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November 7

Top Marketing Trends to Help Your School in 2019


Augmented reality. Voice-assisted technology. Blockchain. And even showing your prospective student a piece of your campus via a button you wear on your lapel at a college fair. In today’s video blog, we discuss a few of the new and important marketing trends to consider in 2019.

Video Blog Transcript

Welcome to today’s video blog with Bart Caylor, president and owner of Caylor Solutions. My name is Amy. Bart, welcome. Tell us a little bit about how things are going there in Fishers, Indiana.

Things are going well. Glad we could do this today. It’s exciting to do some video blogs.

Yeah, it’s hard to believe we are already pushing into November here and looking straight at 2019. I was hoping today you can just tell us a little bit about what the folks in higher education and K12 education should be looking for regarding marketing trends and marketing technologies coming down the pipeline.

Yeah, there are a couple of things that I have been kind of thinking about. One is we talk a lot about segmentation in our audiences and, whether you are talking about Baby Boomers or Gen X or Millennials or now is Gen Z, I think a lot of times it’s confusing and especially as marketers in education, we kind of get used to being in one framework.

I remember in the late 90’s when I was working with some colleges on their websites, and the term “Millennials” was all the buzz because the Millennials were coming into college and (you wonder) “How we are going do that enrollment?” They were different – they had a digital footprint that other generations did not have before.

Well, I think one thing to keep in mind is that now those Millennials that we were talking about the late 90’s – you know it’s hard for some of us who have been in marketing and education for 20-25 years to realize – that now those people are parents. And so especially in the k-12 market, those same students that we were talking about in the late 90’s are now parents of students coming into the k-12 market, so (we’ve) got to keep that in mind as Millennials shift into parents and then as Generation Z comes up.

You know that’s an entirely different generation. I think so many times we are still worried about how to market to Millennials. And, yes, they are the greatest and largest generation that we have to market to right now, but Generation Z is the audience that is making decisions about higher ed right now. They are in their first/second year of the college right now, and we have to shift and pivot the way that we think about marketing to prospective students and their parents in such a way that we are now talking to Generation Z.

They are digital natives first and foremost. They are idealists. They really want to know that what they are doing makes a difference in the world, and so we have really got to make sure that we are putting our best foot forward when we talk about our differentiators and different elements on that. So that’s the first thing – really understanding those different audiences and understanding that where we are in those generations.

I’d say the second thing that I’ve been looking at and thinking about is this whole idea of voice assistance technology. I think this is an area that education is going to need to get in on and get on board with.

So the idea that so many people and individuals now have voice assistance technology in their homes – whether it’s Amazon’s Alexa or Google Voice Assistant or Siri – those tools are being used more and more to find out information – whether it’s about “what’s the tuition of XYZ college?” or “what are the majors that are available in the state of Indiana in agriculture?”

So if we don’t have our content in such a place that it can be withdrawn by the voice assistance – but also starting to think about how can we market into those voice assisted technologies. I know that there are a lot of places now that are creating one-minute summaries or audio versions of things that can be quick keywords. And, so, what I have been encouraging a lot of clients to do is really pay attention to those technologies, pay attention to what corporations are doing. Look at corporation’s broadcasters – what’s NPR doing? what’s Target doing? What are these different household brands doing? And then figure out, “How can I transfer that into our education marketing?” It’s gonna be a little bit off yet. You know, we are still not there – where I think it’s something you have to be doing – I mean you need to be doing your basic blocking and tackling right now with website social media strategy and content, but as you develop more content, think about, “How is that content going to be utilized in a voice assistance technology way?”

I think on top of that another thing that I see coming down the road is continued development and maturity of this augmented reality. I know with the recent release of iOS 12 on the Apple operating system for the phones and mobile devices, they are really taking advantage of augmented reality.

And the idea that there is a ruler app on your phone now – I tested it the other day. I had a 3 x 5 card on the floor. I pointed my phone at it, and it measured 3 inches by 5 inches. And just the accuracy of the augmented reality and to start thinking about how marketers can leverage that technology.

There’s a great organization in Australia called pixelcase, and they are doing some really cool augmented reality for being able to experience space. So imagine if you wanted to have someone experience a space on your website, but you wanted them to experience that at a college fair. Well, you could have some way that they can pull up Facebook or Snapchat, point the camera at a trigger image, and all of a sudden they can walk through a portal and be on your campus and explore the campus right there within the environment of the college fair. So keeping that in mind.

Or utilizing print and digital together where maybe the back of your business card (an admissions counselor’s business card) – viewed through the portal of snapchat or facebook camera – all of sudden you can see a video about campus or you can see a testimonial from somebody who’s interested in the same major you are. So a lot of things can be done that are kind of out-of-the-box, especially when you’re talking to students and you’re being one-on-one with those students at a college fair or in an admissions area or things like that – So, how can you bridge that physical world into the digital world and really keep these students engaged in something new.

And then finally, I’d say that the big thing that I’m seeing coming is this whole idea of Blockchain. I know a lot of people kind of only associate it with Bitcoin and virtual currencies, but Michael Matthews at Oral Roberts University is an expert in a lot of these technologies. ORU is really leading the way in a lot of the applications of these things. They’ve got some great certification programs, and Michael has put together several explainer videos on LinkedIn – and I can provide some links to those – but Blockchain technology is really going to revolutionize the way that we interact with our data.

It’s going to revolutionize education so that instead of having a seal on your transcripts, it’ll actually be in the cloud in a Blockchain that is uniquely identified to you. And it can never be changed. It’s authenticated and real, and it’s just multiplied over and over and over and duplicated so it can’t be changed or altered, except by the person who holds the key. And so while I’m not sure how Blockchain is going to play into marketing, it’s kind of like it was in the early ’90s where people were not sure how this internet thing was going to play into marketing – but now, here we are.

And so Blockchain is another one of those things that kind of to me smells like the internet – it smells like what we called the internet, too, in the late ’90s and early 2000’s – when content started to come online, and blogging and social media. And I think Blockchain is going to introduce kind of a third wave of that type of thing.

Excellent. I tell you my enrollment marketing career began in 2003, and thinking of an admissions fair where I would have those tools to chat with the students is very, very different than it used to be.

Yeah, and I think that’s what’s interesting because I think students today want to experience things. Especially Generation Z – that’s one of the hallmarks in this experiential – that’s why so many of them going on gap years – why so many of them interested in study abroad programs. Well, imagine if you can do it in such a way that they can experience it at a fair as opposed to just grabbing a brochure, and you doing the same thing that every other table is doing down the road.

Yeah, it’s awesome what’s available. You know, if I’m sitting on the other side of this vlog and thinking about how my school might be able to stay up with what’s happening, sometimes it can feel overwhelming, Bart, because it feels like something new comes out all the time. So what would your advice be as far as maybe how often to really try to reanalyze what your clients are doing at their different schools?

Yeah, I think that people ask me this all the time. They’re like, well how do you stay up on all this stuff, because it changes so quickly. And yeah, it does, and I find it hard to stay up even though that’s something that I’ve really been doing for most of my career – is staying up on kind of what’s the next thing. And what I do personally – l go out and I just scroll down LinkedIn, and I see what people are talking about. I scroll through Twitter just to see what people are talking about and see what’s trending. And if I don’t understand something, I get curious, and I go read more about it.

We also take a lot of that information we’re learning – and what we’ve learned in our curiosity – and put it into formats and content like this video blog. I think it’s an example of what we at Caylor Solutions are trying to do, where, “hey, we found these cool little things that are out there.” And there are all kinds of things – I mean, you know, I’m going to start doing some unboxing and some other things with some little toys that I found for marketing that we can share. But I think that, yeah, the more that you can kind of find those places that are talking about it – so we blog pretty regularly about some of these things, and we’re gonna start doing these video blogs.

And then another place that I go is Amazon (it) has a Launchpad. And I’ve gone to the Amazon Launchpad and discovered a lot of really cool things. There’s this beam button that I discovered. And basically, it’s a button that you wear on your lapel, but you can connect it to your phone, and it will actually allow you to push content to this button – whether it’s video or whether it’s gifs or whether it’s just asking me about financial aid. Another thing that could be really powerful in a college fair situation. So, that’s how I’m finding a lot of information, and there are probably better ways to do it, but that’s how I’m doing it.

You‘re making me want to go back to the front lines here of being an admissions counselor.

There you go. It’s a tough life, so..

Well, thanks for your information today. Do you have anything else you want to share with our audience today?

I would just encourage you, if you haven’t already, subscribe to our blog – go ahead and do that. It’s on this page. You can subscribe to the blog, and you’ll be receiving weekly updates every Tuesday. We publish the latest blogs, and you’ll get that in your email box. And be sure to comment if you have other things that you’re looking at, as far as marketing trends that you think are coming – put that in the comments here, and we’ll go ahead and start a conversation about it.

Thanks so much Bart. We’ll see you next time here at Caylor Solutions.

Thanks, Amy.

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