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A Non-Invasive Approach to Website Governance

Website governance is a challenging topic in any large organization, and colleges and universities are no exception. That challenge is only amplified when those who most need to exercise control over a website lack the resources or political support necessary to enforce effective governance policies and procedures.

But that doesn’t have to leave you dead in the water, especially not if Shelley Keith has anything to say about it. Shelley, a higher ed industry veteran and senior strategist at Modern Tribe, has an alternative approach, which she was kind enough to share with us in a recent podcast episode. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.

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The Prospective Student Journey is Overrated, and Other Things We Learned From Chris Aarons

I recently had the pleasure of talking about digital transformation and higher education with Chris Aarons, co-author of the WSJ best-selling book, The Digital Helix. Chris is an accomplished marketer with no shortage of bold opinions on how professionals in higher ed can get the most out of technologies like AI, big data and automation. We covered a lot of territory, from how he was able to spot the one school that clearly “gets digital” while sifting through hundreds of direct mail pieces sent to his son (7:00), to what schools can learn from Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad (15:20).

Below are just a handful of the insights I got from our conversation.

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Five Takeaways from Creative South 2018

co-written by Shannon Viox

We don’t have many fears at Echo Delta, but one thing that frightens us is recycling ideas. Our phobia is a constant push to bring fresh perspective and innovative ideas to our clients and one way that is possible is through inspiration from our peers.

Late last week, we hit the road for Columbus, Georgia – one of the most beautiful cities in the south – for the annual Creative South conference. We spent a few days surrounded by other creative-doers while we recharged our creative batteries, gained perspective on our role as designers and to get inspired. Continue Reading

Duplicate Content: Menace or Meh?

We’ve all seen it. Within otherwise peaceful groups, there can arise certain differences of opinion that are instantly polarizing: Coke or Pepsi. The oxford comma. How to pronounce “gif.”

In the SEO world we have quite a few debates like that, and one of our most hot-button issues is duplicate content.

Clients often ask, “Is duplicate content something we really need to worry about?”

As with so many things in life, the answer isn’t black and white. While duplicate content isn’t as bad as some shady SEO practitioners make it out to be, it’s certainly not as good as those selling duplicate content claim—and rarely is it part of a great businesses marketing strategy.

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How We Make the Big Idea Happen

It’s easy! We lock ourselves away in a dark office, drain a Madison-Avenue-sized bottle of single-malt Scotch and then stumble out five minutes before the big, important client presentation with the Eureka moment in hand.

The truth is a lot less romantic and always involves 99 percent Thomas Edison-like perspiration. Big ideas are more likely to emerge when a group of passionate, fearless and creative people – focused on a common challenge – generate lots of smaller ideas that in many cases can add up to something truly unique, remarkable, relevant … and big. Continue Reading

The Secret Ingredient for Recruitment Content that Captivates

Segmentation and personalization are excellent engagement tactics for higher ed marketers because they allow you to tailor your messaging around the things your audience cares about most.

But, while speaking to your audience about the right things is important, a truly robust marketing strategy considers how you should speak to them too. Continue Reading

Segmentation: Your Key to Tailor-Made Messaging

Keeping communication relevant and personalized throughout the entire decision-making process is a critical objective for higher education recruiters.

But how do we speak authentically to multiple groups of students without it becoming an overwhelming task?

One solution: segmentation and marketing automation. Continue Reading

Why Personalization is a Must in Higher Ed Marketing

Imagine you’re at a drive through, hungry and ready to order lunch. An employee comes over the speaker and starts explaining why you should order lunch at their restaurant instead of the one down the street, then demands to know what sauce you want with your nuggets—even though you don’t eat meat!

That wouldn’t make any sense, right? You’ve obviously already chosen this restaurant, so further convincing isn’t necessary. And presuming to know your order before you’ve even uttered a word? Well, that’s just foolish. Continue Reading

Avoid Content Debt to Keep Your Website Looking Sharp

When you launch a website, it’s like driving off the lot with a brand-new car. It’s shiny and perfect in that moment, but over time it starts to get worn down. If you ignore routine maintenance long enough, your car will inevitably grind to a halt.

Web developers are familiar with this concept in terms of “technical debt,” the theory that writing easy—rather than reliable—code will create compounding issues for a website further on down the road. Basically, it’s like repairing your car (or your website) with an extravagant amount of duct tape. Continue Reading

A Finishing Touch: Using Tactile Design

Some people think print is dead — that fewer people are printing things and it’s all going digital. But there is still a very large portion of your brand that calls back to traditional elements.

Each month, I get a water filter in the mail from a company called Soma and the packaging is beautiful. The design of the packaging creates an elegant, quality experience. In the end, it doesn’t feel like something you regret buying.

Our sense of touch is really important. It’s one of the first impressions you make with your audience and they’ll notice when things are well thought out. At the end of the day even the smallest details are noticed – from the type of paper you choose to the size and dimension of a printed piece. Maximizing these details will ultimately connect with them. Continue Reading