Why are brand communications in higher ed so difficult? I mean, minus procurement.
Higher ed marketing departments will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on market research to find out “who is our perfect student, how should we communicate with them, what is our competition saying, etc…” That’s great data, and it takes months, if not years to collect. But one problem can make all that data essentially worthless. Those answers (and the messaging to reach those students) never reach the right crowd.
The university’s marketing and communications office has the keys, but they can’t get anyone else to drive. Higher ed marketing & branding efforts never reach their full potential because they are incredibly hard to activate.
It takes the whole village to activate a higher ed brand.
It takes admissions training tour guides how to communicate success stories and how to connect with each individual in their group.
It takes athletics sharing more than just scores, but connecting athletic stories to university-level stories.
It takes the deans committing to relay the brand promise to their faculty and staff so they can live it out with the students.
It takes the alumni association connecting with recent grads to ensure they’ll stay involved in recruitment efforts.
Maybe these ideas sound like long shots. Maybe they are. But successfully activating the brand by making it easy to understand and share is the first step in getting it in the right hands (the hands of prospective student and their parents.) If not, the real difference makers are never taught how to drive. Schools are left relying on generic 30-second admissions videos & banner ads to get the message out, when the best messengers are walking around your campus every day.
Ready to talk more about higher ed marketing? Learn more here.