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Higher Ed Marketing Lab
Engage with some of the brightest minds in marketing and higher education to uncover practical insights you can use to level up your institution’s marketing and enrollment efforts.
Apr 19, 2023
Optimizing the Campus Visit with Will Patch and Jeff Kallay
In this episode, we dig into the results of a fresh survey from Niche, exploring the campus visit from the perspective of students and parents. Joining the conversation is Will Patch, Senior Enrollment Insights leader at Niche, and Jeff Kallay, SVP of Enrollment Consulting at Echo Delta and leading campus visit expert. We explore: * The experiences students want to have most and least during their campus visit * Expectations parents have for the visit, and * Practical ideas on how to lower barriers so that more students can participate in your visit program.
Mar 27, 2023
Countdown to Google Analytics 4 with Chris Sietsema
Analytics expert Chris Sietsema of Teach to Fish Digital gives us an update on the current state of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). We discuss some of the most important differences between Universal Analytics and GA4, and some of the ways the switch to GA4 has already impacted higher ed marketers. We wrap up with some of Chris’s favorite GA4 resources.
Feb 3, 2023
Engaging New Audiences on Reddit at the University of Georgia
We talk with Rod Guajardo, Senior Director for Integrated Media Communications at the University of Georgia about how the university has been using Reddit to reach new audiences with science and research content.
Jan 11, 2023
Building People-Powered Brands with Jennifer Holland
Many institutions include brand building in their strategic plans, but making those aspirations and reality is often challenging. Brand development expert, Jennifer Holland, argues the best way to build an enduring brand is to create strong alignment between organizational, marketing, and people strategies. We discuss: * the vital importance of having deep internal buy-in on what your brand stands for. * the right way to balance inside out versus outside in thinking when developing a brand. * Jennifer's approach to hardwiring a brand into an organization so that frontline employees stay engaged and focused on the brand.
Feb 25, 2022
The State of the Campus Visit with Jeff Kallay
The campus visit is a make-or-break moment for traditional undergrads, but as campuses have emerged from the pandemic, the return to campus tours has been anything but business as usual. In this episode, we talk with leading campus visit consultant, Jeff Kallay, about the current state of the campus visit and what's on his mind for the road ahead. We discuss: * How pandemic fatigue has impacted students and the way they view the residential experience * Strategies for recruiting and retaining campus tour guides * What prospective families are most eager to learn about on your tour (it's academics) * The trend towards fewer pre-app visits.
Feb 11, 2022
Making DEI Practical at University of St. Thomas
Diversity, equity, and inclusion is top of mind for many higher ed marketers, but figuring out the practical side of applying DEI concepts to the actual creative work marketing teams produce is often easier said than done. In this episode, we'll hear from two marketing leaders at the University of St. Thomas - Minnesota who have a unique perspective on how to make it less intimidating and more actionable.
Jan 25, 2022
Fostering Collaboration Across Decentralized Marketing Teams at UT San Antonio
Marketing leaders at the University of Texas-San Antonio share how innovations they made during COVID ended up transforming the way their university's decentralized marketing teams work.
Oct 7, 2021
Differentiating Your School Through Smart Strategy
We talk with Dr. Chuck Bamford about crafting smart competitive strategies to differentiate your school in a crowded marketplace.
Sep 3, 2021
Managing a Team That Spans Four Generations
In the fourth and final episode of our VP Summer Series, we talk with Kevin Kropf, EVP of Enrollment at Drury University, about generational theory and managing teams that span multiple generations.
Aug 10, 2021
How to Win Faculty and Influence Staff (and Athletics)
In part three of our VP Summer Series, we talk with Brad Pochard, AVP for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions at Furman University, about building collaborative relationships with colleagues across the campus.
Jul 31, 2021
Trusted Advisors: Working Well with Your Board of Trustees
As a senior leader, you need a strong working relationship with your board. Unfortunately, there’s no manual for how to do that. As a result, most leaders end up learning through experience (read: observation, hard work, and some painful mistakes). In our latest VP Summer Series podcast, we sit down with Joel Bauman, SVP of Enrollment at Duquesne University, and Karen Foust, former EVP of Enrollment at Hendrix College, to talk about the finer points of building collaborative, productive relationships with board members. We discuss: * Important ways board members can differ in their approach to the role * Tips for effectively communicating the complexities of your work * Why trying to be the smartest person in the room can backfire with board members * The right way to go about delivering bad news * How to respectfully nudge a board member back into their lane when they start to overreach.
Jul 21, 2021
Becoming a VP (Or Becoming One on Another Campus) with Mary Napier
This is the first installment in our VP Summer Series, a podcast mini-series focusing on the unique challenges facing senior enrollment and marketing leaders. In this episode, we’ll be discussing the role of the Vice President--how it differs from other roles someone would occupy on the way to a VP-level position and what it takes to be a strong candidate if you’ve got your sights set on a VP-level job. Joining us in the conversation is Mary Napier, Principal Consultant at Napier Executive Search. We're also joined by Echo Delta’s own Laura Martin Fedich, who will be co-hosting each of our VP Summer Series podcasts.
Jun 18, 2021
Financial Aid Leveraging with Jimmy Jung
In this episode, we talk about financial aid leveraging—the common, but sometimes controversial, practice of using data-driven approaches to inform how schools award financial aid. Joining us in the conversation is Echo Delta data scientist and consultant, Dr. Jimmy Jung. As a higher ed veteran with over 20 years of experience, Jimmy has successfully led enrollment management at multiple institutions around the country and has consulted internationally in the areas of marketing, program evaluation, data analytics, and student success. We start by covering the basics of financial aid leveraging—what it is, how it works, and the kinds of data schools use to inform their financial aid models. Then, we dig deeper into the impact of financial aid leveraging, including improving net tuition revenue, controlling discount rates, and how it can help schools uncover hidden insights about their institution and the students they hope to attract. We wrap up by talking about some of the cri…
May 27, 2021
How to Give Better Feedback on Creative Work
The quality of input you deliver on creative work can be a make or break factor that helps your team reach new creative heights or sends them spiraling into uncertain territory. Echo Delta's Creative Director, Rachel Newell, joins us to talk about how to deliver the kind of feedback your team needs to reach the full potential.
Mar 22, 2021
Marketing Analytics: How to Build Your Team's Credibility and Data Savvy
Tracking and attributing marketing activities in the real world is far from straightforward. In this episode, analytics consultant and agency vet, Chris Sietsema, explains how analytics-savvy organizations get it right.
Feb 19, 2021
Strategies for Engaging Parents During College Search
We sit down with Will Patch, Enrollment Marketing Leader, at Niche.com to talk about strategies for more effectively engaging parents during the college search process. We start our conversation with a review of some key findings from a recent survey the Niche team conducted with parents, then we dive into concrete steps schools can take to engage parents more effectively.
Feb 5, 2021
Getting Your Campus Social Media Strategy Right
Liz Gross, CEO of social listening agency Campus Sonar joins us to talk about all things higher ed social media and her new book, Fundamentals of Social Media Strategy: A Guide for College Campuses.
Jan 22, 2021
How to Optimize Your Website for Search in 2021
Echo Delta's Senior SEO Strategist, Catherine Reich, joins us to discuss the long-term trends shaping organic search today, along with a major algorithm update Google will be rolling out in 2021. As an episode bonus, Catherine has developed a guide you can share with your web developer to optimize your site. The guide is available for download in this episode's show notes at EchoDelta.co.
Dec 4, 2020
Journey Mapping at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
In this episode, we talk with Matt Sluzinsky, Director of Web Strategy and Services at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. While Mayo Clinic is one of the most recognizable names in medicine, many are surprised to learn the clinic also provides over 400 academic programs ranging from entry-level certificates to elite residency programs. As part of the school's efforts to raise awareness about the extraordinary range of opportunities available at the college, Matt and his team partnered with an outside firm to create a series of journey maps to better understand how different types of students engage in the decision-making process and how to better tailor the college's online content to support prospective students in their journey. According to Matt, the results were illuminating and helped to energize his team's efforts as they set about a full-scale redesign of the college's website. Backed by fresh, compelling data, his team was able to focus their efforts on developing th…
Mar 26, 2020
Responding to COVID-19 at University of the Ozarks
In this special episode, we talk with President Richard Dunsworth of the University of the Ozarks about the impact of COVID-19 on his school. From leadership in times of crisis to wide-ranging operational changes to the long-term impact this global crisis could have on the institution, we explore how one school is coping with profound and rapid change.
Feb 14, 2020
Podcasting at Penn State's McCourtney Institute for Democracy with Jenna Spinelle
Podcasting ranks right up there with influencer marketing and AI as one of the most hyped marketing trends over the last few years. But what’s really involved in launching a podcast, what’s the potential pay-off, and is it too late for your school to jump on the podcast train? We tackle these questions and more in our latest Higher Ed Marketing Lab podcast. Joining us is Jenna Spinelle from Penn State’s McCourtney Institute for Democracy, Since 2018, Jenna's produced and promoted the Institute's Democracy Works podcast, and she's got great advice for anyone considering starting one. You'll hear: * Why podcasting has become such a hot medium over the last few years * Whether or not it's too late to start your own podcast * How to set realistic expectations for exposure and listenership * How to pick the right topic for your podcast * And smart ways to make the workload of podcasting more manageable.
Jan 5, 2020
How to Gracefully Sunset a Tired Social Media Account with Rebecca Stapley
In this episode, we’ll be talking about social media, and specifically, what do when you suspect it’s time to sunset a social media account that’s outlived its usefulness. Joining us in the conversation is Rebecca Stapley. As former Assistant Director of Social Media at Nazareth College, Rebecca has first hand experience managing social media at her school and engaging with colleagues in other departments who want to or maybe already are running their own accounts on behalf of the school. You’ll hear from Rebecca about: * The key questions internal teams should asking BEFORE they start a new social account * How to approach colleagues when you suspect their social media accounts could use some help and how to do so in a way that minimizes defensiveness * And the specific process she used to wind down a set of alumni social media accounts at Nazareth College and integrate them into the school’s main account.
Sep 15, 2019
Leading Web Accessibility Initiatives at Colorado State with David Carpenter and Jennifer Garvey
We talk web accessibility with David Carpenter and Jennifer Garvey of Colorado State University. David is the Director of Operations and Jennifer is Assistant Director of IT for Web and Business Systems at Colorado State’s College of Health and Human Sciences. In this discussion, we shy away from the technical details surrounding accessibility, and instead focus on how to effectively align people and resources within an organization to get the work done. You’ll hear from David and Jennifer about some of the challenges they faced--and even mistakes they made--during their early web accessibility initiatives. And they share important lessons learned about how to more effectively engage both internal resources and external partners to get the work done. And perhaps most importantly, they detail practical examples of how they’ve integrated web accessibility into the fabric of their organization so that accessibility remains an on-going priority and not just a one-time project. This…
Aug 9, 2019
Humanizing the Digital Experience and more from eduWeb2019
Jason Buzzell is Director of Digital Communications at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I met up with Jason at the 2019 eduWeb conference to reflect on some of the most interesting ideas and themes we encountered at this year’s conference. We discussed: * How to humanize digital experiences (which was the topic of a talk Jason delivered). * We talked about why today’s students place such a high priority on authenticity and how schools are attempting to provide it. * Some of the more interesting findings from RNL’s 2019 E-Expectations report, which was presented at the conference. Connect with Jason on Twitter @buzzilinear.
Jul 19, 2019
Optimizing the Campus Visit with Jeff Kallay
The campus visit remains one of the most impactful moments in the college decision process, and there’s probably no one who knows more about the campus visit experience than Jeff Kallay, Principal of Render Experiences. His work on campus visits has been featured in numerous publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education, University Business Magazine, and the New York Times, and we were lucky enough to have him join us on the Higher Ed Marketing Lab podcast to share some of his best insights. We cover: * why our complex digital world makes the campus visit more important, not less * how Gen Z and their Gen X parents present new and interesting challenges to recruiters * why rock star students don't always make rock star embassadors, and * why your guides should never, ever talk and walk backwards. http://www.renderexperiences.com/
Jul 1, 2019
Leading with Compassion and Character with General H. D. “Jake” Polumbo
We’ll be diverging a bit from our usual discussion around higher ed marketing to talk about leadership, which is a topic relevant to anyone who has to work with and through others. Joining us in that conversation is retired Air Force Major General, H. D. “Jake” Polumbo. Over his 34 year career in the Air Force, General Polumbo acquired a great deal of wisdom around how to lead and manage others, even under the most challenging circumstances. We talk about * why leaders need to demonstrate compassion for their team * the importance of leaders publicly owning up to mistakes * tips for making decisions with limited information * why character and integrity are essential for any leader. Near the end of the episode, I explain how you can get a signed copy of his book, Leadership at 30,000 Feet for free. General Polumbo is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, and over his career he has served in numerous positions of leadership around globe. He holds the distinction…
May 30, 2019
People, Process & Technology with UCF's Dr. Jennifer Sumner
We'll be talking with Dr. Jennifer Sumner about people, process, and technology, within the University of Central Florida's online program. In this wide ranging conversation, we hear about UCF Connect, the university's success coaching program for online students. We hear how the university is leveraging SalesForce and other technologies to improve the student experience. We talk about ways they've helped build a sense of belonging for online students and how, despite the enormous size of the university, the UCF online team has fostered productive collaboration among dozens of stakeholders and departments. Links: echodelta.co/podcast
May 3, 2019
A Public Relations Primer with Barbara Pierce
If you've ever felt that public relations was a mysterious black box, then this episode is for you. We discuss public relations for higher ed with Barbara Pierce, president of Tipping Point Communications. Barbara has over 25 years experience leading global, national, and regional public relations initiatives, and she's worked extensively in higher education. We start by hearing Barbara's favorite definition of public relations, and then we jump into the major shifts that have drastically changed how PR is practiced in recent years. Barbara shares her insights into how marketing and PR teams can become better aligned, and she gives actionable advice on how schools can increase the odds of getting their stories picked up by media outlets. Towards the end of our discussion, we talk about how schools can better prepare for crisis communication scenarios before they happen. Show notes and transcript: https://echodelta.co/blog/a-public-relations-primer-with-barbara-pierce Tipping Point's…
Apr 12, 2019
Growing Enrollment at University of the Ozarks (Part 2)
This is part two of a two-part episode in which we explore how the University of the Ozarks, a small, private, liberal arts university in rural Arkansas, has managed to consistently grow enrollment despite the challenges facing small private schools. In this episode, Reggie Hill, Vice President of Marketing and enrollment at the University of the Ozarks and Amy Lloyd, Ozarks' Director of Marketing, continue to dig into the key factors that have allowed their institution to thrive; and in one case, generate a 30 percent year-over-year increase in enrollment. We hear what Amy learned when she started attending recruitment events, and how Ozarks has focused the recruitment and marketing activities for maximum impact, which included foregoing a traditional view book and replacing it with something else designed to generate even more impact. We wrap up by hearing how Amy and Reggie, productively, approach internal resistance to new ideas and how they focused on the long game. This was an…
Mar 22, 2019
Growing Enrollment at University of the Ozarks (Part 1)
Small, private liberal arts colleges face significant headwinds as they try to grow enrollment. Despite these challenges, University of the Ozarks, Arkansas' oldest private liberal arts university, has managed to buck this trend. In part one of this two-part episode, we talk with Reggie Hill, Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment at Ozarks, and Amy Lloyd, Director of Marketing. We touch on how Ozarks has better aligned marketing and enrollment, how they've taken smart, calculated risks in promoting the university, and we dive deep into the specific strategies they use to stay connected to the younger generation they hope to reach. Links: ozarks.edu echodelta.co/podcast
Feb 27, 2019
Making Data Meaningful at Southeastern University
Marketers and enrollment managers are swimming in data, but making it digestible and actionable is easier said than done. In this episode, we talk with Ken Reaves, Director of Research and Strategic Projects at Southeastern University. Ken is an expert when it comes to combining hardcore data and research with creative storytelling, and he's got tons of advice for anybody looking to make their data more compelling and actionable. We discuss: * synergies between marketing and institutional research * the specific techniques and thought processes he follows to create compelling, story-driven narratives that bring numbers to life * potential pitfalls associated with data-driven decision making * how to nurture a more data-driven culture. As always, show notes for this episode and others can be found at echodelta.co/podcast. Links: seu.edu
1 hr 1 min
Jan 24, 2019
CRM-Powered Digital Marketing at Messiah College
Historically, CRMs have been seen as a tool for Admissions, but today's CRMs are capable of so much more. In this episode, Kris Hardy, Director of Web and Digital Marketing at Messiah College, stops by to share how the school's CRM has transformed their digital marketing efforts. We discuss: * How the CRM has changed the way the marketing team interacts with their colleagues in other departments * Specific challenges the Messiah team encountered as they began rolling out larger volumes of personalized, automated communication * Smart tactics they've implemented on their website around personalization and how they gather leads. Connect with Kris Hardy: twitter.com/krishardy83 Website: messiah.edu
Jan 3, 2019
Engineering Word of Mouth with Daniel Lemin
Research suggests roughly 75% of students use word of mouth to help determine what school to attend, yet few schools have an intentional strategy for generating positive word of mouth. In this episode, we talk with Daniel Lemin, co-author along with Jay Baer of a new book on the topic called Talk Triggers. Daniel lays out an actionable framework higher ed marketers can use to create the kinds of unique and memorable talk triggers students can't help sharing. We discuss: * What makes for a great talk trigger (hint: it's not about having a flashy gimmick) * How to systematically create and evaluate your own unique talk triggers * Lots of higher ed-specific examples to get your wheels turning. Connect with Daniel: Websites: talktriggers.com and daniellemin.com
Dec 12, 2018
Uncovering Hidden Audience Insights with Susan Baier
Susan Baier's research focuses on uncovering how groups of people think and feel as they make important decisions, like selecting a college. We discuss specific ways schools have used her research to improve their enrollment and advancement efforts by better understanding critical attitudinal differences in their target audiences.
Oct 19, 2018
Guerrilla Website Governance with Shelley Keith
We talk non-invasive website governance strategies with Shelley Keith, Senior Strategist at Modern Tribe.
Oct 19, 2018
The Chief Enrollment Management Officer with Mike Reilly
We talk about the evolving role of the chief enrollment management officer with Mike Reilly, the Executive Director of the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers.
Oct 19, 2018
Digital Transformation with Chris Aarons
We talk digital transformation with Chris Aarons, co-author of The Digital Helix, a Wall Street Journal bestseller that outlines how organizations can embrace their own digital first approach.