Marketing

Digital marketing topics.

Enrollment Fuel: Communicating to Prospective College Students Considering Their Preferences

It is no secret that millennials love technology.  As a millennial myself, I frequently use the internet to answer questions that come to mind throughout the day, and to research an important decision before making it.  In fact, I would argue that most, if not all, of millennials’ major consumptionary decisions are considered amidst surfing the web.  When it comes to choosing a college, this tendency remains constant.  Therefore, admissions professionals should take advantage of this known preference.  However, what is the best way to stand out in a sea of similar e-marketing efforts when seeking to reach prospective students?  Well, your success boils down to utilizing the right content, at the right time, directed at the right audience.

In her article “Millennials’ Changing Perceptions: Latest Trends From 2015 Social Admissions Report”, Alex Sigillo mentions that the number of students applying to multiple institutions has risen by 10 percentage points.  Therefore, today’s high school students are arguably more open and willing to weigh their options when choosing a school—especially if they are already invested in multiple.  With this increase in uncertainty, comes a further need to communicate to these individuals in their language.  However, as you likely know, maintaining the interest of your active prospects is expensive in terms of time and money.  Additionally, you do not want to force communication with a prospect wavering/declining in interest, you should be communicating to them when they want to be communicated to.  Our product Enrollment Fuel can provide you the opportunity to address these concerns.  We can help you reach and actively respond at the individual level based on your prospects’ active interactions with your efforts, using their language, as well as tried-and-true traditional methods.  Lastly, Enrollment Fuel will not only save you time and money when reaching prospective students, but will also save  students the time and the frustration of receiving communications from colleges that they are not interested in.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!

As always, if you have any comments/disagreements/questions please feel free to respond!

Should You Stick to Counting Ad Clicks?

Suppose that your business is in the process of running a digital marketing campaign.  As a measure of its success, your main concern should be with the amount of clicks you have generated, right?

Well, as digital marketers have learned over the years, this is not always the best way to measure the success of your campaign.  Stacy Griggs from el toro shares a similar viewpoint in his article, “Click Through Rates—Are You Getting All You Can?”.

Specifically, he mentions how clicks are often times inadvertmouseclickent—online users can often be “baited” into clicking something that they are not actually interested in, or, often, can accidentally click on an ad when trying to exit out of it.  So, although clicks may at first glance seem appealing, they do not always accurately measure the success of your efforts.

 

Are Clicks Useless?

Although click through rates are not always the most reliable measurement, this does not deem them as useless.  They can be used to measure how a change in your campaign causes an increase/decrease in overall interest.  Most importantly, they can be used to infer what form of advertising, along with what type of content, is the most effective in capturing the interest of your audience.

Therefore you should indeed seek to increase your click through rates.  This can be done through, as Griggs wrote, “having the best possible message placed in the best possible outlet.”  Griggs highlighted that his company is particularly successful in this because they are able to target their audience at an individual level.  As you may know, our technology allows us to do this as well– in a truly innovative way.  We can help you reach and actively respond at the individual level using our products Digital Direct Mail and Enrollment Fuel.

An increase in clicks, however, does not imply a successful campaign in and of itself.  If a change to your campaign causes an increase in supposed interest, but does not lead to an improvement in conversion rates, you should not mark this as a success.  After all, the point of an online ad is to generate a boost in sales.

 

As always if you have any comments/disagreements/questions please feel free to share your thoughts!

Thank you for taking the time to read!

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USPS trying their hand at new channels

A New Frontier for the USPS

The United States Postal Service is entering the second phase of testing for a new system that sends customers an email consisting of pictures of the mail they will receive each morning.  Specific to the marketing industry, there will also be an option for mailers to add interactive elements to these emails, which can be paired with their physical direct mail.  Theoretically, a USPS campaign which pairs a digital interactive element with physical direct mail sounds like it could rival an integrated campaign of Digital Direct Mail and physical direct mail from Bann Business Solutions.

Shortcomings to Considerjonas mailman

There are several problems for a business who would want to partner with USPS to run one of these campaigns.  The first issue is how the USPS is going to get people to actually open and engage with an email that is nothing more than black and white pictures of the mail that they will receive later in the day.  Digital Direct Mail can achieve the same level of targeting and coordination of digital and physical direct mail, without disrupting a target’s behavior by forcing them to open an email in order to be exposed to the communication.  Another major issue in partnering with the USPS would be the question of how the core competencies of USPS could help in implementing and maintaining a successful marketing campaign.  USPS is great at delivering mail, but has no expertise in marketing.  Partnering with a marketing agency like Bann Business Solutions who can help select channels, have more flexibility in channel selection, and can assist in the strategy and design of the campaign is the obvious choice.  This new service from the USPS is interesting and may be helpful for some consumers, but it will make no splash in a marketing services world saturated with more advanced and more effective options.

 

information on new services http://www.dmnews.com/postal/postal-service-to-debut-digital-mail-in-new-york-this-fall/article/423482/

 

As always please feel free to respond with any comments/disagreements/questions! Thank you for taking the time to read

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Enrollment Fuel: Actively Fueling the Collegiate Admissions Process

Building Upon Expertise

As you may have read in one of our recent case studies, a client of ours sought assistance in heightening the reach and effectiveness of their University Admissions marketing campaign.  We helped them utilizing our new product “Digital Direct Mail”, which focuses online banner advertisements to households based on their IP address.  As you may have read, students who received these advertisements were 35% more likely to apply to the university we partnered with, while saving significant dollars in the process.  Through this relationship, we saw an area of opportunity to use and improve upon our expertise in multi-channeled marketing campaigns.  Specifically, we took tried and true methods used in marketing today like direct mail, popular techniques used in digital marketing, such as behavioral analytics, predictive modeling, and IP triangulation, and packaged these with our unique ofenrollment fuel logofering “Digital Direct Mail”.  Our improvements did not end here.  We also partnered with the provider of a new digital platform that significantly amplifies our ability to assess and respond to students’ interactions with universities’ marketing efforts.  We call this convergence of marketing efforts, old and new, “Enrollment Fuel”.  In this post I will further explain the technology underlying the e-marketing aspects of Enrollment Fuel.

The technology governing the digital side of Enrollment Fuel is unique because each online user’s activity can be actively recorded and factored into a real-time “score”.  Since this “score” is actively responsive, we have the ability to infer an individual’s interest at an unprecedented level.  Let us further explore why this technology is truly innovative.

Actively Responsive “Brain”

A modern (well-developed) digital marketing campaign typically consists of four important systems with distinct yet necessary roles.  Firstly, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system’s role is to capture relevant details about customers, and their inferred interests, based on their interactions.  Meanwhile, the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system’s role is to utilize information provided by the CRM and turn it into usable data for businesses to use in order to generate sales.  A company that uses both of these tools would have the ability to provide personalized advertisements based on what the user has viewed.  At first glance this combination seems effective; our platform, however, has the ability to actively integrate these two tools using a responsive “brain” that forms these systems into an interconnected and responsive whole.  This artificial intelligent brain has the ability to communicate between the CRM and the ERP in order to eAIbrainnsure that what the user is actively engaged in, or not engaged in, is factored into their virtual experience and presentation.  Other platforms do not have this “brain” capable of providing truly real-time advertisement experiences.  This technology further differs from other digital marketing offerings because it also connects the remaining two important systems: the Content Management System (CMS) and the Marketing Automation system (MA).  Since these two systems are also governed by the same artificial intelligence, they too respond and adapt to real-time updates from all systems.  The interconnectedness of the CMS is significant because this allows Enrollment Fuel the unique ability to, again, actively manage what content is highlighted for an individual on a specific website through reorder or removal of items declining in popularity.  This active systemic communication provides Enrollment Fuel’s CMS a truly unmatched ability to deliver actively changing one-to-one content management, as well as overall unbiased content sorting.  Lastly, when used under Enrollment Fuel’s operating platform, the Marketing Automation (MA) system can also actively respond to new data, and offers the ability to reach consumers after referencing their actively changing “interest score”.

Active Systemic Communication = Saved Time and Money

After assessing some of the nuts and bolts composing Enrollment Fuel, it is clear that our offerings can deliver when it comes to both reaching a specific audience, as well as actively adapting to their changing interest levels.  However, at this point one might question: do these improved capabilities really mean that much for universities?  The short answer is yes. This is true because, currently, other marketing providers do not have the capability to form their four systems (ERP, CRM, CMS, and MA) into a cohesive and responsive whole.  Campaigns that do not have this artificial intelligence need to spend much more money financing the manpower necessary to both assess all of the changing data provided by each system, and also communicate areas of opportunity and weaknesses cross-functionally.  Since our technology has the unique capability of forming an active connection between these tools, however, our offerings provide the opportunity to avert these unneeded costs.  Therefore, Enrollment Fuel offers universities the improved upon benefits of reaching and responding to prospective students at the individual level, while, simultaneously, minimizing the costs of doing so.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!

As always, if you have any question/disagreements/comments please feel free to share your thoughts!

Digital Direct Mail: Reaching Millennials in an Age of Distraction

Millennials Love Immediacy

After spending my usual time exploring LinkedIn this morning, I came aimgrescross an article again concerning one of the most popular discussion topics of the year: the millennial generation, and how to best advertise to them. As you have likely noticed, this topic has been widespread across the Internet for some time now, as marketers are still trying to get to the root of this generation’s unique preferences. As I talked about in Monday’s blog post, millennials live and breathe digital communication. Along with this unique familiarity with the Internet, however, come other important implications to consider. For example, recent research inferentially supports the idea that technology has an inverse relationship with attention span (referenced article). As many of you (especially if you are parents!) have probably noticed, kids these days just aren’t “as present” as they used to be; which makes intuitive sense provided their data usage. Additionally, it makes sense why marketers have discovered that millennials are less willing to sit through advertisements than other generations have been. So what can be done to reach this generation that desires immediacy above all else? Tai Tran, the author of our referenced article, Why Millennials Matter to Marketers in 2015, provided several possible ideas.

3 Values to Consider

Like me, Tran is a millennial researching and writing about marketing in the digital age; therefore, we both have first hand experience understanding what guides and explains our peers’ behavior. Tran believes that, since millennials desire immediacy, they are changing the face of what effective digital advertising should look like. Specifically, he argues that millennials desire these 3 “values” in their ads: authenticity (i.e. ads with relevant content), social support (i.e. relying on recommendations from others in order to save consumptionary time), and accessibility (i.e. if they cannot easily access the item, it is not worth the hassle). Tran argues that for businesses to be successful in reaching millennials, their advertising campaigns should adhere to these values. Tran wrote at the beginning of his article that digital advertisements do not follow these “values” and that they need to be improved accordingly. Specifically, he argues that “push advertisements” are not effective anymore because millennials do not like to be sold to. Let us dissect this idea.

Current Digital Marketing Fulfills These Values

The idea that millennials do not like to be sold to is true—they would rather, as Tran mentioned, rely on advertisements with meaningful and familiar content, and on recommendations from within their network. When thinking of traditional digital advertisements wherein individuals are “bombarded” with sales pitches, someone who understands millennials would agree that this tactic would likely be ineffective overall. As a millennial, I agree with this conclusion: I hate being flooded with advertisements for products that I do not care about. However, as I discussed with Tran via his article, this is not where digital “push” campaigns have been headed. Rather, with improvements in technology, digital marketers are now able to reach specific groups of people based on their needs and interests. A further improvement in data driven marketing includes the new technology offered by Bann Business Solutions, called “Digital Direct Mail”. As many of you know by now, this innovative technology reaches consumers with online bannimageser advertisements that are targeted to specific physical addresses. Therefore, Bann Business Solutions has the unique capability of reaching individuals through both cookies and through reaching specific demographic areas. I believe that this ability to utilize data to fine tune e-advertisements will continue to improve going into the future. I agree with Tran that most people would generally prefer to have no advertisements; however, I think that improvements in digital marketing are allowing the opportunity to cater to millennials’ “values” at both the individual and group level. Since these improved “push” advertisements are relevant to a specific audiences’ interests, they have proven more effective and will continue to improve. After talking to Tran about these new improvements in digital marketing, he wrote: “targeted push ads will be the way to attract millennials!”

 

Thank you to Tai Tran for providing a great article and for taking the time to discuss these ideas with me! Tai’s article can be found here: Why Millennials Matter to Marketers in 2015

As always please feel free to respond with any comments/disagreements/questions! Thank you for taking the time to read!