise. You need to capture and analyze metrics that matter. You need to better understand engagement programs, events, and tour data. And need you need to make smarter business decisions based on this information. With tools like marketing automation you can capture this information. You can capture the digital body language and the in-person engagement. You can demonstrate results, identify areas of opportunity, and better engage your audience. An audience that is growing in complexity.
  • They’re also facing an evolution in audience segmentation. It’s not just “Students and Prospective Students”. Segmentation now looks something like this:Current students (both individually and student groups)AlumniFaculty/staffParents/Friends (Donors with a connection)Subway Alumni (Donors without a connection)Sports fansPeople interested in researchProspective undergraduate studentsProspective graduate studentsProspective faculty membersNews mediaMarketing automation can capture this segmentation and reduce the complexity of communications.
  • Universities must develop loyalty. It’s what drives new student interest, current student engagement (which drives increased academic performance and graduation rates?), and increased contributions from alumni. This loyalty can be driven by a 1:1 relationship to effectively engage with these segments. And beyond that, communications need to deepen segmentation and focus on the individual.By using marketing automation you can deliver that personalized content to that individual, understand and manage their preferences, and define metrics that will guide your institution’s discussion around loyalty.
  • Student recruitment and alumni fundraising campaigns need to reach the individual. They need to contain sentiment and that’s challenging to do with a batch and blast mentality. Campaigns, and content creation, need be relevant, promote the University brand, and be automated. Let’s look at 2 case studies.
  • Indiana University engages its students in content creation. Everyday students upload proposed blogs to the University content management system, Compendium. The content director simply logs into the system, reviews and edits blogs for branding, grammar, etc and then publishes the blogs. The University of Indiana generates hundreds of posts, in the voice of the student, every year … and with little work.When I spoke with a student at St. Joes she explained that content is driven both by students and faculty.“At St Joes I would say it goes 60% faculty, 40% students, but the student generated content is by far more effective.”
  • College recruitment is gradually going paperless; Between In the 4 year leading up to college selection, a student receives hundreds (maybe thousands) of college emails. This presents a challenge to recruiting universities because they only have a subject line to grab a student’s attention. Some schools still rely on obscure subject lines ("ABC college is the best"), and some are downright creepy ("Kristen, ABC College needs you") but somewhere in between those liesa creative opportunity for an attention-getting subject line. The goal of these recruitment emails should also shift from the hard sell “Apply Now” to a more nurture-centric message. It should encourage prospective students to visit the website, or engage with a social account. And the digital body language of an individual should determine which communications they receive. Marketing automation can capture this digital body language, and automate nurturing, recruiting, and fundraising communications.
  • Colleges now encourage prospective and current students to follow their twitter pages. St Joseph's asked recently accepted students (class of 2018) to tweet a picture of them with their acceptance letters, and they retweeted all of the pictures to associate an extremely positive affect with getting accepted. Twitter also has easily accessible "insider" resources when looking at schools: “@SJUProbs, @SJUBetch. These twitter accounts give you the inside scoop on what you can really expect when you go to a particular school, so I knew exactly how bad the cafeteria food would be before I even tried it. Finding resources like these were probably my most valuable digital tool when I was making my ultimate decision. Also, every semester for one day, the SJU twitter account is "taken over" by current students who answer any questions prospective undergrads would have regarding the school.”At some schools, if you tweet the dining hall about wanting a certain dish or certain ice cream they'll have it the next day! Social media tools can capture social engagement and enter a student, parent, alumni, or donor into an appropriate communication channel delivering relevant content and information.
  • Many universities posts pictures of pretty spots on campus, exciting school events, and admissions open houses.“SJU benefited HUGELY because as a part of their summer freshman orientation program, there is a surprisingly "cool" black light dance with glow paint and an amazing DJ. A lot of the incoming freshmen took these insane photos and videos during the black light dance and so all of their high school friends saw the posts and even went so far as to comment that stjoes looks like a lot of fun. This is great advertising for SJU because they aren't even the ones posting these videos; the students do it all themselves.”
  • Video is huge and continues to grow. Video is a great way to demonstrate student life, and thanks to marketing automation, now more than ever it’s easier to track engagement with video and deliver relevant communications based on this engagement
  • A lot of universities use social media as a platform to facilitate community development and engagement. This is a great medium for people to ask questions about moving in, getting class schedules, etc, and some people even meet their roommates through the group.“Our UMBC freshman class had a Facebook group so during summer we communicated with each other, we talked about books, what classes people were taking, professors, we even had older students give us advice about Umbc.”
  • But as with all digital channels, they’re only as good as the content delivered. When I spoke with a student at McGill University he said “They mostly post about research being conducted at the university and sometimes classroom changes. I don't really engage them with social media. If they mentioned who was coming to speak every so often I'd be more interested in engaging. For example, the Queen's Canadian emissary came and spoke but no one knew she was coming until after she had spoken, and we all wished we had known”
  • Institutions like Harvard, DeVry, NIU, Kaplan, Ashworth, and Herzing are using these tactics, combined with marketing automation, to grow enrolment, increase retention and graduation rates, expand fundraising, and promote greater engagement.
  • It’s important to take a multi-channel marketing approach to your communications strategy. You need to incorporate all channels (web, social, video, email, and personal communications) into the student journey.
  • Segment and target your communications
  • Crowdsource relevant content
  • capturing digital engagement
  • automating the process
  • Finally, bring all of those takeaways together to match communications with interests and preferences. This will ultimately enhance the student experience, increase loyalty, drive contributions, and drive enrolment.
  • Come visit us at the CRM - Cloud Sales, Marketing, Service & Social Demo Station in Oracle’s Exhibit, #310.

Transcript

  • 1. The ABC’s of Digital Marketing Execution for Higher Education Marilyn Cox Marketing Principal, Oracle Marketing Cloud Industry Solutions
  • 2. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 122 About Me  Marilyn Cox  Marketing Principal – Oracle Marketing Cloud Industry Solutions  @MarilynECox  Marilyn.e.cox@oracle.com  Eloqua User for 6 years  If I couldn’t be a Modern Marketer, I would be a professional wrestler with the WWE
  • 3. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 123 YOU DO WHAT? HISTORY EVOLUTION PSYCHOLOGY COMMUNICATIONS STATISTICS Syllabus
  • 4. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 124 Copyright © 2012, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.4 Safe Harbor Statement The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.
  • 5. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 125 About Oracle Marketing Cloud Industry Solutions
  • 6. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 126 About Oracle Marketing Cloud Industry Solutions
  • 7. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 127
  • 8. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 128
  • 9. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 129
  • 10. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1210
  • 11. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1211 RESEARCH BOOKS DIGITAL
  • 12. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1212 TOURS IN PERSON VIRTUAL
  • 13. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1213 SPHERE OF INFLUENCE IMMEDIATE CIRCLE EXTENDED SOCIAL NETWORK
  • 14. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1214 APPLICATION PROCESS PAPER ELECTRONIC
  • 15. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1215 STUDENT ENGAGEMENT FEET ON THE STREET DIGITAL
  • 16. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1216 PRESSURE TO DEMONSTRATE RESULTS
  • 17. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1217 PRESSURE TO SEGMENT
  • 18. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1218 LOYALTY THROUGH ENGAGEMENT
  • 19. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1219 CONTENT WITH SENTIMENT
  • 20. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1220 CONTENT CREATED BY STUDENTS
  • 21. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1221 RECRUITMENT THROUGH NURTURING
  • 22. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1222 ENGAGEMENT VIA TWITTER
  • 23. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1223 INSTAGRAM AND VINE
  • 24. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1224 THE POWER OF VIDEO
  • 25. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1225 FACEBOOK
  • 26. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1226 PUBLISH WHAT THEY WANT
  • 27. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1227 THEY DO IT
  • 28. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1228 FINAL TAKEAWAYS
  • 29. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1229 SEGMENT AND TARGET
  • 30. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1230 CROWDSOURCE
  • 31. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1231 CAPTURE DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT
  • 32. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1232 AUTOMATE
  • 33. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1233 UNIFY TACTICS
  • 34. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1234 QUESTIONS?
  • 35. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1235 • Marilyn Cox • Marketing Principal – Oracle Marketing Cloud Industry Solutions • @MarilynECox • Marilyn.e.cox@oracle.com Come visit us at the CRM - Cloud Sales, Marketing, Service & Social Demo Station in Oracle’s Exhibit, #310.
  • 36. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1236 Presentations from previous meetings are also available This presentation and all Alliance 2014 presentations are available for download from the Conference site at www.alliance-conference.com
  • 37. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1237
  • 38. Copyright © 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Insert Information Protection Policy Classification from Slide 1238