By Daisy Perper — Nov 21, 2019 11:00 AM
Last week, the Hannon Hill team traveled to Las Vegas to attend the 2019 AMA Symposium for Marketing of Higher Education. This higher education marketing conference features professionals from all over the globe, as well as informative sessions and panels based on a wide variety of relevant marketing topics.
While hearing from an array of higher education marketing professionals, we were excited to see some common trends as it relates to what is on the horizon for marketing in higher ed in 2020 and beyond. With Gen Z being the current target audience, let’s take a look at what this means in terms of communication.
Personalization, Personalization, Personalization
It’s no secret that digital personalization methods have become increasingly important over the last few years, but now more than ever students are demanding that their communications be personalized to their wants and needs. With a span of around 8 seconds to capture these prospects, it’s important to serve content that is relevant and provides immediate value to their digital visitor experience.
Through implicit and explicit visitor attributes, marketers now have the ability to collect important data that helps us better understand our individual audiences and deliver the right message at the right time.
How can you get started? We recently published a seven part blog series on Digital Personalization in Higher Education. This series is a great resource as organizations look to launch their own targeted strategy. You can check those out here.
Real Time Communication
Real-time communication is quickly becoming the engagement channel of choice for today's students, which means we must act with immediacy and provide prompt responses in order to engage. Artificial Intelligence digital technology such as Chatbots are used to provide those real-time responses to frequently asked questions as well as provide an easy outlet for data collection. A 2019 pilot test from the University of Perdue determined that Chatbots provided a solution for responding to prospects on a global scale, kept students engaged with real-time responses, and contributed to increases in conversations, engagements and conversions.
Moving Beyond Traditional Methods
As today’s students are moving away from traditional methods to get their information, colleges and universities need to adapt and work with new technologies to better reach their audience. As these technologies continue to evolve, higher ed marketing teams are learning to use them to their advantage.
While email has generally been the leader in campaign communication, did you know that consumers respond to texts 60x faster than emails? This may be because the average person spends 55 minutes a day texting. Text messages are becoming more and more prevalent to reach our prospects. Studies have shown that SMS campaigns produce a much larger conversion rate and in return ROI versus email campaigns to prospective students.
Gen Z prefers to have all of the information available through the screens. Augmented Reality will continue to evolve and integrate within higher ed websites, providing prospects in-person experiences such as campus tours, historical reenactments, classroom experiences and more through digital platforms.
How do you think the evolution of digital technology will impact higher education for 2020 and beyond?