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Discover Why Sappi’s Marketing of Higher Education is a Must-Read

Thu, Jun 29, 2017

Where does one begin with the higher education market? It’s highly complex and marketers need to keep an eye on trends and customer behavior patterns to stay relevant and competent in the field.

I was delighted to discover Sappi’s incredible guide for higher education marketing professionals, The Marketing of Higher Education, which seeks to simplify everything for marketers in this field. Sappi provides a slew of information including industry stats, case studies with full spreads of creative, myths and facts to be cognizant of in marketing, and a jaw-dropping, 5-page pullout brimming with ideas for crafting a multi-channel approach.

Although there are many impressive things about the guide, I’ve distilled my top 3 insights for why you should read it and keep it for reference:

1. How-to's to Trigger Response

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There are several instances throughout where Sappi provides actionable how-to’s to trigger a response from a prospective student.

For example, under their Tips and Reminders section (pg 7 of the digital version, hyperlinked above) there’s a subhead that reads “Make it fun and engaging.” Easier said than done, right? However, they go on to list in detail specific ways to succeed. “On a campus tour, ask students to create a Facebook Live video or Instagram story of their visit and post it online to win a free college T-shirt or tickets to the next school game.”

That is just one example they provide and something entirely actionable that could motivate a student to consider a school. With examples like this, marketers can pick and choose which techniques seem reasonable, based on their resources and preferences.

2. Myth vs Fact: Print Wins

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I found some of the facts listed at the end of the brochure (pg 21) interesting, especially the one about print’s power with college students:

"92% of college students surveyed preferred reading in print over any electronic media. While online reading is considered great for interpersonal communications, respondents explain that a physical printed piece has less distractions than viewing materials online and results in less eye strain and headaches."

This is a great stat because it validates what we already know – print wins, even with a target that is commonly believed to be averse to anything outside of the digital realm. Print is decidedly more effective to relay and retain information with the scientific evidence of this stat. This empowers marketers to stop shying away from print and embrace it in their communications.

3. Unique Presentations Engage

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Some of their best ideas about how to present material in a more engaging way are on the folds of the 5-page pullout (pg 8). Pulling the pages out, I feel like I’m unraveling a map with insights to understand and treasure. Ideas range from a virtual tour to snapchat filters to personalized and customized printed viewbooks. Unfortunately, to understand this point thoroughly you have to have the printed version of this content. Fortunately, here’s an opportunity to do so! Contact me at Janet.Kelly@UniversalWilde.com so I can set up a time to meet with you and get you a hard copy. 

Sappi’s knowledge of how to market in higher education is first-rate and I recommend this content to anyone looking to learn something new and improve their marketing efforts in this space.


Janet Kelly is a seasoned professional in the printing and mailing industry with 30 years of experience. She is an expert in the higher education space and creates value for clients by bringing her years of expertise to the table. Please contact her at the email above to request further information.

Universal Wilde is a leading full-service provider of data-driven, technology-enabled marketing communications solutions. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for more news and insights.


Categories: marketing, personalization, print marketing, higher education