BRANDLESS BRANDS WILL SURGE IN 2020: Once popular retail brands like Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree, and Charming Charlie have closed a combined 3,457 retail stores while stores with more private-label products, like Aldi and Target, have surged with more store openings and earnings. “Today’s consumers are looking for value, and aren’t necessarily attached to particular brands…” claims eMarketer. It’s no longer enough to be the “trusted” brand or have incredible brand awareness – effectively communicating the value of a product or service is equally, if not more important, than the brand.
Why you should care: The premium for higher education has shifted away from brand and onto value. An emphasis has been placed on high-ROI programs where job outlooks and tangible curriculum outcomes are becoming more important than simply communicating that your school has been the prestigious or preferred business school for over 40 years.
IT'S 2020 AND BUYING EMAIL LISTS IS STILL A BAD IDEA: Part of the reason we still live in a world full of email spam is that marketers continue to buy lists of email addresses. HubSpot gives us 7 key reasons why buying email lists is always a bad idea. For one, not only will you harm your email deliverability and IP reputation, you could also get penalized by your ESP (email service provider). When you come across as annoying spam, you risk losing thousands of potential customers who may actually have a need for your product or service.
Why you should care: Too many schools are still purchasing lists from College Board, GMAT, or the GRE, risking email deliverability issues, ESP penalization, and annoyance by prospective students. We all know how to identify spam, irrelevant messaging, and emails that simply provide no value other than the option to “Apply Now.” There’s a permission-based, organic way to obtain prospective students’ email addresses: gated content, creative and helpful marketing campaigns, and relevant digital advertising.
GOOGLE DOUBLES ITS LIFE EVENT TARGETING: In 2017, Google introduced the ability to target users based on major life events, including college graduation, marriage, and moving (residential/commercial relocating). Now, Google has introduced new life events, including the recent purchase of a new home, business creation, job change, and retirement. Advertisers can target these life events to deliver timely, relevant ads to individuals that Google categorized as having gone through or in the process of going through these life events.
Why you should care: For enrollment marketers utilizing Google’s Search and Display networks to reach audiences of prospective students, life events (particularly college graduation and job change) are exciting new targeting capabilities to narrow in on target audiences like never before. As individuals consider switching jobs, presenting ads about your high-ROI programs could persuade those individuals to go back to school instead of rejoining the workforce with another employer.
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