The Higher Ed Marketer
The Higher Ed Marketer

Episode 2 · 7 months ago

From TikTok to Print Ads: Innovative Marketing in Higher Education

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Marketing has never been more important for institutions than it is right now. How are you able to recruit prospective students during a pandemic? How do the ways you communicate to parents and students differ during this time?

These questions and more are answered on this episode of The Higher Ed Marketer. Bart Caylor, President & Founder at Caylor Solutions Inc, and Troy Singer, Senior Account Executive at Think Patented chat with Jamie Hunt, Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Miami University of Ohio

about:

- Transitioning into a Chief Marketing Officer role during a pandemic

- How marketing visions have pivoted and evolved during 2020

- Keeping teams engaged, motivated and feeling supported remote

Know of a higher education marketing change agent you’d like to hear on the show? Does your university have an interesting story to be featured? Connect with Bart Caylor or Troy Singer. If you’re not on LinkedIn, check the Caylor Solutions or Think Patented websites instead!

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to The Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform.

But I really encourage the listeners tosee the future as a blank late and see filling that plank lit as somethingthat feeds the soul rather than something that trains energy. You were listening to, the Higher EdMarketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals in highereducation. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student,recraitment, donut relations, marketing, trans new technologies and so much more.If you are looking for conversations centered around where the industry isgoing, this podcast is for you, let's get into the show, welcome to episode two of the HigherRed Marketer Podcast, I'm troy singer and here today, with the coast of theshow Bart Caylor how's in going Bart, it's Goin! Well, thanks, troy, it'sexciting to be here on episode to really looking forward to our interviewtoday. Yes, as am I we all have had to pivonand adjust all across their lives with the covid nineteen pandemic, and todaywe're going to talk about how that has affected our professional lives and themarketing that we do with today's guest. Tell us a little bit about that Bartsure we're going to be talking with Jamie Hunt. She's, the new ChiefMarketing Officer at Miami University of Ohio she's, got to tell us a littlebit about what it was like personally and professionally having to pivot inthe middle of the pandemic and how that affected her life, as well as her roleas a chief marketing officer. I think it's always interesting going into anew roll like that and some of the ideas that she has, I think, are great.So I'm really excited to share this with everyone. Awesome, let's getstarted, we are very excited to introduce Jamie Hunt Chief MarketingOfficer at Miami University of Ohio. Welcome Jamie. Thank you. I'm happy tobe here. Well, we're happy to have you Jamie before we dive into theprofessional part will love to know if you can share one or two personalpassions that you have that we may not be able to see in your linked inprofile sure. So I have a ton of...

...hobbies that keep me busy when I'm notborking, I so I paint I write. I have told people that, if I'm not creating,I might as well be dead, so I'm always trying to create. I'm also superinterested in turtles and tortoises, which is an interesting strange hobby.When I retire, I want to have a tortoise mance. So right now I justhave my little friend Clementine who's next to me, but she promises to bejoined by many other tortoises in the years to come. Well, that is wonderfuland you have recently moved to the Southwest Ohio area. So could you sharesomething? Maybe a favorite thing that you've discovered since you've movedhere yeah. So when I moved to southwest Ohio, I had never set foot in Ohiobefore I actually moved to Ohio side unseen because of the pandemic, and Ihad no idea what it was going to. The landscape was going to be like what itwould feel like in this region, and I was so excited to find all the trailsthat there are around here. Miami University has seventeen miles oftrails on campus and then there's a ton of state parks and city parks andcounty parks and awesome, awesome trails and planscapes, really beautiful,with the rolling hills and the river bluffs, and all of that so I waspleasantly surprised at how beautiful this part of the world is yes and it'll,keep you hiking and running for years to come. Thank you for Shang a littlebit more about your personal experiences, Bart yeah thanks, Troy andJamie. I was just going to get started on R on our conversation here when Ireviewed your linked in profile. One thing that stood out was the when youstarted your new role there at Miami University, it was September of twothousand and twenty you've already kind of referenced. The idea that you knowshowing up in Ohio sight unseen because of the pandemic, tell us about whatthat transition was like. What was that, like you know, personally, just kind ofsetting into that new role yeah, I really underestimated how challengingit would be to move during a pandemic. My husband and I took the lockdownsreally seriously in the spring, and so...

...we hadn't set foot inside of a store orinteracted with any human, not part of our household between March and July.So when I was off for the job and we put our house on the market, suddenlywe had to have strangers in our house. We had to do go to lows to do some homeimprovement projects and that was sort of daunting in anxiety producing for us.After all, those months of not engaging with people, we ultimately decided todrive straight from Winston Salem to Oxford, with just one stop to pick upsome food through a drive through, because we were so anxious about thetravel and we ended up arriving here at eleven o'clock at night. So I was stillsight on seene technically until the next morning after I lived here forabout you know ten hours before I got to see what it looked like here, but itwas, it was worth it. The biggest challenge honestly was not being ableto say goodbye to my friends and colleagues in person. There are peoplethat I had not seen since we left and marched not having any idea that wewould still be in the situation and not being able to hug them or say good byeto them in person that still kind of breaks. My heart that the last time Isaw them, I didn't know, was going to be the last time I saw them. Yeah Yeah,I'm sure that that was hard and I mean the pandemic. I don't think any of USestimated what it would be like you know. I think that the idea of the tollon even mental health- sometimes I think, is underestimated on what thishas been so far. So I'm curious appreciate your sharing personally,first and foremost, but I'm also curious just professionally mean. Iknow that any time any of US moved from one school to another or we K OW W R.You know changing our career path that certainly U W, put some challenge injust an a normal time, but I was just curious. You know how did that work?During the pandemic, I mean you're going into a professional news: NewErea Youre, a chief marketing officer at major school and you've got a teamthat you're going to be working with and you're in the middle of thepandemic. What was that like? That was also challenging? I'M NOT gonna lie. UIt's hard. You don't realize when you...

...start a job. How often you poke yourhead into somebody's office and ask questions and learn more about what doI do about this? What do I do about that? And there was no ability to dothat. I was working in the office sweit with one other member of my staff soand I tried not to bother them too much, but I had a ton of questions and it'sreally a new challenge to lead a team. You've never met in a pandemic. All of the issues thatcome along with that that do a virtual means, so just having meetings withpeople via zoom and having all team meetings via zoom and then sort oflayered on top of that was it was September. So the academic hear wasjust starting and all of the issues that come up at the beginning of thetacademic er in general, and then all of the issues that come up when you'rebringing thirteenhsand college students to campus during a pandemic just hit. Itold people I had a thirty minute honeymoon because at eightthirty on myfirst day I was just diving straight into that that covid situation on ourcampus. But I've had to make sure that my staff still understands that I havean open door policy and that open door looks like slack. It looks like youknow, making a phone call and getting on my calendar to have a conversation.Have the some of that face virtual face to face interaction and making surethat people understand that I'm still well. I guess I'm not still making surethat people understand that I'm available to them, I'm a resource tothem. I'm present and I want to interact with them and having thatrelationship with them. Despite the pandemic, has been really importantright, rightfrom what you described. Obviously, things were different thanwhen you prepte and when you were interviewing so cund you give us one ortwo examples of how you had to change your expectations yeah. So I wasinterviewing in June and July and at the time everybody was thinking we weregoing to be back to full in personal classes in the fall and the institutionI was coming from was opening a little...

...bit earlier than Miami was opening, butwe kind of thought we were going to be more back into the swing of things thanwe were. Miami ended up having a five week delay where they had five weeks ofonline classes, so that kind of gave me an opportunity to get to know the layof the land a little bit before. Students came. They started moving inabout two weeks late, but I don't think anybody expected the scope and scale ofhow thet pandemic would influence higher education. I personally didn'tpredict that we were going to have as many students who wanted to be back andas many students who really didn't want to be back. It was sort of like a fiftyfifty mix of what students and parents wanted and that divide has been reallychallenging to navigate. I think for most of us in higher education yeah, Ithink you're, I think, you're exactly right. I mean I've a lot of the clientsthat I work with it. It is kind of a a little bit of a segmentation on either side. Where youknow, you've got a lot of students who are just you know committed to fullywanting to get back to a full full on college experiences. That is maybe theynew a year ago and then you've got a lot that are just very hesitant. Theparents are hesitant, andthere's a wide range there. So tell me a little bitabout as you as you got started there in September. I mean obviouslyinterviewing and prapping. You know you had a maybe a certain type of visionand probably a vision that you even cast during your interviews about whatwhat the marketing vision would be for Miami of Ohio going forward, and buttell me, I mean once you got in there in September and you're adjusting toslack and not having that chance to have everyone in a team one roommeeting things that were used to. Certainly you had to start to change alittle bit of how you were looking at that vision, at least the the tacticalexecution of that vision as it related during the pandemic. So how did some ofthat change, or maybe tell me a little bit about what is that marketing visiongoing forward and how has the pandemic impacted that yeah so, prior to thepandemic, Miami was poised wull out a new brand platform. When my predecessorleft and Covid nineteen hit. That...

...effort was put on Pas and now that I'mon board, I decided to kind of continue that pause to give us an opportunity todo a little bit more brand research. We really want to understand how ourpandemic response has impacted our current brand perception, but we alsoneed to know how the pandemic has changed people's mindsets about what isimportant to them about the college experience what concerns they haveabout the college experience and all of that, so we're doing some additionalbrand research and are going to stweak our platform accordingly, before weroll that out to the community and beyond that said, we've tried to bepretty innovative with our marketing tectics. This fall there's a lot ofchanges have happened because you can't bring students physically to campus,for large group tours or for big events, and that's been really sentral to theMiami experiences of residential campus. And it's all about that studentinteraction and that student experience and we can't have admissions counselorson the road and there's no college fares occurring, but we have to get infront of students and the ways that we have done them have had to change,because we have students who have zoom fatigue. So it's not necessarily thatwe want to suddenly fill the rest of their days up with more zoom meetings.So we've done some some AI metargeting we've done some connected TV. We've done some tick talkadvertising we're looking into some influenceer marketing to just try toget in front of them in new ways, and I think it's really working asinstitution and probably everybody right now is having to rely more onmarketing than the quoteunquote sales side of things, because we can't get onthe road. We can't get people to our campuses, and so I think we've done areally good job of supplementing what we have done in years past and it'sshowing we have. Our applications are up about nine percent right now, whichis really good. We'd, had some some slow declines and applications over thepast years. Nothing to be super concerned about, but to have that thatlarge of an increase at this point in the middle of a pandemic is somethingthat we're really happy about. That's...

...great and I I'm sure that most of whatyou talked about there is the traditional Undergrad. What about someof the other audiences? I mean? Certainly, parents and current students,current parents, and maybe even to the to the degree of how DevelopmentMarketing and you K, ow donor relations and just community relations. How hasthat been affected as well T it's been interesting. Our apparent melations arereally strong, I think at Miami we have someone who's dedicated to apparentrelations. We have a really active facebook boot for parents, we haveabout eighteen thousand students and we have about thirteensand parents in thatgroup. So that's a huge percentage of our students. Parents are in there a d.They are APSIVE. It is dozens of posts a day honestly and we're pushing on ourmessaging to them at the same time, pushing it to the students, because weknow they want to know they have a lot of concerns. Their concerns might bedifferent than their students concerns, and so we want to make sure thatthey'are seeing the information in addition to their students, we want tokeep our board of trustes engaged and understanding. What's going on, we wantto keep our alumni engaged understanding our response to thepandemic and some of the social unrest that we had. This summer, making surethat we're keeping everybody in the loop connecting with our legislators,making sure they're aware of the decisions that we're making we've hadto be really nimble. Just like, I suspect, almost everybody in higherheadhas had to hed to do with the governor, making a mandates ar passing downpegulations or things that he would like to see us do, making sure thatwe're communicating back to him that yes, we're doing that. Those areimportant. We understand it, but getting in front of those people, Ithink, has never been more important parent connection previous to thepandemic. I think it would be a real challenge to build that on the fly atthis point, but making sure that parents understand everything we'redoing. I don't think anything is more important right now, yeah beyond, ofcourse, communicating with students but making sure parents are in the loop andprospective parents so that they know...

...what we're Dane to keep kids safe andwhat we're doing to keep our campus healthy during this crisis, I think you're right on that and I'llspeak as as a college parent myself. I've got. You know a junior at Butler University here inIndiana and an freshman at Petty University and even before the pandemic,Gu noticed that the more schools engaged with us, even in the in the inthe process of looking for schools, my students looking for schools, theschools that were actually engaging with us as parents kind of floated tatthe top, because those are the those were the schools we were talking aboutbecause you know mom and I didn't get a fifty thousand emails from all theschools. We got one or two, and so I agree with you. I think that makingsure that parents are engaged in communications, whether it's during thepandemic or even outside the Pandomic, is so critical yeah. Absolutely we dida lot more print this year than we did in the past years, because we wanted tomake sure parents were seeing things and that's the best way is mail it tothe House and have the parents able to get their hands on it. I believe weeither have recently sent our plan to send a piece that is just directeddirectly to the parents that they could understanding of. What's going on,there's no way to overstate how much influence a parent has on collegethoice. That's exactly right! Jamie! You have shared so much with us todayand, like we said at the beginning of the podcast we like to at least haveone or two great ideas that can be shared, so others can benefit from itat schools that are listening to it. So is there anything that you haven'tshared, that is he discovery, or maybe just a pet idea that you could give tous here at the end. Yeah, absolutely everybody should start a tortoise Ma.That's my pet idighi think now is really the time to start thinkingoutside o the box, and I know that the stress of the pandemic is wearing onall of us, and that generally means creativity, suffers, we've been doingthis for ten months and we're tired and...

...we're slogging to it and it's all of us,but I really encourage the listeners to see the future as a blank slate and seefilling that plank liht as something that feeds the soul rather thansomething that drains energy right now. Marketing has never been more importantto meeting institutional goals. We are the front door and he, the sales team,is having to do all kinds of new tactics that aren't has frontandcenters they've been in the past, so we really need to be out front and doingcreative, creative things. This is our time to shine. This is our time to showleadership how much we can move the needle it's our time to show leadership,the value of marketing and how marketing can drive sales, and it's thetime that we can show the Roi of our work, and so I think, if there'ssomething creative, an innovative that you've wanted to try now is the time todo it. I feel really lucky. The president here at Miami gave me a largesum of money and said I don't care if you fail tit things, just try somethingnew and innovative, try something creative and that's what we've done andwe'll see if that pans out. He saw that this is the time to try things to takeboth steps, and I encourage listeners to do that too. But I also encouragelisteners to understand and realize that their teams and everybody thatyou're working with is also living with a lot of anxiety about what's going onin the world, we all have soom fatigue. We all have stress, we've all grietingexperiences, that we've lost weddings, that we've missed hugs, that we haven'thad and lost family members and friends, and I think if we can give each othergrace through this time and really understand that our audiences arefeeling all of this too and when we communicate with them. We need to becognizant of that. I think that's really important wew! That's GreatJamie! Thank you for such a beautiful andapplicable response to that question,and I thank you for joining us and sharing all of your expertise today.You definitely provided plenty of...

...useful takeaways. Thank you so much forhaving me it's been a great discussion, I'm happy to be part of it. Thisepisode of the Higher Ed Marketer podcast is sponsored by caler solutionsand education, marketing and branding agency, and also by think patented, amarketing execution, printing and mailing provider of Highe redsolutions.On behalf of my cohost Bard Kaylor, I'm troy singer. Thank you for Toniian. You've been listening to the Higher EdMarketer to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the show inyour favorite podcast player. If you are listening with Apple Podcast, we'dlove for you to leave a quick rating of the show, simply tap the number ofstars. You think the PODCAST deserves until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (31)