Over the past few years, it’s been difficult to attend a higher education enrollment management or marketing conference without at least one ‘expert’ spouting that [insert age group] doesn’t read/use email anymore - this despite actual research from my own company, DemandEngine, as well as Noel-Levitz demonstrating otherwise.
In Who Says Email is Irrelevant? Not Facebook, a January 2011 post, I wrote about Facebook's June 2010 'about-face' on the topic of email marketing and their announcement of facebook.com email addresses.
Marketing to adult learners has traditionally been a 'build it and they will come' proposition. Colleges and universities carve out institutional access by creating new enrollment pathways outside of the traditional day-student undergraduate model. Q&A: The New Enrollment Marketing Plan for Adult Learners posted in February 2011 is a question and answer transcript for a webinar I presented on behalf of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).
In April 2011, I wrote about how associations across the country are reporting declines in renewals and new member growth. In Does Membership have Its Privileges? Raising the Bar for Today's Higher Education Association, I raise the question for colleges and universities considering their memberships and offer some ideas in a DemandEngine white paper.
Given the interest in higher education CRM, this next article was the most heavily-trafficked posting of the year. In Five Things Your Higher Education CRM Vendor Doesn't Want You to Know, I write about topics any college or university should consider if a purchase is under consideration including CRM's checkered past and how many higher education CRM vendors don't even use their own technology.
One of my personal favorite postings of the year comes courtesy of Craig Maslowsky, VP of Enrollment Management and Marketing at Excelsior College. In Social Shilling and the Temptation of the Higher Education Vendor, I wrote about Craig's posting in a LinkedIn group for references and recommendations on CRM technology and the aftermath that follows. Sorting through the ridiculous (example: Leads360-"We are the only enrollment management solution designed for schools that compete for students"), I contacted Craig along with Keith Hampson, the founder of the Linkedin Higher Education Management Group for their thoughts.
The year 2011 saw a wave of higher education vendor mergers and acquisitions ranging from Datatel-SunGard Higher Education, Oracle and RightNow Technologies, and most recently, Hobson's acquisition of Intelliworks. In August 2011, I reported on a 'tip' I received through web analytics prior to the Datatel-SunGard Higher Education merger announcement.
Finally, I believe that it's always instructive to watch how other industries tackle similar questions and challenges. In Social Skepticism? Research Note from the Nation's Retailer, I write about retail eCommerce trends and recent report from Forrester Research including an increased level of skepticism around the role of social networks in driving sales.
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Merry Christmas and have a safe and enjoyable New Year.