I’m going to spend the next few days at the American Marketing Associations Symposium on the Marketing of Higher Education, live blogging when I can, but first I wanted to post an update from SIM Tech.
Last week, Kyle, Rachel and I had the pleasure of speaking at Stamat’s annual SIM Tech conference. Stamats always does a great job with that conference, bringing in great speakers and giving out a lot of great information (and no, it’s not a constant sales pitch!). This year was no exception, and it was a great couple of days in Boston.
There were two trends that I noticed:
1) A move towards pragmatic social media
This is a shift I have seen occurring over the last several months, and one that I’m very happy to see happening. Colleges are going from just doing social media because everyone else is, to starting to think about doing it in a practical way. They’re taking time to plan things out and really make sure they have the right mix of media in their marketing efforts. They are starting to realize that social media is no different than any other marketing tool. Several speakers noted that social media should be the last thing you do, after you get the rest of your house in order. What a refreshing change!
2) Mobile, Mobile, MOBILE
This was the first higher ed conference that I’ve been to where mobile was really front and center. One of the keynotes develops apps for the iPhone, and several of the general sessions talked about it. While I’m not convinced (yet) that mobile is anything more than a luxury for higher ed, I did think it was interesting to see how many marketing people were interested in it. I’m anxious to see how this pans out and will be following it closely.
One last thing I wanted to note was something that Fritz said in his opening remarks - that is that employees today are no longer your typical employees. They are little creative consultants and they are out there building their own brands. What does this mean for colleges? You’re going to have to fight to hang onto them. It’s an extremely important point. If you have someone that is out there making a name for themselves on Twitter or the blogs, and you value the contribution they make, really make sure you’re treating them like you want to keep them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a person trying to advance themselves professionally. It’s not that they necessarily want to leave the school and go somewhere else…but it is always nice to have options.
Did you attend the conference? What were your key takeaways? Leave a comment!
(PS If you’re in Boston tonight, come out for the AMA Tweetup! Looks like all the usual Boston suspects will be there, plus a few new people too.)
Update: Here’s another recap from my buddy Tim Nekritz