Higher Education Marketing: Seth Godin on "Being Remarkable"
Yesterday, Converge Consulting's Managing Partner, Jay Kelly, and I had the pleasure of attending the CASE Summit 2012 keynote session. A lifelong fan of the Marketing Guru, Seth Godin (AKA- my marketing hero- I have every book on my shelf of Seth’s and await his blog posts like my children await Peppy’s ice cream truck in our neighborhood), he provided a witty, insightful, entertaining, and downright thought-provoking key note speech.
What Seth talked about was music to my ears. He echoed our company’s vision of where Higher Education Marketing Communications/Engagement should go. The noise in the market is unreal and quite honestly very difficult to cut through. Whether you are a college trying to communicate with your alumni or a marketer selling a new product, it is unbelievably difficult to break through that noise and be memorable, much less remarkable.
Although Seth covered a myriad of fantastic points, one of the key take-aways is that a surefire way to success is to be "remarkable." What is being remarkable? Colleges and universities often struggle with how to make modern marketing practices actionable and relevant. One way in which to be remarkable is to create tribes. Tribes focuses on the opportunity to ignite people of similar interests and to get them to share in the things that are inspiring to them. Think about how much easier it is to communicate with a group of alumni that have a shared interest (athletics, the performing arts, the new science building, mentoring students, etc.). By creating these Tribes of people, we have a much better chance of creating a remarkable experience that is relevant to the audience and igniting a response. The key to determining who your tribes are starts with understanding your alumni's interests, attitudes, and motivations regarding your institution.
The national research that Converge has conducted on donor motivation, attitude, and engagement allows us to classify your alumni as champions, friends, and acquaintances. These three groups are tribes of the university. Starting with these three segments, we can then move into more targeted segments based on communication channel preference, philanthropic activities, etc. If you have identified who your Champions are, you may determine that there are six different interest groups that you may want to align and segment further through research and data-mining within that group. Creating tribes who have positive sentiment towards your institutions and identifying further ways in which to engage them is a step in the right direction to communicating about how remarkable your institution is in ways that they will find compelling.
To learn more, please
- How are you creating tribes within your alumni audiences?
- How are you using research/data mining to understand what interests your alumni and what they view as remarkable?