How to Use Data-Driven Marketing in Higher Ed

When I founded Campus Sonar, I wrote a blog post about the need for data-informed marketing in higher education. It’s been almost two years now and the industry has made progress, but I feel like we still have a ways to go. Recently, I contributed to a blog series for Adapt about data-driven marketing and current trends—and I realized I had a lot more to say (most of you won’t be surprised about that). So here’s part two of my thoughts on data-driven marketing, marketing trends, and the impact on higher ed.

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Owning Higher Ed Hashtags

Hashtags are a symbol that for the longest time was really only found on a button on your phone (yes, there were these things called “landlines” with physical buttons). But now the omnipresent hashtag is something more—an organizer used to group social content that evolved in programming and has seeped its way into many social media sites. Not only does it organize content, it mobilizes movements. There’s a lot to discuss with these little guys—owning them, “owning” them, and why they matter in higher ed.

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The World Needs More Cowboys: A Higher Ed Movement

“Two ears. One mouth.”

It’s a sentiment that’s been attributed to everyone from Epictetus to the Discovery Channel’s Mike Rowe, but the idea that we must listen more than we speak is one that rings true no matter the source. In higher education marketing, listening to our external and internal audiences is critical to developing communications and strategies that drive meaningful change—whether that’s growing enrollment, protecting and growing the university brand, or telling our stories in a way that connects with audiences on an emotional level. At the same time, as marketers, we’re challenged with attracting prospective students in a crowded marketplace where these students may be questioning if college is even worth it.

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