Building a Digital Marketing Strategy from Scratch


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To effectively manage an institution’s online presence, first you must build a comprehensive digital strategy across all platforms. Learn from the successes and challenges of one college’s roller coaster ride as they progress from no digital strategy to launching the governance model and content strategy for a redesigned, institution-wide website and online presence.

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Building a Digital Marketing Strategy from Scratch

  1. 1. Building a Digital Marketing Strategy from Scratch: A Babson College Story<br />Gene Begin<br />Digital Marketing Director<br />Babson College<br />
  2. 2. Babson College<br />Small, private college 14 miles west of Boston<br />#1 in entrepreneurship for 18 and 15 consecutive years<br />Approximately 2000 undergraduate and 1300 graduate students, representing more than 74 countries<br />Undergraduate program (top 20 in business)<br />Graduate program - MBA and MS degrees (top 40 in business)<br />Executive education program (top 10 U.S. and top 15 in the world for custom programs)<br />Babson Global, which works with corporate, university, government, and foundation partners to advance entrepreneurship education and Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® worldwide<br />
  3. 3. Building a Digital Marketing Strategy from Scratch<br />
  4. 4. The Babson InterwebsAs of March 2011<br />Black hole of a website redesign project<br />Siloed business units, with no institutional strategy<br />Not the best relationship between IT and Marketing<br />Web resources across campus within business units and IT<br />Traditional web support model<br /><ul><li>Throw it over the wall and we’ll put it up
  5. 5. “Content monkeys”</li></li></ul><li>Approaches for Building a Digital Marketing Strategy from Scratch <br />
  6. 6. Entrepreneurial Thought & Action (ETA)<br />ETA uses “effectual” logic that is based on asking the following four questions:<br />Who am I? (My identity as shaped by culture and context, skills, and abilities)<br />What do I know? (My knowledge and training)<br />Whom do I know? (My professional and social network)<br />How do I bring these 3 elements into a network of participants who can co-create an opportunity?<br />Source: Babson College Strategy , Version 2.1 ( May 2009)<br />
  7. 7. Be a Politician…<br />Assess the current campus landscape<br />Resource needs<br />Business unit goals<br />Build relationships<br />Internal (staff, faculty, students)<br />External (alumni, governance)<br />…but too much of a politician<br />Deliver on the campaign promise!<br />
  8. 8. Listen, Learn & Engage<br />Benchmark<br />Learn from not only the best, but those who have shared their mistakes<br />Listen to your peers<br />Campus experts<br />#highered peers<br />Industry experts<br />Bring the experts to campus<br />#edugurusummit<br />
  9. 9. Building a Digital Marketing Strategy from Scratch<br />
  10. 10. Where Does Digital Marketing Strategy Fit In?<br />* As defined by Mark Greenfield, eduGuruSummit, March 2011<br />
  11. 11. Graduate<br />Ugrad<br />Advancement<br />Executive Education<br />Goal Planning? Who is Our Preferred Audience?<br />Granting Organizations <br />& Foundations<br /> Alumni<br />Governance<br />HR Developers<br />Working<br />professionals<br />Parents<br />Faculty, Centers,<br />and Institutes<br />Policy Makers<br />Educators/Academic Institutions<br />Students (Prospective & Current)<br />Guidance<br />counselors<br />Employers<br />
  12. 12. Develop 3-Year Business Plan<br />OUR PLAN<br />Year 1: Laying the Foundation<br />Team, Governance, Process AND Education<br />Year 2: Advocacy Marketing<br />Better alumni engagement => more participation => better student experience => better alumni engagement<br />Year 3: The True Mobile Marketing Experience<br />The next era of mobile marketing, live-social, geo-location and QR code marketing<br />
  13. 13. Year 1: Resource and Goal Alignment<br />Build out team to meet business unit needs AND institutional needs<br />Hybrid, hybrid, hybrid<br />Development resources<br />Business unit goals<br />Team experience<br />1 director, 5 digital marketing specialists<br />1 Senior DMM focused on Institutional web support (CSS and UI)<br />1 DMCM focused on UG web support and Institutional community management (SM)<br />1 Interactive Media Specialist focused on Executive Education web support (development)<br />1 DMCM for Alumni & Friends Network (content curator)<br />1 DMCM for Graduate School (TBH)<br />LESSON LEARNED:<br />Hire quicker.<br />But still hire right.<br />
  14. 14. Establish Governance Model<br />True Web Governance *<br />Establishes authority and accountability<br />Defines the role of the campus units as it relates to the web and establishes how they will support web efforts<br />Involves senior leadership<br />* As defined by Mark Greenfield, eduGuruSummit, March 2011<br />
  15. 15. Babson Governance Model<br />WEBSITE<br />SOCIAL MEDIA<br />LESSON LEARNED:<br />Clearly and continuously articulate roles & responsibilities.<br />
  16. 16. Distributed Governance Model for Informational Website Maintenance<br />Permissions<br />Super Authors <br /><ul><li>Digital Marketing and IT A&D teams (10 – 12 individuals)
  17. 17. Access to alter home page, web parts and all parts of templates </li></ul>Authors <br /><ul><li>5 – 10 individuals
  18. 18. To be treated as power users; individuals to be determined by digital marketing team
  19. 19. Access to edit web parts by subsite, in addition to the editing accessing outlined below</li></ul>Editors <br /><ul><li> 60 to 70 staff
  20. 20. Access to edit content area by subsite level
  21. 21. Also, 200 faculty have access to edit so they can update their bio </li></ul>LESSON LEARNED:<br />Continuous <br />check-ins with business unit contacts on responsibility due to turnover<br />
  22. 22. Digital Marketing Governance Support Model<br />Online ticketing web support system for short-term needs<br />Online project tracking for longer projects and integrated creative production plans<br />Cross-functional support<br />
  23. 23. Content Strategy<br />Audit<br /> - Go be that politician across campus<br />Assess<br /> - Asset type and channel<br />Prioritize<br /> - Strategy and goals<br />Build<br /> - 6 month plan<br />Develop<br />Creative production, curation and re-imagination<br />LESSON LEARNED:<br />There’s more content on your campus than you can ever imagine … or re-imagine!<br />After 3 months, check in and start audit cycle again<br />
  24. 24. FOCUS!<br />
  25. 25. FOCUS!<br />Develop goals, tactics, and ACHIEVABLE measurements<br />Prioritize the aspects of your digital marketing mix that…<br />A. Align to the institutional strategy<br />B. Need the most help<br />For us:<br />B. Website redesign<br />A1. Social media strategy, branding and guidelines<br />A2. First steps of the mobile mix<br />LESSON LEARNED: <br />Focus on education and training first<br />
  26. 26. FOCUS!<br />Understand your limitations<br />Engage with experts<br />Mobile mix<br />Media-buying<br />SEO strategy<br />LESSON LEARNED: Don’t bite off more than you can chew.<br />
  27. 27. #higheredweb Manifesto<br />
  28. 28. Break the Silos!<br />IT and Marketing<br />Faculty and staff<br />Across business units<br />
  29. 29. Educate. Educate. Educate.<br />Be a change manager.<br />“To do disruptive innovation, you have to be willing to be misunderstood for a very long time.” – Jeff Bezos<br />
  30. 30. THANK YOU!Gene BeginDigital Marketing DirectorBabson @gbegin <br />