Here at TargetX, we’re in full Xpert Summit mode (for those of you that don’t know, that’s our annual users group event) so it’s only natural that it would be mentioned in today’s RM.
We’re busy preparing to bring our clients, prospects and friends together next week to discuss trends in higher education, day to day challenges and thinking outside the box.
Many of our presenters are clients, working with our products and services. And while they come from colleges and universities across the nation, they all have one thing in common — they are bringing with them the knowledge and expertise on how to do things differently (why else would we have chosen them to present at our event;)
While you might not be attending the Xpert Summit, you can certainly begin innovative thinking in your office and on your campus. And I’ve got just the article to get you started.
“The Truth About Marketing (Online and Off) That No One Wants to Admit” by Jonathan Mead talks about the age-old marketing story of “playing it safe” and how that’s just not going to cut it anymore. What was once new and effective is no longer so — yet we still continue to do the same things.
Mead addresses “marketing tactic blindness” both online and offline. People become desensitized to campaigns that become routine. Higher education knows better than anyone else that a lot of the time, once one institution starts doing something — we all start doing it. That’s not to say that we won’t use tactics that are traditional or the same as other colleges and universities, but as Mead states “They’re not enough. They won’t make you remarkable. You need to add something more.”
Mead goes on to identify some marketing trailblazers who weren’t afraid to step out of their industry comfort zone and do something unique. Here’s some of his examples:
Nintendo Wii. Targeted families in the male-dominated gaming market.
Cirque du Soleil. Your standard musical entertainment? With a combination of music, acrobatics and circus performances — I think not.
Curves. Designed specifically for women to help them get in shape AND embrace their natural beauty.
It’s tough to take risks, I get that. And the above examples are pretty dramatic. But as Jonathan Mead states, “If you’re doing what’s been proven to work and you’re not experiencing the results you want, something needs to change.” If you struggled this year, maybe it’s time for some “out of the box” thinking. Is it the audience you’re targeting? Is it your message? You probably have an idea of what needs to change — so start taking some steps toward doing that.
Mead adds this disclaimer at the end of his post, which I think is important for us to remember too:
It’s easy to get excited about “breaking the rules” and blazing your own trail — but that doesn’t mean throwing out everything you’ve ever learned or used in marketing before.
Master the time-tested marketing advice but don’t stop there.
Looking to spark your “out of the box” thinking but can’t attend the Summit? No problem! Join the conversation through Twitter and Facebook. Follow @targetx on Twitter (we’ll be using the hashtag #targetxsummit) and be sure to “Like” us on Facebook so you can see all the latest updates, photos and more from Vegas.
Read more about our authors. Annemarie Nagle is the Senior Marketing Executive for TargetX. Annemarie knew she had a passion for admissions and recruiting as a student tour guide. Since then, she has worked in higher education as an admission counselor and a dual role recruiting students and managing marketing communications.