August 29, 2016
If you have been wandering our site and stumbled upon this page, welcome. This is my first attempt at a (semi) regular post outlining the life and times of a small university marketing and communications director.
I'll attempt to educate and inform those reading this post why marketing is needed in higher education, and how we at Siena Heights go about "doing what we do." Are we always right? No. Do we always hit the mark? Probably not. But in my 10-plus years at Siena Heights, I've learned a little bit about this thing called marketing, and I'll attempt to share some of that knowledge with all those who enter this post.
OK, here we go...
Last spring, I presented at a university workshop on how faculty and staff can market/brand their own programs. I asked them to participate in the following:
Take the 7 Second Challenge…
“You only have seven seconds to arrest the attention of your prospect — make every one count!”
- Ken Bowen, web content expert from Marketing Experiments
The Challenge: Describe your program/office in a seven-second message, keeping in mind that your reader knows nothing or very little about your subject. Things to consider:
- How is your program/office unique in a way that matters to your audience?
- What are your top selling points?
- Use Twitter as your guide (140 characters)
As you may imagine, it was quite difficult for most to successfully complete the challenge. Boiling an entire program - or career - down to a few words or sound bytes can be painfully difficult, even for the most seasoned marketer. But that's the challenge most of us in marketing face daily, especially those who have responsibilities that include managing a web site or social media. The reality is that prospective students (especially those in the 16-to-18-year-old age range) want their information NOW, and quickly. Dawdle, and they are gone.
Are you willing to take the 7 Second Challenge to describe yourself, your program or area? If you are a faculty or staff member at Siena Heights University, you will eventually be asked that question by someone in my office.
Remember, you are the Siena Heights brand to someone!
Doug Goodnough is the director of Marketing and Communications at Siena Heights University. Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-264-7141.