3 Marketing Strategies for Higher Education

With so many options when it comes to higher education, marketers need to get creative in attracting new students. While view books are still a hit with high school seniors and their parents who are exploring options, marketers in higher ed are embarking on more and more digital strategies to accommodate people of all ages who want quick answers and easy ways to navigate through options. Here are three options we offer our higher ed clients at Jet Marketing.

Get on Instagram

When it comes to providing quick information, social media is where it’s at and with the 35 and under crowd, Instagram is the place to be. Universities and colleges are jumping on Instagram to reach, attract and engage students. They use it to showcase their campus, highlight research and encourage student involvement—all the while providing calls to action with clever hashtags and incentives.

Several universities have Facebook pages for potential students where they post on exciting new programs and opportunities. The sky’s the limit when it comes to boosting enrollment through web, digital and social.

Boost class enrollment with email campaigns

When your college or university launches a new class, degree or program, it’s sometimes hard to get the word out. To boost enrollment, try an email campaign to students. An email marketing campaign involves sending a series of related emails within a set timeframe to current and potential students. They have grabby headlines, lots of graphics and infographics and an easy act now button for students to click on to instantly learn more.

Create a stunning view book or case statement that can also live on your website

College view books make an impact by telling student success stories, using infographics to highlight statistics, and relying heavily on large format pictures that pull the viewer in. Here at Jet, we are experts at making photos pop off the page and make an impact on readers. We are proud to have earned a Service Industry Advertising Award Best of Show on our Power Your Future campaign brochure for Gillette College Foundation.

Your view book can live on the web as a simple flip-able book, or crank it up by adding links to videos that go more in depth with student stories, research successes and faculty superstars.

Need more help? Get started with Jet – we’re experienced in creating digital and print marketing for colleges and universities. With clean design and a talented copywriter on staff, we can be as involved as you need us to be. To get started, reach out to Jackie today – we’re offering a discount on start-up costs for a limited time.


3Lynn Nichols, Content Director

Lynn understands the college search, having just gone through it with her youngest son, Evan. It’s tough having two kids in college at the same time!


Custom donor publications still relevant in digital age

You’ve probably been told that printed, custom newsletters or magazines targeted to your donors are old school.  Or maybe your governing board wants to save money and encourages the use of Facebook or e-newsletters as your mode of communication instead. After all, they’re free, so why not?

The first step before creating any marketing materials or custom publications is defining your audience. Who do you want to reach? What action do you want them to take after reading?  Depending on your target audience, Facebook or an e-newsletter might be an appropriate part of your mix but keep in mind that social media is often most popular among young audiences whose pockets might not yet be very deep. If that’s your target audience, go for it. Otherwise, you might want to consider a more traditional mode of delivery, like a donor publication.

The Value of Donor Publications

Donor publications are in fact not dead and if done right, they can provide an ongoing mechanism to:

  • Recognize donor gifts
  • Profile key donors and why they give
  • Recognize sponsors and special event participants
  • Announce upcoming events
  • Educate donors about your organization
  • Supplement your “ask” materials for new donor meetings
  • Tell stories of how donations make a difference in people’s lives
  • Introduce and recognize employees and staff
  • Provide a regular reminder or vehicle to encourage gifts
  • Recognize board members to help with retention and recruitment
  • Provide a sense of community among your donors

 

A current client of ours recently sent out an e-newsletter to thousands of donors. Nearly 75% went unopened. The same client sends out a quarterly custom publication and inevitably gets a good response with remittance envelopes. That’s not to say one is better than the other, but for this client, custom publications are their sweet spot. The downside may be the cost of the investment, but you might find that the return on investment is well worth it.

A past client explains it this way:

“Through our custom donor publication we are able to keep 10,000 of our supporters informed about critical advancements each month.  This continued outreach has recently resulted in a $300,000 gift from a former patient. While this is one of our larger gifts, each quarter many supporters contribute funds ranging from several dollars to thousands of dollars. This outreach effort has resulted in a better informed, more engaged and knowledgeable community, which in turn continually increases their financial support.”

Consider outsourcing for good results

Maybe you have the talent to create a publication in house, maybe not. Oftentimes, newsletters are tacked on to someone’s job. The boss says, “Hey, you’re pretty good with computers, why don’t you be in charge of newsletter?” The end result is often more amateur than professional. It’s not that the staff member has poor intentions; it’s that they already have a primary role in the organization.

Worse yet, if the newsletter looks unprofessional and disorganized, it projects that image of your organization to your donors. The last thing you want is for them to view you as not having things together. After all, they might think, “If they are disorganized and unprofessional, will they be able to handle my money well?”

Maybe your primary organization’s internal marketing or communications staff could help?  Yes, they certainly have the talent; but again, is it their priority to help the foundation’s mission? Usually their

first priority is the key organization and your work falls to the bottom of the list. The quality and timeliness of your publication is the first to be bumped when more important projects present themselves. Then you are back to where you started — a publication that is no longer timely or effective.

It is vital that your custom publication be interesting, relevant, professional, timely and in alignment with your organization’s brand.

To do it right, consider outsourcing to a marketing firm or syndicated publisher. While you could go with the latter to purchase a canned publication, where part of your contract is a customized cover and perhaps interior spread, you’ll sacrifice it feeling “custom” for your audience. For example, you might end up with photos of the Florida coastline when your organization resides in the mountains of Colorado.

A better route would be to hire a marketing firm that can create custom content, produce relevant images, and establish a consistent, professional look-and-feel for your publication on a set (and honored) schedule.  A firm like this is usually very motivated to keep you on task and will provide a turnkey product that has an impact with your donors.

If you’re intrigued, give us a call. Creating custom publications for foundations is something we do regularly, with good results.

 

3Lynn Nichols, Content Manager

Lynn enjoys the challenge of creating custom publications that create results and engage donors. 


5 Tips for Staying on Brand this Holiday Season

The holiday season is in full swing and you are most likely in the midst of hanging lights and drinking peppermint mochas, but is your brand holiday-ready? As tempting as it is to incorporate every reindeer and snowflake graphic that pops up on Pinterest, it’s important to still maintain your brand recognition. Here are a few guidelines that will help add some cheer while keeping your identity at the forefront:

Keep your logo intact and visible.

Now isn’t the time to replace your mark with a Christmas tree. Or to change your type to a scripty holiday font. Your logo should still be highly visible and unchanged. If you’re feeling really festive and want to incorporate your mark into a holiday theme in some way (i.e. your mark as a snowflake or an ornament on a tree), then go for it. But don’t forgo using your actual logo.

Keep your color palette.

Using all red and green when your colors are purple and gray isn’t going to make anyone recall your brand (unless you are a highly recognizable brand like Starbucks). If you want to add some holiday color, consider adding a luxurious, rich, warm accent color. Something that conjures feelings of warm fireplaces on snowy nights. Or going monochromatic, such as silver or gold, feels very elegant and merry, while being different but not too off-brand.

Tailor your messaging.

Tweaking your tagline or message is a good way to include the holiday spirit. Just make sure to keep it in the same voice as the rest of the year. If you typically have a serious and deliberate tone, now is not the time to be cutesy and humorous. And be sensitive to the fact that the holidays don’t mean “Christmas” for everyone. Keep your holiday marketing more general to the season so as not to alienate your audience.

Keep it fresh.

Consider updating your holiday approach each season. Using the same idea over and over each year can feel dated and tired. Take Starbucks for example. While they are known for their holiday cups, people eagerly await each year to see what the NEW design will be. If they were to parade out the same cup every year there definitely would not be the hype and anticipation that their holiday brand is now known for.

Don’t overdo the cheer.

It’s fun to get in the holiday spirit, but that doesn’t mean it should overtake your brand. Acknowledging the holidays and spreading some joy is absolutely acceptable but make sure that your brand doesn’t get buried in the eggnog and sleigh bells. Keep your message on point and make sure it’s still meeting your business objectives.

The goal is finding the connection between the joy of the season and your own brand. It’s a fleeting time of year that luckily, we get to do all over again next year!


ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin is busy this holiday season trying to help her 3 year old resist the urge to cover every square inch of the house in holiday trinkets. Let’s not even talk about the outside decorations.


Brand Personality — Pumpkin-Spiced

 

Every year as summer begins to soften into fall, there are a couple of things I look forward to. The sweater weather, the changing leaves, football season and…Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice latte.

Not only do I love the taste of it, I love the special voice that their marketing team gives the PSL on social media.

Everything from beer, to cereal, to chips and salsa can be pumpkin-flavored, and we can give the credit for pumpkin spiced passion to Starbucks. The PSL was first created in 2003, and has started a pumpkin spice boom every fall season since. From the beginning of September to the end of October (or Pumpkin Spice Season), @TheRealPSL is active on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr with cleverly curated posts. The PSL has been on social media since 2014. Aside from the Frappucino, The PSL is the only drink on Starbucks’ menu that has its own social media account.

Ultimately, the PSL social media is all about creating and sustaining hype for the drink. The PSL accounts are only active in the fall — first, to announce the imminent arrival of the PSL, and thereafter to remind people they can still get it.

As a major part of Starbucks’ sales, the PSL and its social media are essential.

So what makes the PSL social media strategy so effective? Four vital attributes–audience, scarcity, brand personality and creative content.

Audience

Starbucks knows their audience well. PSL customers tend to be somewhat affluent, health-conscious millennials. Reaching their audience effectively means that Starbucks has been able to gain a lot of followers (37k on Instagram, 17.4k on Twitter). Not only do they have a significant number of followers, the PSL generates significant engagement on their posts as well. PSL posts receive 493% more likes per photo than Starbucks’ regular posts.

By using a mixture of photos, videos, and GIFs, the PSL is able to diversify their social media feed and keep it interesting. And @TheRealPSL adds the bonus of responding personally to its followers.

Now you see where I got the good looks & bad eyesight. #FBF

A post shared by Pumpkin Spice Latte (@therealpsl) on

Scarcity

The PSL only comes around once a year for a short amount of time. Starbucks takes the cue of the changing leaves to start creating hype. By using clever, sporadic posts for the PSL social media, Starbucks drives excitement for the PSL and thus the purchase of the beverage.

Brand Personality

Unlike the other social media accounts for Starbucks, The PSL is very much a brand character or persona. The posts are put into PSL’s first person voice. The more PSL posts, the more the audience learns about the character. Even though it’s a product and it’s not around most of the year, the audience is invested in the PSL story, and they grow to love the PSL character. And because the brand has a well-defined, fun personality the content they produce is top-notch.

Creative Content

To go along with brand personality, the PSL social team has created posts that are eye-catching, entertaining, and fun. We learn the PSL goes backpacking, has a pumpkin-cat named Ginger, and other fun details. And the brand is responsive — engaging with fans that want to interact with the beverage on social.

For another example of a company using a branding character, check out New Belgium Brewing Company’s Voodoo Ranger. He’s a relatively new marketing tool for New Belgium, but he’s already the face of four of their beers.

Utilize the PSL social media strategy for your own marketing goals. But be sure to be original — we all know that the copycats aren’t the same as the real thing! Now, who’s thirsty for a PSL?


Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten once dressed up as a PSL for Halloween and it’s still her favorite costume to date.


Swag Stats: Ten Things That Might Surprise You About Promotional Products

IMG_0215
Stylin’ in Jet shades

We all know that marketing has changed significantly over the last few decades. There are certain things that have remained consistently effective when it comes to brand recognition, swag items being one of them. People still like receiving promotional products and especially useful ones. Depending on distribution, it may be more effective to select something of higher cost that the user will value and keep longer, maybe an insulated tumbler. If the goal is to reach a broader audience, go with something less valuable but perhaps just as useful like a pen. Let these statistics* help guide your decision to get the best ROI for your business.

1. 85% of people remember the name of a company that has given them a promotional product

2. Consumers are 2.5x more likely to have a positive impression of promotional products compared to internet advertising.

3. 87% of consumers keep promotional products for over a year.

Here are some examples based on popular branded giveaway categories among US consumers:

4. 50% own a promotional writing instrument.

5. T-shirts are the most popular with consumers over the age of 55

6. 50% own a promotional bag. Among 18-24 year old women, 57% own one.

7. 53% own logoed drinkware, 50% of them use the item 2-3 times per week.

8. 45% own promotional USB Drives, and 91% keep them because they are useful.

9. 29% own branded calendars, and 76% of those consumers have them displayed in their home or office.

10. 50% of consumers own logoed outerwear and 75% of those keep them because they are useful.

Danielle
A Jet mason jar tumbler in action!

It is also important to consider the timing of a product — Think outside to box to gear your goods towards an event or the time of year. Is your audience going back to school? Think USB drives or cord wraps. Are they going to a football game? Maybe a clear tote bag. Do you want to engage your audience in social media posts? Give out something like trendy sunglasses to encourage fun photos. Regardless of the timing — go with a unique, useful and memorable item to make your brand stand out.

The right promotional product is out there for your business. There are endless options, and if you need help finding the perfect fit, we can help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

FullSizeRenderKatie proudly sports her Jet coffee mug almost everyday. She loves finding the perfect swag items for clients and then seeing them in action!


The “always” in customer satisfaction

Being from Northern Colorado, I love the Human Bean coffee shop. Here’s why:

  • Their coffee drinks are consistently good
  • The staff is always friendly
  • They have drive-up service
  • I get a chocolate covered espresso bean on top, every time
  • They back up this goodness by donating generously to community causes

My Human Bean visits are a consistently positive experience. As marketers, we know that brand consistency builds brand loyalty. I’d add that brand sincerity does, too.

What do I mean by brand sincerity? They walk their talk. They don’t promise one thing and do another. They don’t fake a smile when they hand you your coffee to hide the stress they feel when cars are piling up behind you. They don’t give to various local causes simply to boost their marketing efforts. They don’t forget to make you feel special by placing that bonus bean on top.

Brand sincerity is a tricky thing, because you have to leave a positive impression every time you touch a customer, from the front door to the final transaction. The 17586583_1659281251047525_2502153972765163520_noutcome–that great cup of coffee–is most important, but customers decide who you are every step of the way. If you hit the mark each time, they’re yours to keep.

If you are in healthcare like many of our clients at Jet Marketing, you know consistency can be hard to achieve when a patient experiences 10 to 20 interactions in just one visit. Consider how many chances you have to be less than perfect: A patient sets an appointment, walks through the door, is greeted, sees a nurse or medical technician, sees a doctor, gets lab tests or imaging scans, gets a treatment plan, receives care instructions, checks out, receives a follow up call with results…and that’s all from one doctor visit. Imagine a hospital stay.

One grumpy interaction with staff or missed step along the way can result in a “usually” rather than an “always” on the HCAHPS patient satisfaction survey where healthcare customers rank their satisfaction on a scale of never, sometimes, usually and always. The only answer that generates full federal reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare for hospitals and clinics is “always,” the most desired box to check on the survey–hence, hospitals thrive or nosedive by their Top Box results.

How can a hospital that has dozens of outlying clinics and a long list of services deliver top care consistently? How can they maintain brand sincerity when so many fingers are in the patient pie? Here are some ideas:

  1. Choose a motto and give it meaning with action.

    For example, our client Campbell County Health in Gillette, Wyoming chose “Excellence Every Day” which they’ve integrated into their daily team huddles and process improvement efforts.

    Provide scripting for front-end staff, technicians and nurses.

  2. Regardless of what facility your patients call, they get the same greeting and warm response. Some of our hospitals have employed the acronym AIDIT, which stands for Acknowledge (by looking in their eyes, calling them by name), Introduce (say your name and what you will be doing for them), Duration (if there is a wait, tell them how long), Explanation (explain the procedure) and Thank you (for choosing us, for calling).
  3. Enlist volunteers to greet your patients at the front door and offer to walk them to their destination.

    Our client Montrose Memorial Hospital did this with excellence on our first visit–complete with a charming older gentlemen who linked arms with us and walked us to the marketing director’s door.Always Blog graphic

  4. Educate patients they will be receiving a patient satisfaction survey and ask them to fill it out.

    While you can’t ask patients to respond with an “always,” you can let them know you want to hear their feedback, and that it helps you improve and makes a difference with federal funding. With that said, don’t let the HCAHPs survey be the end-all goal. Patients are savvy. They recognize when staff are insincerely nice just to get good scores. At the end of the day, an “always” is achieved by consistent, genuine and positive experiences that create loyal customers who are convinced you are great and expect nothing less. In other words, they trust you to deliver that delicious bean on top.

 

3Lynn Nichols, Copywriter, Publication Specialist

Around the office, our copywriter has earned the facetious nickname of “Dr. Lynn” for her off-the-cuff diagnoses of team ailments from her years of healthcare writing.


The Unboxing Experience

Even if we don’t admit it, some of the same things that we were excited about as kids still give us the same feelings as adults. Online retailers finally figured this out and as marketers, we can tap into the same ideas and principals.

BirchboxIt’s the excitement and anticipation of opening a gift — even if we already know what’s inside. A curated and thoughtful un-boxing experience makes the consumer feel special and it increases the perceived value of their purchase. More and more companies are upping their game by shipping orders in colored or patterned boxes, carefully wrapping the items in fancy tissue paper or placing them in cloth bags, enclosing a personalized note or putting your receipt in a nice envelope. When you receive a package like this, you are excited to open it for more reasons than just the item inside.

We can apply this theme to many other aspects of marketing a business — even if the company does not offer something tangible. It’s the attention to detail and the element of surprise that can make the customer (or potential customer) feel special and elevate your brand.

Add a surprise to your next promotion to make your audience excited to dive in. This could add cost to your campaign, but if it draws attention and conversation, it is well worth it.

Business Card Example from Moo
Business Card Example from Moo

The possibilities are endless, but here are some examples to get the wheels turning:

  • Design a direct mail piece with a unique shape or even put it in a padded envelope with a clever item that aligns with a campaign. Anthropologie’s birthday mailings are great inspiration.
  • Everyone loves a giveaway, and promotional items are a great way to boost brand awareness. Consider taking it to the next level by packaging it or surprising your audience with something unconventional. Jet Marketing recently branched
    Anthropologie
    Example of Anthropologie’s Birthday Mailing

    out with miniature chairs as part of a school health center campaign to keep students out of the nurse’s office and in their chairs.

  • Add foil or print your business card on a heavy or unique paper. Use an interesting pattern or quote on the reverse side of the card to invoke emotion.
  • Present a proposal or bid in a pocket folder or bind it in a unique way to make it memorable.

Keep it unexpected, interest the audience, and don’t forget your end goal. In an increasingly impersonal world, this mindset will add personal elements to your product or service. A plain brown box just doesn’t cut it anymore.

 

Katie O’Hara, Project Manager

Katie loves the challenge of finding ways to help clients stand out in a crowded world. She believes that finding inspiration in unlikely places is the key to great ideas.


A Publication to Love

They say people don’t read anymore. We all have shortened attention spans, and we want more graphics and video– not text.

While I don’t disagree with these basic trends, I would encourage you (especially women) to pick up the most recent copy of Darling and reconsider the values you place on reading.

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Targeted to women of all ages and walks of life, this magazine is like no other that I’ve seen. You’ll need a $20 bill, but if you don’t enjoy the format, the variety of stories, the photography, illustrations, graphic treatments and even the paper it’s printed on, I’ll reimburse you!

I so appreciate wandering through this publication that my husband started picking up for me each quarter. With just a few artful advertisements in the opening pages, this publication does not have any other advertising.

Each story is well crafted and synchronized with effective type treatments and rich, often monochromatic photography. There is nothing “stock” about this perfectly bound and perfectly done publication. In fact, editors at Darling embrace the raw, and real, non-photo shopped approach.

It’s artful and it makes me stop to spend a little time to feel the texture of the pages and listen to new perspectives or inspirations found within the covers. It’s an exercise in mindfulness really. This magazine doesn’t go out in my recycling pile, like most of my other magazines. I keep them. I treasure them. I share them with others.

IMG_3388At Jet Marketing, our approach to many of our marketing campaigns employs strategies of less text and more graphics. But we also create original newspaper article content, community newsletters and donor publications that get noticed. While our publications are different than Darling, they are relevant, professional and they speak to a target audience with specific education or awareness goals. Seem old-school? Well maybe, but sometimes what is old is new.

I believe that people still do read — however, Darling reinforces the fact that a high-quality piece that is relevant and attractive helps your marketing or publication rise to the top and increases the likelihood of perceived value.

What’s your favorite item to read and why? We’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, pick up a copy of Darling, or stop by the office and I’m happy to share a back copy with you.

darlingmagazine.org

@darling on Instagram

facebook.com/DarlingMagazine

 

Jackie O’Hara, Owner/Account Executive/Strategist

As the “boss lady” at Jet Marketing, Jackie is usually struggling to find time for herself. But when she does, there is nothing like a glass of wine and immersing herself in the latest copy of Darling.

 


Change Happens in Life and Marketing

It seems like change has been in the air, especially with the whirlwind of our recent presidential election. For me, being the newest member of Jet Marketing, change has been at the forefront of my most recent days. Starting a new job is filled with a tremendous amount of change. Every day presents me with new information and knowledge to internalize, analyze and sift through. For some, the changes that come with starting a new career can be rather intimidating. There is no denying that change comes with a certain amount of discomforts; however, if you remain steadfast in your pursuit and open to change, your extra effort will be sure to pay off.

Just as in life, change in business happens too. Because of this fact, your marketing should too. By remaining open and accepting of change, a company has a better chance of staying current and finding new opportunities. With the ever-changing times (and the high frequency in changing consumer tastes), it’s not a bad idea to evaluate your marketing strategy on an annual basis. Through consistent analysis you can effectively make adjustments needed to remain current and find new opportunities otherwise overlooked. You may find that there is a brand new resource or avenue that can help you better reach your target customer and ward off competitors. Maybe there is a new social media tool or B2B product that can boost your appeal?

A change in marketing strategy can also help you increase your product’s natural life cycle and respond to any outside factors that may arise. In an article in the small business section of The Houston Chronicle, entitled, “Why Is There a Constant Need for Change in Marketing?” it was suggested that small companies should change their marketing strategies during different stages of the product life cycle. For example, in some cases a company may be forced to lower the price of a product in order to stay competitive as the market expands. On the flip side a need for marketing change may arise from fluctuations in law, technologies, or reductions in resources. One example being the scarcity of cork in the wine industry. Many wine producers are moving to alternate materials, such as, plastic and twist lids in order to combat the reduction and higher prices of cork.

In life and business change happens. Because change comes with a certain amount of discomforts it is a natural impulse to want to avoid it; however, it is imperative to remain steadfast in your pursuit and open to change. In the big picture, all of the discomforts due to change are only temporary and your extra effort will be sure to be rewarding.

Jet Staff photo_JHJenn Holm, Account Manager

Jenn has never been one to avoid the discomforts of change. She enjoys adventures both big and small and really, sometimes, what better adventure is there than challenge?