IMC Intuition

Thinking out loud about all things IMC

Top 7 from Day 2 at AMA Symposium on Higher-Ed

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1.  Chronicles of HigherEd:  For the first time in history, student loan debt passed the trillion-dollar mark; the average student loan is $26,600.  Students need to know, “Is it worth it?”

2. Chronicles of HigherEd:  There is still a degree premium, however there are also a record number of college graduates and degrees.  These new students want to learn on their own terms but learn more in hybrid programs (online + in classroom) vs either the traditional classroom or 100% online.  Models for free post secondary education such as Khan Academy, MTI, etc. abound and will continue to grow; even though these schools offer no credits or degrees, a recent artificial intelligence class offered by Stanford netted students key jobs in Silicon Valley.  So tomorrow’s competition is not necessarily the school down the road, it could well be a completely different business model.

3.  Google:  Not using Google Hangout?  Free video conferencing for up to 10 people – gotta try it.

4.  Game Changer:  Cornell’s positioning strategy wins the bid against Stanford for a new NYC campus:  First rule – unify the team to unify the message; Keep the message simple and memorable with the end goal of informing, engaging and empowering.  Start internally, then energize the alumni group, empower surrogates to spread the message, prepare for arguments and manage outcomes.

5.  Loyola University:  Believe in the single brand.  All communications impact brand.  Everything is lifted by brand.  Music to my ears.  Apple is a branded house, as are Target, Starbucks.  You can be a branded house (Apple) or house of Brands if you have billions for marketing  (Proctor & Gamble’s Tide, Downy, etc.), or a hybrid  (Google).  Loyola embraced a branded house strategy because it is ultimately more effective and much less expensive.  Still, there are never-ending requests for logos and other craziness, unique to higher-ed, that saps department resources and fragments the brand.  Ultimately, they choose not to fight the battle on internal communications, but get the President involved on external communications.  We had a group hug at the end as we are all entrenched in the battle against logo-mania.

6.  Stanford University Alumni Magazine:  They built an app instead of using responsive design and this session reported on the results of a follow-up survey.  First of all, word had it the app wasn’t that great.  Who loved it?  International students and young alums.  Who didn’t download it?  97% of a 1600+ person sample.  What’s the insight?  People not only spent more time with the print edition, they like to keep it out on the coffee table as a point of pride in their alma mater.  That was a key learning for me on the ability of print to drive engagement.  Engaging international and young alums is the driving force in supporting a responsive design strategy over an app, because it is a far more flexible approach for mobile rendering.  Almost no one reads the magazine from desktop, no surprise there.

7.  Ithaca College Rebranding and Communications Group Reorganization:  Well, they did it all, new logo, updated colors and launched their “Ready” Campaign; all this while reorganizing and restructuring their marketing communications group.  Now, Ithaca had higher-ed agency support, nonetheless, Rachel Reuben is a force to behold, don’t believe me, check out the links:

Ithaca “Ready” Campaign

Rachel Reuben’s Blog

On to day three.


One Response

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  1. Ossumsawce, Boss. Wish I were there. Sharing this with the team. Group hug on logomania, eh? Heh, heh . . . .

    John Chacona

    November 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

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