The Web versus Pub's in College Admissions Marketing
Web vs. pub’s. We know who won, don’t we?
The heyday of college admissions marketing publications was longer ago than many of us would like to admit. There are still beautiful admissions publications being produced and there are still fantastic firms doing work that equals the best of earlier eras. But don’t we know in our hearts that publications program have declined in significance as part of the marketing mix?
Today there’s much more urgency around the school’s website. Much more energy. Much more staff and resource allocation. And, indeed, in an increasing number of cases, really striking and compelling solutions.
But let’s not declare victory too soon. Neither web nor print has won. Today, college websites are being threatened by shorter attention spans, PDAs, and social media. Some of the most elaborate college web projects feel very much like the fancy viewbooks of a previous era, with a level of effort that exceeds their utility as effective marketing tools.
The emergent approach, still not well-established in higher education even after 20 years on the scene, is brand implementation that runs cross-platform. Because, indeed, no single communications vehicle is going to be the winner in this day and age. You need to use them all to be effective. You also need an approach that can encompass new media and tools as they become available at an astonishingly rapid rate. Any communications platform risks obsolescence. We need to rise above them all to be effective marketers.