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June 7, 2022

Aspirational Branding: What Makes Your Community College Exceptional

Aspirational Branding: What Makes Your Community College Exceptional

Community colleges often operate with limited resources. This can result in prospective students not knowing that there is an affordable and accessible path to higher education within their community.  

In this episode, Shauna Davis and Mary Laphen from the Lumina Foundation, provide an overview of what the Million Dollar Community College Challenge is and why helping community colleges brand and market aspirationally is so crucial. 

Join us as we discuss:

  • What the Million Dollar Community College Challenge is
  • Why it’s important to make higher ed accessible to adult learners
  • Why aspirational branding is needed for community colleges

The Higher Ed Marketer podcast is sponsored by Caylor Solutions, an Education Marketing and Branding Agency, and by Think Patented, a Marketing Execution, Printing and Mailing provider of Higher Ed solutions.

    

 

Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:00.160 --> 00:00:06.440 The High Red Marketer podcast is sponsored by the ZEMI APP enabling colleges and universities 2 00:00:06.480 --> 00:00:12.839 to engage interested students before they even apply. You are listening to the Higher 3 00:00:12.960 --> 00:00:18.120 Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals in higher education. This show 4 00:00:18.199 --> 00:00:22.960 will tackle all sorts of questions related to student recruitment, donor relations, marketing 5 00:00:22.960 --> 00:00:27.359 trends, new technologies and so much more. If you are looking for conversations 6 00:00:27.399 --> 00:00:31.839 centered around where the industry is going, this podcast is for you. Let's 7 00:00:31.839 --> 00:00:41.759 get into the show. Welcome to the High Red Marketer podcast. I'm troy 8 00:00:41.840 --> 00:00:47.159 singer and, as usual with Bart Taylor, we cohost each week a podcast 9 00:00:47.200 --> 00:00:52.600 that we hope, by US interviewing higher red marketers, will benefit and for 10 00:00:52.719 --> 00:00:57.320 the betterment of the entire higher d community. Today we're going to talk to 11 00:00:57.359 --> 00:01:03.280 Shan a Davis and Mary Lappin from the Lumina Foundation, and they are spearheading 12 00:01:03.799 --> 00:01:10.200 a big project which is called the million dollar community college challenge. Yeah, 13 00:01:10.319 --> 00:01:14.319 try IT'S A it's a pretty bold initiative that Lumina Foundation is done and I've 14 00:01:14.319 --> 00:01:18.879 always admired them their work. I've I've worked with them over several years and 15 00:01:19.599 --> 00:01:22.879 goes way back. But one of the things I really appreciate about Lumina is 16 00:01:22.920 --> 00:01:26.480 that they always try to look at very practical and pragmatic approaches to their grant 17 00:01:26.519 --> 00:01:32.400 writing and and providing grant's to two organizations, and this is no different. 18 00:01:32.439 --> 00:01:34.920 They're trying to be really bold in the sense of being able to say we 19 00:01:36.000 --> 00:01:41.599 understand marketing and branding is very important in making sure that people understand about community 20 00:01:41.599 --> 00:01:46.319 colleges and how they can attain a post secondary degree of some kind, and 21 00:01:46.359 --> 00:01:48.799 so they'll get into some of the details about that. But even if you're 22 00:01:48.840 --> 00:01:52.040 not in community colleges, don't hang up quite yet, because I think a 23 00:01:52.040 --> 00:01:56.000 lot of what we're talking about on this episode is very relevant to just about 24 00:01:56.040 --> 00:01:57.959 every school. We're going to talk about marketing, we're going to talk about 25 00:01:59.079 --> 00:02:01.840 higher a branding and a lot of the things that are coming out of this 26 00:02:01.840 --> 00:02:06.920 this challenge I think that you could follow up on and learn from, and 27 00:02:06.959 --> 00:02:10.560 so it's a great conversation. So Courage to listen to the entire episode. 28 00:02:10.639 --> 00:02:15.560 I concurb art, even though this challenge is for Community College, what they're 29 00:02:15.599 --> 00:02:21.680 trying to teach, what they're trying to inspire I think would benefit any institution. 30 00:02:22.360 --> 00:02:28.960 Here's our conversation with Shanna Davis and Mary Lappin. It is my pleasure 31 00:02:28.960 --> 00:02:32.520 to welcome Shaan of Davis and Mary Lappin from the Lumina Foundation to the Higher 32 00:02:32.639 --> 00:02:38.960 Ed Marketer podcast and before we get into the big news about the million dollar 33 00:02:38.039 --> 00:02:43.599 community college challenge, would like to invite them to both give us a high 34 00:02:43.680 --> 00:02:49.479 level description of the Lumina Foundation and the roles that they play within the foundation. 35 00:02:50.599 --> 00:02:53.120 Sure, thank you so much for having us. I'm Seanna Davis and 36 00:02:53.159 --> 00:02:59.159 I'm the strategy director for what we call community college participation, and what that 37 00:02:59.199 --> 00:03:02.319 means is that we have a strategy that focuses on the enrollment and the re 38 00:03:02.639 --> 00:03:08.360 enrollment of adults in our country, in America's community colleges, and we certainly 39 00:03:08.400 --> 00:03:13.719 want more adults to earn credentials post high school, and by credential we mean 40 00:03:13.800 --> 00:03:17.319 not just degrees, but we also mean certificates and certifications, anything that can 41 00:03:17.360 --> 00:03:23.879 help them in the marketplace with a life of upward mobility. So, Mary 42 00:03:23.879 --> 00:03:27.840 Out, throw it to you to do introduction. Hey, Shanna, I'm 43 00:03:27.879 --> 00:03:30.879 yeah, my name is Mary Laughin. I am strategy officer for participation. 44 00:03:30.960 --> 00:03:35.680 So what that means is I get to put into place really interesting programs on 45 00:03:35.800 --> 00:03:38.439 like the one that we're going to talk about today, that encourage adult participation 46 00:03:38.439 --> 00:03:43.599 in our community colleges. And while we certainly think we have the coolest jobs, 47 00:03:43.599 --> 00:03:46.879 you did ask us also about Lumena Foundation, so we must certainly talk 48 00:03:46.960 --> 00:03:53.240 about our employer. And solumited foundation is a private it's an independent it's a 49 00:03:53.280 --> 00:03:59.439 private foundation based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and we have the distinct pleasure of 50 00:03:59.479 --> 00:04:03.960 focusing strictly on post secondary attainment, so focusing on learning post high school. 51 00:04:04.000 --> 00:04:06.919 That is what we do. It is all we do and it is all 52 00:04:06.960 --> 00:04:11.000 we do. So we are so excited about that. We do that in 53 00:04:11.000 --> 00:04:14.840 a number of ways through policy and practice, and we have a number of 54 00:04:14.879 --> 00:04:18.240 colleagues who are very talented in different areas of post secondary. A team it. 55 00:04:19.000 --> 00:04:26.000 Thank you both. Now getting into the exciting project that you are I 56 00:04:26.000 --> 00:04:30.480 don't want to say wrapping up, but while just say the Million Dollar Community 57 00:04:30.480 --> 00:04:34.639 College Challenge. That's the reason why we approached you to be on the High 58 00:04:34.680 --> 00:04:40.920 Reed Marketer podcast and would love to hear what that is. Yeah, so 59 00:04:41.399 --> 00:04:46.639 the Million Dollar Community College challenge is a national grant competition that encourages community colleges 60 00:04:46.879 --> 00:04:53.000 to tell us what their vision is for brand building or transforming their brand building 61 00:04:53.000 --> 00:04:58.120 effort, efforts and their marketing effort to encourage adult learners to enroll out their 62 00:04:58.120 --> 00:05:01.639 community colleges. And with that vision they have a chance of winning one million 63 00:05:01.680 --> 00:05:08.199 dollars to support that implementation of the work. That's great and I just in 64 00:05:08.240 --> 00:05:11.959 full transparency. I have known the limited foundation for years. I think my 65 00:05:11.959 --> 00:05:15.439 first project, plumit of foundation, was in two thousand and twelve, working 66 00:05:15.480 --> 00:05:18.439 on an early website, and so I have fallen in love with the foundation 67 00:05:18.480 --> 00:05:23.240 and I'm so excited to see some of the work that's going on to especially 68 00:05:23.480 --> 00:05:28.360 specifically on the idea of helping community colleges tell their story better and and the 69 00:05:28.399 --> 00:05:30.879 branding. But tell me why, why did limited decide to kind of go 70 00:05:30.959 --> 00:05:38.360 this direction with with this particular project? So we've been looking at this idea 71 00:05:38.439 --> 00:05:42.759 of the need for more Americans to earn a credential post high school. So 72 00:05:42.800 --> 00:05:45.720 you know we have a goal which we want to see sixty percent of Americans 73 00:05:45.800 --> 00:05:49.120 earn a credential value by the Year of two thousand and twenty five and certainly 74 00:05:49.360 --> 00:05:54.560 our goal is to see even more Americans have a credential value doesn't cut off 75 00:05:54.560 --> 00:05:58.759 at two thousand and twenty five. We really started looking into all of these 76 00:05:58.759 --> 00:06:00.480 things. There's lots of different reasons. We know this. There's lots of 77 00:06:00.480 --> 00:06:04.920 different reasons as to why people, even before the pandemic and even now, 78 00:06:04.920 --> 00:06:10.879 why adults are not as highly represented as we think they should be right now 79 00:06:10.879 --> 00:06:15.040 in America's community colleges, especially when you look at the the role that they 80 00:06:15.040 --> 00:06:19.000 play their accessibility mission, when you look at the the cost of tuition being 81 00:06:19.040 --> 00:06:25.160 far more accessible and affordable than many other forms of higher education, and just 82 00:06:25.199 --> 00:06:30.439 the range of training and certifications and certificates that are offered for people who may 83 00:06:30.439 --> 00:06:34.279 want a degree or who may want to get that credential and go directly into 84 00:06:34.360 --> 00:06:38.959 the workplace and benefit from that. So we started looking at all of these 85 00:06:38.959 --> 00:06:43.000 different things and one of the things that we realize very quickly was that this 86 00:06:43.079 --> 00:06:47.199 idea of marketing and brand building was far too often seen as a luxury for 87 00:06:47.319 --> 00:06:53.519 community colleges, primarily because historically they're underfunded. So when you think about this 88 00:06:53.600 --> 00:06:59.800 idea of community colleges who enroll about forty percent of undergraduates in this country. 89 00:07:00.040 --> 00:07:05.120 Many times, just by way of word of mouth and very limited local recruitment 90 00:07:05.240 --> 00:07:10.920 and marketing efforts, they just have not been able to kind of get in 91 00:07:11.519 --> 00:07:15.480 and focus on those vital campus to community connections in ways in which larger institutions 92 00:07:15.519 --> 00:07:19.399 have been able to because they have the resources to do so. That's great 93 00:07:19.439 --> 00:07:23.000 and I think that that's so important because I think, you know, part 94 00:07:23.079 --> 00:07:27.000 of it, especially with community college, is helping everybody understand, you know, 95 00:07:27.040 --> 00:07:29.879 because a lot of a lot of the you know, people going back 96 00:07:30.560 --> 00:07:34.040 through community college is might not understand the educational process. So I think messaging 97 00:07:34.120 --> 00:07:40.439 and branding is so critical for for this success of the post secondary market and 98 00:07:40.439 --> 00:07:44.600 so I'm really excited to see how Lumina is kind of leaning into that and 99 00:07:44.639 --> 00:07:47.040 recognizing that. How has been the response on that, because, I mean 100 00:07:47.079 --> 00:07:51.879 that's a little different than maybe some traditional grants that Lumina has made. I 101 00:07:51.959 --> 00:07:56.560 mean, what's been the response from from the you know, the people are 102 00:07:56.600 --> 00:08:01.040 looking at the grants? So I the response has been fantastic, in a 103 00:08:01.079 --> 00:08:05.439 word. We've heard from community colleges all across the country that are ready to 104 00:08:05.480 --> 00:08:11.279 tell their story and ready to tell and share with their community what they have 105 00:08:11.360 --> 00:08:13.879 to offer and a shot. I mentioned it. In many cases it has 106 00:08:13.920 --> 00:08:18.759 been a luxury and they just for reasons of underfunding or are you know, 107 00:08:18.879 --> 00:08:24.160 myriad of reasons that they have had the capacity. So we have folks out 108 00:08:24.199 --> 00:08:26.399 there who are hungry for this information, who are ready to get started, 109 00:08:26.439 --> 00:08:31.279 and I am I won't give away any of our winners quite yet, but 110 00:08:33.200 --> 00:08:39.600 we do have some really amazing ideas that have come to us and we're excited 111 00:08:39.639 --> 00:08:41.240 to learn more from those schools. Can I ask a question? Can we 112 00:08:41.279 --> 00:08:45.120 turn the table? Can I can we give a shout out to the number 113 00:08:45.159 --> 00:08:48.679 of people who actually engaged in this? Please do. Okay, okay, 114 00:08:48.679 --> 00:08:50.600 so I'm glad you said that, because I would have been hot if you 115 00:08:54.320 --> 00:08:56.600 had. So I'm going to throw some numbers out. So because because I 116 00:08:56.600 --> 00:09:00.200 thought this was amazing and we really want to recognize it's easy on a as 117 00:09:00.200 --> 00:09:03.159 a, as a grant meeker, it's easy to to kind of say we're 118 00:09:03.159 --> 00:09:05.919 going to give money and then people respond with the response has just been amazing. 119 00:09:05.960 --> 00:09:11.759 We had almost a thousand people come to the informational webinars alone on this 120 00:09:11.279 --> 00:09:18.799 particular challenge and hundreds of applications from colleges all across this country and I just 121 00:09:18.840 --> 00:09:22.519 wanted to kind of, on the flip side, do a shout out to 122 00:09:22.559 --> 00:09:26.559 all of the people that took that time to dig in and not just apply 123 00:09:26.759 --> 00:09:30.559 for grant funds, but to tell us about their vision and, more importantly, 124 00:09:30.600 --> 00:09:33.159 tell us about the communities and which their college is live and what that 125 00:09:33.360 --> 00:09:37.440 challenges are and what the opportunities are. So we're getting excited about that. 126 00:09:37.480 --> 00:09:41.519 But I had to throw that out there because the response has been phenomenal and 127 00:09:41.519 --> 00:09:46.279 and we're so appreciative of them leaning in so that we can also lean in 128 00:09:46.320 --> 00:09:50.039 and provide support. I think that's so exciting because that while we're talking here, 129 00:09:50.080 --> 00:09:52.039 I just did a quick Google search because I'm like, I wonder how 130 00:09:52.080 --> 00:09:56.879 many community colleges are in America, and it's it's a little under fifteen hundred. 131 00:09:56.960 --> 00:10:00.240 So you think about Onezero five hundred community colleges, but you had nearly 132 00:10:00.240 --> 00:10:03.399 a thousand individuals. I understand that some of those community colleges brought a lot 133 00:10:03.480 --> 00:10:07.320 of people to talk about this, but still that's an amazing amount of percentage 134 00:10:07.320 --> 00:10:11.279 of the amount of schools that could qualify this that we're paying attention. Bravo 135 00:10:11.399 --> 00:10:15.279 to you all for being able to get the word out. Thank you so 136 00:10:15.360 --> 00:10:16.799 much. And so when we say we now, we know that it's a 137 00:10:16.799 --> 00:10:20.639 big team. There's a lot of people, internal and external, our communications 138 00:10:20.679 --> 00:10:26.480 team as well as many others. So absolutely great. I know part of 139 00:10:26.519 --> 00:10:31.960 the exercise was to change the paradigm of how some of the community college has 140 00:10:31.360 --> 00:10:35.679 branded themselves, and one of the terms that you use in the earlier conversation 141 00:10:35.759 --> 00:10:41.039 was aspirational. So would like for you to describe or maybe tell us, 142 00:10:41.039 --> 00:10:46.759 either from the entries that you received or what your vision is of how you 143 00:10:46.799 --> 00:10:52.200 would like to change the landscape and level up the way that community colleges brand 144 00:10:52.240 --> 00:10:56.120 and market themselves. So that's such a good question. And so community colleges 145 00:10:56.320 --> 00:11:01.000 have really depended on this idea. I think I mentioned earlier of two core 146 00:11:01.080 --> 00:11:03.679 pieces. They've talked a lot about themselves as being kind of practical, a 147 00:11:03.720 --> 00:11:09.360 practical form of higher education. There a tuition is lower cost than most universities 148 00:11:09.399 --> 00:11:16.360 and they're really truly the open form of higher education in America. They are 149 00:11:16.399 --> 00:11:20.960 the open access higher education in America. So that's really been those two pieces, 150 00:11:20.000 --> 00:11:22.080 but what you haven't heard a lot. So while you've heard a lot 151 00:11:22.159 --> 00:11:26.159 about the functional aspects of Community College, you've heard a lot about the practicality 152 00:11:26.159 --> 00:11:31.759 of attending a community college, you don't often hear about what's really exceptional about 153 00:11:31.759 --> 00:11:37.559 community college programs, about the experience. They're so diverse and they sit in, 154 00:11:37.679 --> 00:11:41.639 you know, all corners and communities in America and they serve a wide 155 00:11:41.759 --> 00:11:46.960 range of people and programs and we don't talk enough about who graduates from community 156 00:11:46.960 --> 00:11:50.279 colleges. We don't talk enough about their successes. We just don't talk about 157 00:11:50.320 --> 00:11:56.200 the aspirational parts of going to a community college or why you might choose a 158 00:11:56.200 --> 00:12:00.440 community college as your first choice. So this was really important to us because 159 00:12:00.440 --> 00:12:03.480 when you look at how people are choosing education, it's largely based on what 160 00:12:03.519 --> 00:12:09.399 they think about that education. We talked about kind of brand and aspiration and 161 00:12:09.440 --> 00:12:13.159 you know your brand is largely perception in many ways. What do people think 162 00:12:13.200 --> 00:12:16.480 about you? And so we really want it colleges to tap into understanding better, 163 00:12:16.519 --> 00:12:20.919 not who they just think they are right, but who the community thinks 164 00:12:20.960 --> 00:12:24.639 they are and see if there's an alignement there or if there's work to be 165 00:12:24.679 --> 00:12:30.200 done. So that the community understands the great things about community colleges, not 166 00:12:30.279 --> 00:12:35.080 only what's practical about community colleges. So you put this call out and receive 167 00:12:35.240 --> 00:12:41.120 responses. So I'm curious to know you probably had somewhat of a thought of 168 00:12:41.159 --> 00:12:46.120 what you would receive and the types of responses you would receive. As you're 169 00:12:46.200 --> 00:12:50.720 starting to receive them and go through them, are you surprised at all or 170 00:12:50.000 --> 00:12:56.600 how of those responses compared to what you thought they would be? So I 171 00:12:56.759 --> 00:13:00.720 want to say I'm surprised because I had really high hopes for what we would 172 00:13:00.759 --> 00:13:05.679 see, but they have exceeded my expectations exponentially, like a shot. I 173 00:13:05.759 --> 00:13:11.799 mentioned, we've had such an excellent response to the the application and our college 174 00:13:11.879 --> 00:13:16.039 is really did pour their heart and soul into their vision. They shared with 175 00:13:16.120 --> 00:13:20.080 us what makes our college outstanding, what makes Standa in their community, and 176 00:13:20.080 --> 00:13:24.679 then they also have brought forth really interesting and creative ideas as to how they 177 00:13:24.679 --> 00:13:30.360 can how they can continue to connect with their community and share with you know, 178 00:13:30.399 --> 00:13:33.679 adults in their community, what would make them a great choice. That's 179 00:13:33.720 --> 00:13:37.960 great. That's great and I and I think that part of one of the 180 00:13:37.960 --> 00:13:39.960 next questions that I have is just the idea about. So, as you're 181 00:13:39.960 --> 00:13:45.120 getting these in and as you start to see the the choices that you're going 182 00:13:45.120 --> 00:13:48.159 to award the the funding to, at the end of the day, what 183 00:13:48.200 --> 00:13:50.720 do you hope the outcomes will be, not only for these recipients but just 184 00:13:50.759 --> 00:13:56.360 as as as across the Board for Community Colleges? Yeah, so I'll the 185 00:13:56.399 --> 00:14:00.480 started in trying to field three free jump in, because I really see three 186 00:14:00.600 --> 00:14:05.399 major outcomes that were looking towards, and the first one is just supporting a 187 00:14:05.480 --> 00:14:09.639 number of community colleges across the state, or, excuse me, across that 188 00:14:09.679 --> 00:14:16.480 country, in connecting with their communities and allowing that engagement to go both ways 189 00:14:16.480 --> 00:14:22.039 and then ultimately enrolling more adult learners into our community college. And then second, 190 00:14:22.080 --> 00:14:26.399 I would say, what we've talked about earlier, is elevating the brand 191 00:14:26.519 --> 00:14:31.840 of our community colleges, making the case and really sharing with adults across the 192 00:14:31.840 --> 00:14:37.159 country what their local community college has to offer to them. And then third, 193 00:14:37.200 --> 00:14:39.919 I would say we want to learn from the colleges we yet. We've 194 00:14:39.960 --> 00:14:45.120 put this out there, we are sharing resources that we have, but really 195 00:14:45.159 --> 00:14:48.840 we want to know what great ideas they have, what strategies they've already put 196 00:14:48.840 --> 00:14:52.679 in place, what strategies they're thinking about and then take those lessons learned and, 197 00:14:52.759 --> 00:14:58.200 you know, recycle and share those with more books across the country. 198 00:14:58.519 --> 00:15:01.480 And the only thing I would add today, I think those that's a great 199 00:15:01.519 --> 00:15:05.639 top three. The only thing I would add to that is really coming out 200 00:15:05.679 --> 00:15:09.840 of this again this idea of seeing community colleges through new eyes, and that 201 00:15:11.080 --> 00:15:16.200 is the again, that the campuses and their communities. So we really want 202 00:15:16.200 --> 00:15:22.159 community college leaders and and faculty and staff and everyone who touches the system of 203 00:15:22.279 --> 00:15:26.120 education that includes community colleges to kind of step across the street, if you 204 00:15:26.120 --> 00:15:30.960 will, and look at their community colleges through new eyes and really think about 205 00:15:31.000 --> 00:15:33.519 how can we connect with people in a modern age like how can we connect 206 00:15:33.559 --> 00:15:37.720 with people and more meaningful and compelling ways and help to help them to see 207 00:15:37.759 --> 00:15:41.399 not only the promise within themselves right as far as what they want to achieve 208 00:15:41.480 --> 00:15:46.480 or what goals they have, but really kind of see community colleges through the 209 00:15:46.480 --> 00:15:50.840 the ways in which they can be a vital part of that promise. So 210 00:15:50.919 --> 00:15:54.519 that's kind of that piece. And then we also want the community to look 211 00:15:54.519 --> 00:15:56.759 at their community colleges as hey, when I'm thinking about where I want to 212 00:15:56.799 --> 00:16:00.679 go and what I want to do, like this is in my top three 213 00:16:00.879 --> 00:16:03.120 and not in well, if I don't get in here or if I can't 214 00:16:03.200 --> 00:16:06.600 do that, like this is in my top three because they are doing excellent 215 00:16:06.600 --> 00:16:08.559 things. So we want both who want the people there to see things a 216 00:16:08.559 --> 00:16:14.159 little bit differently and to use how they see that and how they think the 217 00:16:14.159 --> 00:16:18.039 community might see that and compelling ways and communicate and more compelling ways. And 218 00:16:18.039 --> 00:16:22.279 we want the community also to look at their their local colleges through different eyes 219 00:16:22.279 --> 00:16:26.519 and engage with them more often, because what they're looking for might just be 220 00:16:26.600 --> 00:16:30.240 already in their community. I think that's great and I the one of the 221 00:16:30.240 --> 00:16:33.240 things that I really like about that approach, Sean and Mary, is the 222 00:16:33.279 --> 00:16:37.720 idea that I think so many times when we when we think about adult learners 223 00:16:37.720 --> 00:16:41.960 with we think about our perspective students, whether it's community college or or, 224 00:16:41.039 --> 00:16:47.000 quite honestly, any form of post secondary higher education, we sometimes take for 225 00:16:47.080 --> 00:16:49.200 granted what they know or what the what we think that they know, and 226 00:16:49.240 --> 00:16:53.120 I think that's one of the important exercises that that that brand building can do 227 00:16:53.279 --> 00:16:57.399 is not only for the external community help clarify the messaging, but also for 228 00:16:57.440 --> 00:17:02.840 the internal community to understand that we might be talking too much academicians, you 229 00:17:02.840 --> 00:17:07.480 know, the speak of Academicia, rather than being able to say, okay, 230 00:17:07.480 --> 00:17:10.240 well, what do our prospective students need to know? I mean, 231 00:17:10.279 --> 00:17:12.680 you know, there's always the discussion about, you know, do you organize 232 00:17:12.759 --> 00:17:18.119 on your website by programs or apartments, or do you do you organized by 233 00:17:18.200 --> 00:17:22.559 major? And so I think that in our initial conversations we even had a 234 00:17:22.839 --> 00:17:25.119 cover. You know, I think Sean our Mary, one of you talked 235 00:17:25.160 --> 00:17:30.039 about the idea of this parking lot example of sometimes how difficult it is and 236 00:17:30.079 --> 00:17:33.480 we forget sometimes, as these perspective, students, and especially adult learners, 237 00:17:33.519 --> 00:17:38.640 who are competing more against life than they are other colleges. You know what, 238 00:17:38.640 --> 00:17:42.279 what can we do from a branding standpoint that that can help them and 239 00:17:42.400 --> 00:17:48.039 kind of make sure that they they can, they can succeed? The married 240 00:17:48.119 --> 00:17:51.480 IMA? I'll take this one first. You're right. We talk about the 241 00:17:51.519 --> 00:17:55.599 idea of branding, brand building being like a sensory experience, right, so 242 00:17:55.640 --> 00:17:57.880 we want to tell people that we can offer these things, or colleges can 243 00:17:57.920 --> 00:18:00.480 offer these things, that they have to be able to experience it. And 244 00:18:00.519 --> 00:18:03.480 so one of the things we talked about a lot is, you know, 245 00:18:03.519 --> 00:18:07.960 from the parking lot to the website to the classrooms. So if we're going 246 00:18:07.000 --> 00:18:10.960 to tell the community, if you if your college and you're going to tell 247 00:18:11.000 --> 00:18:15.599 the community that you are first choice for adult learners and you focus on things 248 00:18:15.640 --> 00:18:21.160 for people who oftentimes education is not the number one priority in their life right 249 00:18:21.160 --> 00:18:23.799 just out of real life situations. You have family and and you have, 250 00:18:25.039 --> 00:18:27.680 you know, careers and people, you have responsibilities and education might be number 251 00:18:27.720 --> 00:18:30.680 three or number four. So if I come to your campus and I can't 252 00:18:30.720 --> 00:18:34.799 easily navigate your campus, let alone your your website, if I even make 253 00:18:34.839 --> 00:18:38.640 the initiative to come to that campus and I can't figure out where to go, 254 00:18:40.359 --> 00:18:44.480 I can't find a parking space, I can't you know, I go 255 00:18:44.519 --> 00:18:48.039 into an office and I'm not sure you know it. Will someone help me? 256 00:18:48.079 --> 00:18:51.839 Will they not help me? That it's hard to get students, it's 257 00:18:51.839 --> 00:18:56.240 hard to get anyone right to engage in to go through that process of oftentimes 258 00:18:56.279 --> 00:18:59.400 what can be a very emotional process when choosing whether or not to go back 259 00:18:59.400 --> 00:19:03.319 to school. That is it's not just labor market information and data right. 260 00:19:03.480 --> 00:19:08.359 It's oftentimes you're making a decision based on your own personal aspirations. If you're 261 00:19:08.400 --> 00:19:11.920 an adult, you have a limited amount of time and bandwidth and you're got 262 00:19:11.960 --> 00:19:15.079 to fit this in along with everything else, even if you have this big 263 00:19:15.119 --> 00:19:18.119 goal in mind. And so we have to understand that and it has to 264 00:19:18.119 --> 00:19:22.039 be easier to navigate. Like, if I want what you have to offer 265 00:19:22.240 --> 00:19:26.000 the website, I shouldn't have to go five clicks in and four pages over 266 00:19:26.039 --> 00:19:29.480 and over to find it. In order to find it. If you know 267 00:19:29.519 --> 00:19:33.720 that you of a population of students who need that information, let's start designing 268 00:19:33.720 --> 00:19:37.079 those websites from the point of view of those students and help them get what 269 00:19:37.160 --> 00:19:41.480 they need up front. Let's make these campuses easier to navigate and let's tell 270 00:19:41.519 --> 00:19:45.119 them about all the wonderful programs that we have and match that up and just 271 00:19:45.160 --> 00:19:49.160 maybe, at that point it'll be easier for them to engage in roll. 272 00:19:49.160 --> 00:19:52.079 And, most importantly, we don't just want them to engage in enroll, 273 00:19:52.119 --> 00:19:56.599 we want them to complete and to benefit from that in the market place. 274 00:19:56.839 --> 00:20:00.839 That's great, that's really good stuff. So what will be the result of 275 00:20:00.920 --> 00:20:07.039 this and in full transparency. We are recording this at the latter part of 276 00:20:07.079 --> 00:20:11.880 March, but this episode probably will not be released until middle of May. 277 00:20:11.960 --> 00:20:18.079 So there are some benchmarks that will have been met within this challenge already. 278 00:20:18.119 --> 00:20:22.559 So if you can tell our listeners what the next steps are in the challenge? 279 00:20:23.240 --> 00:20:26.720 Yeah, so right now, like you said, try we are a 280 00:20:26.759 --> 00:20:30.839 little earlier. So right now we are digging through all our applications. But 281 00:20:30.119 --> 00:20:34.000 when our listeners are hearing this right now, we will have announced our top 282 00:20:34.079 --> 00:20:40.799 ten finalists and those folks will be highlighted or on our website at limit of 283 00:20:40.839 --> 00:20:45.240 foundation dot Org forwards last challenge, and those top ten finalists will be going 284 00:20:45.279 --> 00:20:51.559 through round two to narrow down to who our winner will be. And then 285 00:20:51.559 --> 00:20:56.119 who are nine are winner will receive one million dollars and then our nine finalists 286 00:20:56.160 --> 00:21:00.559 will receive a hundred thousand dollars to support their brand building efforts, and we 287 00:21:00.599 --> 00:21:07.240 will be making that announcement in August. So stay tuned for that wonderful and 288 00:21:07.519 --> 00:21:14.039 for those community colleges or individuals that didn't know about the challenge but thinkless is 289 00:21:14.079 --> 00:21:18.200 wonderful, might be looking for more resources. Are there other things that they 290 00:21:18.200 --> 00:21:22.640 could find out about going to your website. Absolutely, I would tell them. 291 00:21:22.680 --> 00:21:26.000 I don't want to give away all my secrets quite yet, but take 292 00:21:26.000 --> 00:21:30.440 a look at our website because we have resources coming and they will all be 293 00:21:30.480 --> 00:21:33.480 posted at, like we said, limit, a foundation that org forwards last 294 00:21:33.599 --> 00:21:38.039 challenge. It will be a great place for to see the finalists of what 295 00:21:38.039 --> 00:21:42.599 they're up to, but also other resources that we are developing through this work. 296 00:21:42.640 --> 00:21:45.680 And we do have some resources currently on the site because we did have 297 00:21:45.720 --> 00:21:52.000 some questions about some colleges really had a foundational question about what's the difference between 298 00:21:52.000 --> 00:21:56.839 brand branding and marketing. We on our website. We've already curated some resources 299 00:21:56.839 --> 00:22:02.599 there to really help them understand that. And so go now and there's some 300 00:22:02.640 --> 00:22:07.359 things that can help you, easy short pieces, even some interesting podcast to 301 00:22:07.440 --> 00:22:11.000 kind of consume and and to learn a little bit more, and we will 302 00:22:11.039 --> 00:22:15.319 be producing some more resources for the fields and marries it. That's great. 303 00:22:15.640 --> 00:22:19.519 We talked a lot about it on this show. Schools are really struggling today 304 00:22:19.519 --> 00:22:23.920 to make the same adspend work. CPMS are up eighty nine percent you over 305 00:22:25.039 --> 00:22:29.920 year on facebook and instagram. Our College clients are no longer looking for rented 306 00:22:30.000 --> 00:22:33.480 audiences. They're looking for an owned community where they can engage students even before 307 00:22:33.519 --> 00:22:37.759 they apply. This is why Zeemi has become so crucial for our clients. 308 00:22:37.759 --> 00:22:44.200 With over one million students, close to tenzero five star ratings, consistently ranked 309 00:22:44.200 --> 00:22:48.319 as one of the top social laps and recently one of apples hot APPs of 310 00:22:48.319 --> 00:22:51.640 the week, there is simply isn't anything out there like it, and we 311 00:22:51.759 --> 00:22:55.240 have seen it all. Zeem me not only provides the best space for student 312 00:22:55.319 --> 00:22:59.200 engagement, but the most unique in action will data for their one hundred and 313 00:22:59.319 --> 00:23:03.400 sixty college and university partners. We know firsthand from our clients that Zee me 314 00:23:03.559 --> 00:23:08.000 is a must have strategy for Gen Z. Check them out now at colleges 315 00:23:08.119 --> 00:23:17.440 dot Zee mecom. That's colleges dot Zee m eecom. And yes, tell 316 00:23:17.480 --> 00:23:22.400 them Barton Troy sent you. We closed each of our episodes by asking our 317 00:23:22.440 --> 00:23:26.920 guests if there's something dealing with the topic that we just discussed that you could 318 00:23:26.920 --> 00:23:32.920 offer as either a tip or a thought that could be implemented right away or 319 00:23:33.000 --> 00:23:37.079 soon after our listener has taken in the podcast. What could you offer them 320 00:23:37.119 --> 00:23:42.240 as some of your best practices or tips. Yeah, so, as we 321 00:23:42.359 --> 00:23:45.880 talked about today, trying to fill a free to jump in. But I 322 00:23:45.880 --> 00:23:49.519 think brand building is so important and the biggest piece of brand building is perception. 323 00:23:51.039 --> 00:23:53.359 So I think for our listeners today is take fresh eyes to look at 324 00:23:53.359 --> 00:23:57.160 your college and if that's taking a look at your website for the eyes of 325 00:23:57.160 --> 00:24:02.400 a student it, maybe I'm walking across the street to see what your community 326 00:24:02.400 --> 00:24:07.000 college looks like to your community rather than someone who is on campus every day, 327 00:24:07.000 --> 00:24:12.440 just taking another look to see how is your community perceiving your community college 328 00:24:12.480 --> 00:24:17.960 and how can you better better connect? The one one thing that I would 329 00:24:18.000 --> 00:24:21.759 put like a very practical thing, kind of thinking internally. So as a 330 00:24:21.759 --> 00:24:23.599 former practitioner, my heart always goes out because I know that there are so 331 00:24:23.640 --> 00:24:29.839 many talented faculty and staff and administrators and just people who serve all kinds of 332 00:24:29.920 --> 00:24:33.799 roles at community colleges that are really doing great work. And one of the 333 00:24:33.839 --> 00:24:37.240 things that I would say, whether you're in a formal leadership role or you're 334 00:24:37.319 --> 00:24:41.160 leading from the seat that you're in, is that a very important thing that 335 00:24:41.200 --> 00:24:45.240 you can do is understand who your students are today, because when you think 336 00:24:45.319 --> 00:24:49.359 about colleges that may maybe they were born sixty years ago, that's when they 337 00:24:49.359 --> 00:24:53.559 were created, and you think about how your community may have changed, the 338 00:24:53.559 --> 00:25:00.279 demographics of your students, the economy around your community, as local colleges may 339 00:25:00.319 --> 00:25:04.000 have change, to really stop and take an assessment as who is this college 340 00:25:04.039 --> 00:25:08.680 today? Who Do we serve today? What are the employment opportunities today? 341 00:25:08.680 --> 00:25:14.200 And then how are we communicating with the reality of all of those things that 342 00:25:14.200 --> 00:25:17.160 we just talked about, with those people with those opportunities? How do we 343 00:25:17.279 --> 00:25:21.039 line up with where we are today? I think that's one of the most 344 00:25:21.039 --> 00:25:25.000 important things we know nationally that you know, was it, one third of 345 00:25:25.000 --> 00:25:27.200 today's learners or more than a third of today's learners, or between twenty two 346 00:25:27.240 --> 00:25:30.200 and forty, and so that that is going to look a little bit different 347 00:25:30.279 --> 00:25:34.559 in each community. So you largely serve at a community college and older student 348 00:25:34.599 --> 00:25:41.000 population, when we say old ER, older than eighteen, and also primarily 349 00:25:41.119 --> 00:25:44.440 serve people who work, even younger people. So if we think as an 350 00:25:44.440 --> 00:25:48.000 adults, as twenty five plus, it's as we talk about them often in 351 00:25:48.079 --> 00:25:49.759 Higher Ed. But if you think about this idea of students who work, 352 00:25:49.799 --> 00:25:56.000 students who have adult lives in real life responsibilities. That becomes the bulk of 353 00:25:56.039 --> 00:25:59.359 the population of students at community colleges, whether you're one thousand, nine hundred 354 00:25:59.359 --> 00:26:03.839 and twenty or your forty five. So I do think that's important. How 355 00:26:03.839 --> 00:26:08.559 does our college actually serve working people and how are we designed to serve working 356 00:26:08.640 --> 00:26:14.279 people? That to me as a foundational question that every college has to ask. 357 00:26:14.279 --> 00:26:17.559 Before you focus on putting a whole bunch of money in and putting messages 358 00:26:17.599 --> 00:26:19.960 out there, make sure you understand who you're trying to connect with and what's 359 00:26:21.000 --> 00:26:25.640 most meaningful to them. That is wonderful, Shanna. Mary, thank you 360 00:26:25.720 --> 00:26:30.039 so much for being a guest on the hired marketer podcast for bringing us some 361 00:26:30.359 --> 00:26:36.319 such wonderful and inspiring information in a very entertaining, warm and excited way. 362 00:26:36.440 --> 00:26:41.160 I know I'm very aspired to go and learn more about the Lumina Foundation and 363 00:26:41.200 --> 00:26:45.880 their efforts to uplift community colleges. For other inspired listeners, could you give 364 00:26:45.920 --> 00:26:49.559 them the best way that they could reach out to you if they would like 365 00:26:49.640 --> 00:26:52.480 to do so? And I'll ask Mary to go first and then followed by 366 00:26:52.480 --> 00:26:59.200 Shanna. Sure we actually have an email address just for just for this project? 367 00:26:59.279 --> 00:27:03.119 So at challenge and at limited foundation DOT ORG. Shan and I are 368 00:27:03.240 --> 00:27:07.480 both in there and I would love to answer any questions that come our way. 369 00:27:07.519 --> 00:27:11.319 And of course, the other thing I would say is that we certainly 370 00:27:11.319 --> 00:27:15.480 have I have to we have a newsletter and if you come to the foundation, 371 00:27:15.519 --> 00:27:19.400 a newsletter, if you go to our website, Lumina Foundation Dot Org. 372 00:27:19.799 --> 00:27:23.680 Think I got that right right. So if you go to the we 373 00:27:23.720 --> 00:27:27.440 have a number of ways, through social media as well as through our newsletter, 374 00:27:27.440 --> 00:27:30.440 if they would like to subscribe, in which they can stay abreast of 375 00:27:30.440 --> 00:27:33.720 all of the the wonderful things that we're engaging in. I should say we 376 00:27:33.759 --> 00:27:38.200 are engaging in a number of wonderful things because the education community is engaging in 377 00:27:38.200 --> 00:27:41.720 a number of wonderful things. So it's a really great way to learn not 378 00:27:41.759 --> 00:27:45.400 only about what we're doing but about the work that is being done in education 379 00:27:45.400 --> 00:27:49.400 all across this country, because we really take an effort to raise up the 380 00:27:49.440 --> 00:27:55.079 work that's being done in states and it individual institutions all across America. Thank 381 00:27:55.200 --> 00:27:59.599 you and I must say that if ever you want to come back and want 382 00:27:59.640 --> 00:28:03.559 to give an update or if there is another challenge or initiative that you are 383 00:28:03.640 --> 00:28:08.200 going to delve into, please let us know. We would love to highlight 384 00:28:08.240 --> 00:28:12.519 whatever you're doing in full support of you. So thank you, Bart. 385 00:28:12.519 --> 00:28:17.720 Do you have any final thoughts before we wind up the episode? Yeah, 386 00:28:17.759 --> 00:28:19.440 I do try and thank you, Sean and Mary. It's been a great 387 00:28:19.480 --> 00:28:23.119 conversation. I just wanted to highlight a few things toward listeners, and I 388 00:28:23.160 --> 00:28:26.200 know that many of you listeners, you know, kind of saw this maybe 389 00:28:26.240 --> 00:28:30.480 as our community college specific episode in it in a way it has, but 390 00:28:30.519 --> 00:28:33.680 I think some of the things that Lumina is doing and some of the things 391 00:28:33.720 --> 00:28:37.519 that Sean and Mary I have mentioned, it's worth pulling them back out and 392 00:28:37.559 --> 00:28:41.680 kind of saying it really applies to just about any area of higher education. 393 00:28:41.720 --> 00:28:44.799 And so, you know, one of the things that I really liked about 394 00:28:44.839 --> 00:28:48.000 a lot of what we've talked about today is the idea of really seeing the 395 00:28:48.000 --> 00:28:52.880 prospective student, whether their adult students or whether they're Grad students or traditional students, 396 00:28:52.920 --> 00:28:56.839 really seeing them as the hero. We've got to look at everything through 397 00:28:56.880 --> 00:29:00.160 their eyes and look at it through their perspective. I think too many times 398 00:29:00.200 --> 00:29:03.519 we have a we have a temptation in higher ed to kind of, you 399 00:29:03.599 --> 00:29:07.440 know, Tut our own horn and talk about the accolades that our faculty have, 400 00:29:07.480 --> 00:29:11.400 the accolades that our college has, the accolades the university, which those 401 00:29:11.480 --> 00:29:14.000 things are important, but we've really got to be able to get in the 402 00:29:14.079 --> 00:29:18.880 shoes of the prospective student and understand how do they see themselves in the story 403 00:29:18.119 --> 00:29:22.920 of their education, attainment and success, and I think by starting there, 404 00:29:22.960 --> 00:29:26.880 that's really where a lot of great branding starts. I really like Donald Miller's 405 00:29:26.920 --> 00:29:32.079 book, you know, story brand and his process of really kind of making 406 00:29:32.160 --> 00:29:36.440 sure that we make the prospective student the hero of everything, and so part 407 00:29:36.440 --> 00:29:38.359 of that is really kind of, once we understand who they are, learning 408 00:29:38.400 --> 00:29:42.720 how to market to them better, whether that's through branding or different aspects of 409 00:29:42.720 --> 00:29:47.000 marketing, and I hope that you're learning that through, you know, episodes 410 00:29:47.039 --> 00:29:49.440 here on the High Ed Marketer. Also really making sure that we understand how 411 00:29:49.440 --> 00:29:53.240 we can elevate the brand to a better way that's accessible and make sense, 412 00:29:53.440 --> 00:29:56.640 and then just making sure that, I thought Mary's common about learning from others. 413 00:29:56.680 --> 00:29:59.839 It's going to be a lot of really good data that comes out of 414 00:29:59.839 --> 00:30:03.440 this and honestly, a lot of the what the what the winners are going 415 00:30:03.480 --> 00:30:07.960 to be doing and the what you will see on their presentations of how they 416 00:30:07.000 --> 00:30:11.960 are going to implement that. It's there's there's nothing wrong with being able to 417 00:30:11.960 --> 00:30:15.480 borrow ideas from everyone. There's no new ideas under the sun. So you 418 00:30:15.519 --> 00:30:18.400 know if it's going to work. Look at that and look at how that 419 00:30:18.480 --> 00:30:21.160 might be working, and I would encourage you to do that across the board. 420 00:30:21.200 --> 00:30:23.880 I mean look at what's going on, what success looks like. I 421 00:30:23.920 --> 00:30:29.400 know there's a lot of small schools that listen to this podcast and sometimes it's 422 00:30:29.440 --> 00:30:32.240 difficult to think, well, if I, if I had that million dollars, 423 00:30:32.240 --> 00:30:33.279 I could do this. Well, there's a lot of things that you 424 00:30:33.279 --> 00:30:37.759 could do just by learning from the other people and trying things out, and 425 00:30:37.799 --> 00:30:41.599 so I would really encourage everyone just to kind of pay attention to what's going 426 00:30:41.640 --> 00:30:45.599 on with this challenge and then look to see what you can glean and apply 427 00:30:45.680 --> 00:30:48.279 to your own school. Thank you, Bart, thank you, Loomin the 428 00:30:48.319 --> 00:30:52.799 team. That wraps up a wonderful episode of the High Ed Marketer Podcast, 429 00:30:52.880 --> 00:30:59.920 which is sponsored by Kaylor solutions and education marketing and branding agency and by Think, 430 00:30:59.920 --> 00:31:07.319 patented a marketing execution company, combining print and mail for your outbound outreach. 431 00:31:07.519 --> 00:31:11.519 On behalf of my cohost Bart Taylor, I'm troy singer. Thank you 432 00:31:11.559 --> 00:31:17.839 for joining us. You've been listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. To ensure 433 00:31:17.880 --> 00:31:21.680 that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast 434 00:31:21.759 --> 00:31:26.079 player. If you're listening with apple PODCASTS, we'd love for you to leave 435 00:31:26.119 --> 00:31:29.599 a quick rating of the show. Simply tap the number of stars you think 436 00:31:29.640 --> 00:31:32.240 the pod cast deserves. Until next time,