The future of education marketing was here a long time ago

I just returned from the American Marketing Association’s Symposium on The Marketing of Higher Education, in Boston. It was a very interesting conference, and by far the focus of the presentations was social media. I can’t count how many times I heard, “if you aren’t on Twitter yet, get on Twitter.” (UST is already on Twitter, fortunately, tweeting as @USTbusiness, among others [I am @clarkr]. We also have pages on Facebook and LinkedIn, and coming in 2010, a new alumni social network that interfaces with those and more.)

All of this new media may be threatening to some, but I definitely saw evidence of others embracing it…to an extreme, like Michigan’s Walsh College which has taken to various viral marketing techniques…sending people in yellow striped suits out around town and posting videos to YouTube. The lesson from most of the presentations was that marketing/communication with prospective students is now much more two-way. For UST this isn’t anything new, we’ve always worked on providing a personal touch in getting to know applicants and students while they are here. Now we just have more ways to do it: