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July 6, 2021

Transition, Reaction, & Tapping Student Expertise w/ Mary Barr

Transition, Reaction, & Tapping Student Expertise w/ Mary Barr

Marketers know that there’s always something to learn during a transition. Rather than sticking rigidly to the strategy that no longer applies, marketers — especially higher ed marketers — must embrace being reactive and open-minded toward transition.

In this episode, we interview Mary Barr, CMO at Ball State University, about leaning into transition:

We also chatted with Mary about:

- What higher ed can learn from consumer brand

- Tapping student expertise from a branding perspective

- The benefits of a two-student research group

- Promoting recycling in branding (a really cool story about billboard vinyl)

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Higher Ed Marketer in your favorite podcast player.

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 00:00:02.879 --> 00:00:07.190 You are listening to the Higher Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals 2 00:00:07.230 --> 00:00:11.910 in higher education. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student 3 00:00:11.949 --> 00:00:16.230 recruitment, don'tor relations, marketing trends, new technologies and so much more. 4 00:00:16.989 --> 00:00:20.789 If you are looking for conversations centered around where the industry is going, this 5 00:00:20.989 --> 00:00:32.820 podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the Higher 6 00:00:32.820 --> 00:00:37.049 Ed Marketer Podcast, where, as always, we interview higher read marketers that 7 00:00:37.130 --> 00:00:41.530 we admire for the benefit and hopefully, the betterment of the entire higher read 8 00:00:41.609 --> 00:00:46.409 community. My name is troy singer and my partner in creation is Bart Taylor, 9 00:00:46.530 --> 00:00:51.359 and today, Bart, we get to talk to Mary Bar from Ball 10 00:00:51.439 --> 00:00:58.000 State University, who is a brand expert within the Higher d community. Can 11 00:00:58.079 --> 00:01:03.439 you tell us what we can hear from her during our conversation? Yeah, 12 00:01:03.560 --> 00:01:07.150 try. I think that I've known married for several years and have had a 13 00:01:07.349 --> 00:01:10.230 have the opportunity to have worked with her, and one of the things I've 14 00:01:10.230 --> 00:01:12.750 always really admired about Mary is that she is such she's got such a pulse 15 00:01:12.909 --> 00:01:19.140 on brand, pulse on storytelling, and I think a lot of the conversation 16 00:01:19.219 --> 00:01:22.540 will talk about today, whether it's about some of the transitions that she's been 17 00:01:22.579 --> 00:01:25.659 in her career and how she's kind of, you know, weathered the storms 18 00:01:25.700 --> 00:01:27.340 of some of these and as well as just, you know, some of 19 00:01:27.420 --> 00:01:32.819 her innovative ways of using, you know, focus groups and research and and 20 00:01:33.010 --> 00:01:36.810 and, you know, in expensive innovative ways. I think everybody could learn 21 00:01:36.810 --> 00:01:38.810 from that. And and then just the idea of, you know, just 22 00:01:38.930 --> 00:01:44.569 kind of how do brands kind of do new things and storytelling around that when 23 00:01:44.569 --> 00:01:47.799 you are doing new things that fit your brand. So it's going to be 24 00:01:47.840 --> 00:01:49.879 a great conversation. I think there's a lot to learn. Yes, and 25 00:01:51.120 --> 00:01:53.480 I don't know Mary as well as you, but what I do know about 26 00:01:53.599 --> 00:01:59.599 her is that she is an idea woman. So let's bring Mary into the 27 00:01:59.719 --> 00:02:07.550 conversation. We are pleased to welcome Mary Bar Chief Marketing Officer at Ball State 28 00:02:07.629 --> 00:02:13.469 University in Muncie, Indiana, to the Higher Ed Marketer podcast. Welcome to 29 00:02:13.750 --> 00:02:16.939 our podcast, land, Mary. Well, thank you, troy and thank 30 00:02:16.979 --> 00:02:22.539 you bar. This is such a thrill and an honor to be invited to 31 00:02:22.659 --> 00:02:27.219 be on your podcast. The pleasure is ours. And before we get started, 32 00:02:27.259 --> 00:02:30.689 if you could give the listeners a little bit about you and your role 33 00:02:30.810 --> 00:02:35.530 at ball state. Well, I would love to. It's Mary Bar I'm 34 00:02:35.610 --> 00:02:39.650 the Chief Marketing Officer at Ball State University and I've been in this role about 35 00:02:39.689 --> 00:02:44.050 about four years. However, I joke I've had a couple of tours of 36 00:02:44.090 --> 00:02:47.240 duty. You're in both states. I was the director of marketing for a 37 00:02:47.360 --> 00:02:53.360 period a left and was recruited away to Roseholman institution, to a technology on 38 00:02:53.400 --> 00:02:57.439 the other side of the state, whereas Vice President of marketing communications there, 39 00:02:57.759 --> 00:03:01.909 and then I returned back to ball state in this current role in two thousand 40 00:03:01.949 --> 00:03:07.590 and fifteen. So been back since then. Very good woman marry. You 41 00:03:07.629 --> 00:03:10.949 and I've known each other for a while and it's it's been a pleasure to 42 00:03:10.990 --> 00:03:15.060 kind of work with you in those different transitions. I know, I think 43 00:03:15.099 --> 00:03:20.139 we met early on through a mutual friend at ball state that I knew before 44 00:03:20.620 --> 00:03:23.460 she arrived at ball state, and so Julie introduced us and then there was 45 00:03:23.539 --> 00:03:27.099 some you know, she end up at Rose Holm and and you were at 46 00:03:27.139 --> 00:03:29.889 Rose Holman and so we did some work together at rose home and and that 47 00:03:30.009 --> 00:03:32.729 I'm proud of. And and so just, you know, just full transparency. 48 00:03:32.889 --> 00:03:37.009 You know you've you and I've worked together before, but I think it's 49 00:03:37.090 --> 00:03:39.770 just interesting that everybody can relate to the fact of a lot of transitions going 50 00:03:39.810 --> 00:03:45.439 on in, you know, in our careers and relationships follow one another two 51 00:03:45.439 --> 00:03:47.159 different places, which I always am grateful for, and it's one of the 52 00:03:47.159 --> 00:03:51.400 reasons why I really try to build relationships as a partner rather than a vendor. 53 00:03:52.319 --> 00:03:54.639 I I've kind of I've known you long enough to know that sometimes these 54 00:03:54.830 --> 00:03:59.550 transitions kind of end up in the middle of other types of transitions, and 55 00:03:59.590 --> 00:04:00.590 I know we talked a little bit about that. Tell us a little bit 56 00:04:00.590 --> 00:04:04.949 about that. Oh my goodness. Yeah, no stranger to transition and of 57 00:04:05.030 --> 00:04:10.979 course it's easier to talk about transition years later, in hindsight, for sure, 58 00:04:11.740 --> 00:04:15.979 but like anything, I feel transition is an education. We can learn 59 00:04:15.979 --> 00:04:20.339 from it, especially as marketers, and kind of leaning into, leaning into 60 00:04:20.379 --> 00:04:24.889 it when we when we can. You know, we're creative people for the 61 00:04:25.250 --> 00:04:29.089 for the generally speaking, for the greater good folks on our marketing teams, 62 00:04:29.529 --> 00:04:32.410 but there is some comfort in routine and following, for example, a brand 63 00:04:32.490 --> 00:04:36.529 style guide. But we can always count on transition. I look at it 64 00:04:36.569 --> 00:04:43.519 as a good thing, especially if you can continue to deliver and stay calm 65 00:04:44.079 --> 00:04:49.480 and learn from the very brilliant people that are around us during those times. 66 00:04:49.839 --> 00:04:54.990 Bart's been my phone of friend a time or two. I had a couple 67 00:04:54.990 --> 00:05:00.149 of presidents at Roseholman. One unfortunately tragically passed away, so there was a 68 00:05:00.230 --> 00:05:05.069 sudden transition there and then, you know, whether it is folks on a 69 00:05:05.189 --> 00:05:13.699 team or retire a campaign or new players that come in, transition always does 70 00:05:13.740 --> 00:05:17.620 seem to be a part of it. The good thing is a brand a 71 00:05:17.899 --> 00:05:24.449 campaign can help identify some of the key players in those transitions. You definitely 72 00:05:24.490 --> 00:05:29.689 need them to be your biggest brand ambassador. Hopefully they're at the table when 73 00:05:29.730 --> 00:05:33.250 a lot of those conversations are happening to help inform it and to help capture 74 00:05:33.250 --> 00:05:38.680 their vision, their strategy and all that too. So yeah, I kind 75 00:05:38.680 --> 00:05:44.160 of joke it's me all the transition. Wherever I go, this transition follows. 76 00:05:44.279 --> 00:05:49.110 But I'm just I say that when I'm teasing. But I think when 77 00:05:49.149 --> 00:05:53.670 we can learn from transition, not be afraid of it, just consider it 78 00:05:53.790 --> 00:05:58.589 another part of a creative evolution, as with anything. Yeah, it's interesting 79 00:05:58.629 --> 00:06:01.069 that you say that. We did a podcast a few months ago with Christy 80 00:06:01.069 --> 00:06:05.379 Jackson. She's at university in North Carolina, and she talked about crisis communications 81 00:06:05.420 --> 00:06:09.740 and obviously crisis communication many times, whether it's a death of a president or 82 00:06:09.819 --> 00:06:14.220 other things, it does require a lot of transition and kind of getting used 83 00:06:14.220 --> 00:06:16.100 to the transition. You know, one of the things that I thought she 84 00:06:16.980 --> 00:06:20.050 kind of articulated well, and I think I hear you in your voice too, 85 00:06:20.170 --> 00:06:23.689 is that, you know, as marketers, as a communicators, we 86 00:06:23.730 --> 00:06:26.490 kind of have to plan that transitions going to happen. I mean we have 87 00:06:26.610 --> 00:06:30.329 to plan and think about those things, that change is going to happen, 88 00:06:30.410 --> 00:06:34.480 transitions going to happen, difficulties are going to happen and and what is it 89 00:06:34.639 --> 00:06:40.639 in our playbook from a brand or from a communication technique that's going to help 90 00:06:40.680 --> 00:06:43.079 us navigate through that? Because, I mean, at the end of the 91 00:06:43.120 --> 00:06:47.629 day, many times those issues and those those challenges end up in the marketing 92 00:06:47.670 --> 00:06:51.389 department, in the Communications Department, and it sounds to me like a lot 93 00:06:51.430 --> 00:06:56.350 of that is just starting to learn to embrace the change, embrace the transitions. 94 00:06:56.389 --> 00:06:59.910 Would you agree with that? Yeah, totally. There's, you know, 95 00:07:00.269 --> 00:07:06.579 reactive and proactive work that's always being done embracing things that are you have 96 00:07:06.660 --> 00:07:11.500 to react to and make it the best you can, but then also being 97 00:07:11.660 --> 00:07:17.290 proactive in moving forward and following some long, longer term strategies, for sure, 98 00:07:17.810 --> 00:07:21.649 and when you have this inside feeling that something's not quite hitting the mark, 99 00:07:21.689 --> 00:07:26.930 always going back to those brand messages, to that brand core, that 100 00:07:27.089 --> 00:07:30.439 brand strategy, and that can usually get you back on but also being able 101 00:07:30.759 --> 00:07:35.720 to at least be open minded when a transition comes or maybe a sudden new 102 00:07:35.759 --> 00:07:43.680 initiative or a sudden new plank that's being added on your plates, when you 103 00:07:43.759 --> 00:07:46.550 can really look at it, see it as an opportunity, seeing how it 104 00:07:46.589 --> 00:07:51.389 can help, maybe fill some gaps of some things that you wanted to do 105 00:07:51.589 --> 00:07:55.829 before. Then just trying to make it work, you know for sure. 106 00:07:56.149 --> 00:08:01.540 So, but I think being reactive, it's comes with a territory. This 107 00:08:01.779 --> 00:08:09.300 past year we have had to be reactive in many ways and everyone has. 108 00:08:09.779 --> 00:08:13.970 But also then just keeping an eye on on the strategic plan, on the 109 00:08:13.050 --> 00:08:18.050 strategic planks within your marketing plan, and having that help you stay the course. 110 00:08:18.610 --> 00:08:22.769 That's great. That's great. Thanks for sharing that being vulnerable about that. 111 00:08:22.769 --> 00:08:26.170 I think sometimes it's a you know, dealing with change is always going 112 00:08:26.170 --> 00:08:28.439 to be vulnerable and then talking about it later, I think, is difficult 113 00:08:28.480 --> 00:08:33.919 too. So thanks for doing that. Try marrying a previous conversation that we 114 00:08:33.080 --> 00:08:39.759 had. We likely discussed an idea and the thought that you had that, 115 00:08:39.080 --> 00:08:46.710 similarly as you see in corporate larger brands, how they collaborate brands with one 116 00:08:46.750 --> 00:08:50.590 another for a mutual benefit or for a synergy, how we can do that 117 00:08:50.750 --> 00:08:54.820 within higher education. I would really like to go back into that conversation with 118 00:08:54.940 --> 00:09:00.820 you and get your thoughts around it or any type of initiatives that you think 119 00:09:01.139 --> 00:09:05.980 could come out of something a collaboration within higher education. No, no, 120 00:09:07.139 --> 00:09:11.450 for sure. You had asked me about like what kind of trends I follow 121 00:09:11.450 --> 00:09:16.649 or in marketing and industry, and I seem to love to follow maybe the 122 00:09:16.730 --> 00:09:24.009 greater industries, keeping an eye on music and fashion, the arts, and 123 00:09:24.279 --> 00:09:28.159 you know, there's been a lot of collaborations by some such by celebrities and 124 00:09:28.480 --> 00:09:33.000 consumer brands, for sure, and it's kind of fun. A lot of 125 00:09:33.080 --> 00:09:39.549 them have a short time frame, but they're not just cool but they also 126 00:09:39.789 --> 00:09:46.029 elevate both brands, give introduced new markets, new audiences to each and you 127 00:09:46.070 --> 00:09:50.950 know, often so I've been looking at that. Just thinking gets interesting. 128 00:09:50.429 --> 00:09:56.220 We all know sometimes higher it could be a beat behind consumer marketing. But 129 00:09:56.700 --> 00:10:01.820 make no mistake, we've got audiences, we've got consumers, we got people 130 00:10:01.820 --> 00:10:07.929 who shop and compare our compare prices, compare our myriad of things. So 131 00:10:07.570 --> 00:10:13.210 that's something I've been kind of looking at and I know a lot of universities 132 00:10:13.210 --> 00:10:18.570 are no stranger to, for example, lending a speaker series or a naming 133 00:10:18.649 --> 00:10:24.039 opportunities. Universities do things like that all the time and kind of a donor 134 00:10:24.200 --> 00:10:28.120 relation way. So so maybe there are some aspects of that and Higher Ed. 135 00:10:28.279 --> 00:10:31.840 But you know what are some of those things we can learn from, 136 00:10:31.519 --> 00:10:35.470 some of the things that attract our attention as consumers as we look at our 137 00:10:35.509 --> 00:10:41.950 favorite brands. We're consumers as well. We have to keep our eyes open 138 00:10:43.029 --> 00:10:48.149 for the things that attract us as consumers or marketers. But I may be 139 00:10:48.350 --> 00:10:52.940 interested in the same brands that I that I follow and that I'm loyal to, 140 00:10:54.220 --> 00:10:58.740 and they may have a partnership with musical artists and that opens my eyes 141 00:10:58.059 --> 00:11:03.179 to perhaps following that individual as an artist. And so I think it's it's 142 00:11:03.730 --> 00:11:09.610 good for us to say what's attractive to us, things that we enjoy or 143 00:11:09.169 --> 00:11:13.490 open our eyes with our favorite brands that we follow. I like that I 144 00:11:13.529 --> 00:11:16.490 did marry because I think that, as you said sometimes, and I've said 145 00:11:16.490 --> 00:11:18.960 this many times cut, you know, higher ad is a little bit of 146 00:11:18.000 --> 00:11:22.039 a beat behind. You know sometimes I estimated, you know, five to 147 00:11:22.159 --> 00:11:24.559 ten years, depending on what's going on, and there's, you know, 148 00:11:24.679 --> 00:11:30.159 and I understand that. I mean we're higher Ed, has been and for 149 00:11:30.559 --> 00:11:35.309 hundreds of years. I think that only in the last ten or fifteen years 150 00:11:35.230 --> 00:11:41.230 have they really had to start thinking differently and behaving differently because, I mean, 151 00:11:41.269 --> 00:11:43.389 I mean I'm a Gen xer. I think we all are here on 152 00:11:43.669 --> 00:11:46.940 this podcast is, as far as the three of us, and things changed 153 00:11:48.179 --> 00:11:52.460 kind of after we had our college experience and as we started becoming professionals ourselves. 154 00:11:54.179 --> 00:11:56.100 The world kind of shifted a little bit. I don't know if it 155 00:11:56.100 --> 00:11:58.899 was when millennials came along or if it was when, you know, it 156 00:11:58.980 --> 00:12:01.649 went from the three channels we were used to to cable and everything else. 157 00:12:01.690 --> 00:12:05.690 I mean a lot of things shift at the Internet came online in the mid 158 00:12:05.169 --> 00:12:11.009 S, and so the world shifted and I think that the the consumer brands 159 00:12:11.049 --> 00:12:13.009 the retailers, a lot of other places kind of kept up with that shift. 160 00:12:13.049 --> 00:12:18.000 I think higher ed kind of continued to ride the way of that they 161 00:12:18.039 --> 00:12:20.759 had been on, not realizing that they needed to kind of shift as well 162 00:12:20.840 --> 00:12:24.919 and do the transitions that we were talking about. And so I think sometimes 163 00:12:24.960 --> 00:12:31.669 it's difficult for academia to accept that, you know, our perspective students or 164 00:12:31.750 --> 00:12:35.429 consumers, they have choice, they are shopping, as you've said. I 165 00:12:35.509 --> 00:12:37.669 mean there's there's a lot of things that I think that I remember being in 166 00:12:39.110 --> 00:12:41.230 meetings in the mid S and I would use the term sales or I would 167 00:12:41.230 --> 00:12:45.620 use the term shopping or I would use the term consumer, and, you 168 00:12:45.740 --> 00:12:48.580 know, you needed to pick up the administrators off the floor because, I 169 00:12:48.659 --> 00:12:52.740 mean, they were they were offended by that. And we are we are 170 00:12:52.740 --> 00:12:56.299 academia. We do not talk about things like that. That doesn't apply to 171 00:12:56.379 --> 00:12:58.649 us. I think that's changed, I think that's shifting and I think that's 172 00:12:58.690 --> 00:13:01.929 really healthy, but I think that it still comes down to the fact that 173 00:13:03.169 --> 00:13:05.529 we were still a little bit slow. I was talking to a client the 174 00:13:05.610 --> 00:13:11.769 other day about their social media and missed opportunities because they're messaging wasn't crafted perfectly 175 00:13:11.879 --> 00:13:16.879 and it wasn't. It didn't go through the entire system that they wanted to 176 00:13:16.120 --> 00:13:20.799 and they missed opportunities because they took him three or four days to reply to 177 00:13:20.919 --> 00:13:24.720 something that would needed to be replied to in an hour, especially, you 178 00:13:24.840 --> 00:13:28.950 know, social justice issue. That was the topic at that point. So 179 00:13:28.110 --> 00:13:31.590 we've got a kind of I think it it's a bigger topic. We've got 180 00:13:31.669 --> 00:13:35.590 to be able to kind of adapt and lean into that more. But I 181 00:13:35.669 --> 00:13:39.669 think it comes back to the fact, like you said, paying attention to 182 00:13:39.830 --> 00:13:43.019 those other industries, paying attention to consumer brands and retail and seeing what's going 183 00:13:43.100 --> 00:13:46.259 on. I mean just just paying attention to what happened on that tick tock 184 00:13:46.299 --> 00:13:52.419 video last summer where guys writing a skateboard and drinking ocean spray and and listening 185 00:13:52.700 --> 00:13:56.809 over to fleetwood Mac. Okay, all of a sudden you've got two big 186 00:13:56.889 --> 00:14:00.169 brands that jumped onto that and they did it well. Mean, ocean spray 187 00:14:00.809 --> 00:14:03.409 really did that well, they partnered well, they kind of took care of 188 00:14:03.649 --> 00:14:07.210 that man and they did it well. And I mean obviously he had his 189 00:14:07.289 --> 00:14:11.679 fifteen minutes of glory and fame and obviously it really impacted fleetwood, Mac and 190 00:14:11.759 --> 00:14:15.840 make fleetwood kind of responded in kind and there was a lot of really good 191 00:14:15.879 --> 00:14:18.000 things that happened out of that. That, I think, is we, 192 00:14:18.120 --> 00:14:22.559 as hired marketers, can see how brand's, how influencers, how others kind 193 00:14:22.600 --> 00:14:26.149 of play in the market place and and I use the word play intentionally, 194 00:14:26.269 --> 00:14:31.149 because sometimes it does take play more than it takes work or overthinking something, 195 00:14:31.190 --> 00:14:37.350 and I think that that collaboration between brands is something that we have to start 196 00:14:37.429 --> 00:14:41.259 playing with rather than coming up with this perfect solution. I mean, in 197 00:14:41.379 --> 00:14:43.340 a lot of ways higher it is kind of already created that way, but 198 00:14:43.419 --> 00:14:48.019 we call it articulation agreements. How can we start talking about it more? 199 00:14:48.139 --> 00:14:52.500 Is Collaboration and I find that fascinating to kind of think about that. Yeah, 200 00:14:52.889 --> 00:14:56.529 and you know, that leads me to think Bart two of we've got 201 00:14:56.610 --> 00:15:01.169 some great experts around us, and that's our students, and I like to 202 00:15:01.250 --> 00:15:07.679 turn off into, for example, our tour guys or are admissions for guides, 203 00:15:07.080 --> 00:15:11.480 their experts. They have their finger on the pulse. If we need 204 00:15:11.600 --> 00:15:16.720 them to help us articulate some things, let's have a focus group of five 205 00:15:16.080 --> 00:15:22.350 with with them or have them film something for us or give us some guidance 206 00:15:22.389 --> 00:15:26.470 on some things. Give us some guidance on swag. You know, Oh, 207 00:15:26.590 --> 00:15:31.269 it's not swag, is merch. They call it merge exactly. Again, 208 00:15:31.549 --> 00:15:37.220 the differences in age. So but yeah, and I think for us 209 00:15:37.419 --> 00:15:43.379 to enjoy that and to just sometimes they can. Hey, they're the extruits. 210 00:15:45.139 --> 00:15:48.539 They know what's attracting them and if we as them, they are very 211 00:15:50.129 --> 00:15:54.210 ready to know. They they can articulate brands. They know how to make 212 00:15:54.250 --> 00:16:00.610 their own brand with their own blogs and their key messages and their look. 213 00:16:00.009 --> 00:16:06.399 So our current students are vary astute to their presentation and so I think when 214 00:16:06.440 --> 00:16:11.240 we can tap into them, or I joke about having my little posse around 215 00:16:11.399 --> 00:16:14.799 me. I had that at Rose Holman. I was not an engineer, 216 00:16:15.080 --> 00:16:18.710 but I had a bunch of engineering students around me and I had about four 217 00:16:18.710 --> 00:16:22.950 or five students I'm tried to create a relationship with that. I could bounce 218 00:16:22.990 --> 00:16:26.429 some ideas off of them from a branding perspective and and all that, if 219 00:16:26.429 --> 00:16:33.179 it would kind of meet their needs, since they have a very specific viewpoint 220 00:16:33.220 --> 00:16:37.500 as they were assessing brands and their high right options. Yeah, that's great 221 00:16:37.539 --> 00:16:41.059 and I think that even doing that you're recognizing them. A lot of them 222 00:16:41.059 --> 00:16:45.659 are influencers in their in their own right. You know, we talked about 223 00:16:45.659 --> 00:16:48.330 influence marketing and but I think that, you know, social media especially has 224 00:16:48.330 --> 00:16:52.409 kind of elevated that, you know, whether it's Youtuber, instagram. You 225 00:16:52.490 --> 00:16:55.610 know, I was talking to one one school. I was at a conference 226 00:16:55.610 --> 00:17:00.570 and they were kind of explaining how they were using instagram and influencer marketing with 227 00:17:00.690 --> 00:17:03.480 some of their students who had some of these students had tenzero followers in and 228 00:17:03.599 --> 00:17:08.519 of themselves as freshman in college. Well, that's the definition of influencer marketing. 229 00:17:08.960 --> 00:17:12.799 And so how do you recruit those students to coexist with your brand? 230 00:17:12.920 --> 00:17:15.589 You know, partner with your brand, partner with the brand of the school, 231 00:17:17.109 --> 00:17:19.430 because obviously they are a consumer of that brand. And so yeah, 232 00:17:19.470 --> 00:17:22.910 I think that's a that's a really interesting thought, Mary, and I know 233 00:17:23.029 --> 00:17:27.190 that even in our preconversation kind of leading into that, you talked about you 234 00:17:27.430 --> 00:17:30.579 just talked a little bit about focus groups and pulling some people together and you 235 00:17:30.700 --> 00:17:34.339 do that a little bit more around orientation for sometimes. Tell us a little 236 00:17:34.339 --> 00:17:38.099 bit about that and I know for sure, and I know many of your 237 00:17:38.180 --> 00:17:42.220 guests on your show or no stranger to research and analytics, and that's that's 238 00:17:42.380 --> 00:17:48.849 great. I know we got to have that. But almoso tradition that we 239 00:17:48.009 --> 00:17:55.849 do here is in during incoming for incoming students, during during orientation. Boy, 240 00:17:56.049 --> 00:18:00.720 here are people who have just been on a constant flow of marketing from 241 00:18:02.519 --> 00:18:06.759 ball state and others, and so we always just want to have a check 242 00:18:06.839 --> 00:18:11.680 step with them during orientation, incoming freshmen and their families. And Yeah, 243 00:18:11.869 --> 00:18:17.910 obviously it worked. So we're learning from the folks that it was effective with, 244 00:18:18.269 --> 00:18:22.430 and so every year we have a different agenda with with them. I'm 245 00:18:22.509 --> 00:18:26.900 doing it right now. I've already conducted three groups and have three more groups 246 00:18:26.980 --> 00:18:32.259 and the upcoming weeks. And you know, we try to get PREPS, 247 00:18:32.380 --> 00:18:36.900 current messages in front of them to see what resonates. Perhaps it's a new 248 00:18:37.019 --> 00:18:44.650 program for incoming freshman or for the first year experience. That is a trend 249 00:18:44.809 --> 00:18:48.650 in high right now, how to brand a first year experience so students meet 250 00:18:48.769 --> 00:18:52.049 their milestones during the year. So as we're rolling out some new things, 251 00:18:52.089 --> 00:18:59.279 asking at audience, I've even showed them billboards and TV commercials and things along 252 00:18:59.359 --> 00:19:03.359 those lines just for them to rate what their favorite ones are and have the 253 00:19:03.400 --> 00:19:08.079 conversation around it, and then that's always helpful when perhaps leadership or our internal 254 00:19:08.279 --> 00:19:12.470 clients have, you know, really love something and you're like, well, 255 00:19:12.509 --> 00:19:17.309 you know, what are our brand of student? They really like to see 256 00:19:17.789 --> 00:19:19.910 this type of thing, and when we can point to that and have some 257 00:19:19.990 --> 00:19:23.779 of the narrative around it, sometimes that's all we need to kind of change 258 00:19:23.859 --> 00:19:26.339 course a little bit because, again, yeah, they're the experts. They've 259 00:19:26.380 --> 00:19:30.940 just been on the receiving end of a lot of our work. That's great 260 00:19:30.940 --> 00:19:33.740 and I what I like about that and when we talked earlier, I just 261 00:19:33.859 --> 00:19:37.220 thought it was not only is it a build and check in and just kind 262 00:19:37.220 --> 00:19:41.329 of that process of, you know, there's already a group of people there 263 00:19:41.369 --> 00:19:44.849 that we can talk to and I think sometimes when people hear the word focus 264 00:19:44.930 --> 00:19:49.450 groups they think of think of two way mirrors and dark rooms and thirty seven 265 00:19:49.450 --> 00:19:52.359 people there that, you know, it's costs a lot of money, but 266 00:19:52.480 --> 00:19:56.720 I think the way that you're kind of approaching it, you don't have to 267 00:19:56.920 --> 00:19:59.960 say, well, we don't have the resources to do focus groups. Well, 268 00:20:00.039 --> 00:20:03.079 you've got the focus group already there. You just have to pull them 269 00:20:03.119 --> 00:20:07.230 together and ask them, and I think sometimes just that you know that that's 270 00:20:07.269 --> 00:20:10.710 that's a vulnerable thing to ask for somebody's opinion and be willing to hear it. 271 00:20:11.269 --> 00:20:14.349 I think sometimes that keeps us from doing it and we use excuses of 272 00:20:14.549 --> 00:20:18.430 cost and effort and everything else. And so I think that I like what 273 00:20:18.549 --> 00:20:21.460 you're saying. It's being vulnerable with ourselves to be able to say we might 274 00:20:21.500 --> 00:20:26.019 not know everything, but we do have some people that know more. Right 275 00:20:26.220 --> 00:20:32.099 now, frankly, it's really not that expensive. Sometimes it's just the cost 276 00:20:32.140 --> 00:20:34.809 of lunch and t shirt. And I'll tell you what, when you offer 277 00:20:34.849 --> 00:20:38.849 a free lunch and a t shirt, many people raise their hands and need 278 00:20:38.970 --> 00:20:44.809 those orientation leaders to help just get the amount that we need. And but 279 00:20:44.849 --> 00:20:48.650 yeah, keeping it small to the one we had the other day was to 280 00:20:48.849 --> 00:20:52.279 students and at first I thought, Oh boy, but boy, we could 281 00:20:52.279 --> 00:20:56.839 really drill in and they were fantastic and it was very enlightening and I brought 282 00:20:56.880 --> 00:21:03.079 some piece of feedback back that day and leadership changed a message, you know, 283 00:21:03.240 --> 00:21:06.309 over it, because we were kind of sort of about something. So 284 00:21:06.430 --> 00:21:11.829 so it's inexpensive. It's right in front of us and for me it's also 285 00:21:11.589 --> 00:21:17.589 educational and humbling to people that I work with. You know I often need 286 00:21:17.630 --> 00:21:22.619 a note taker and if I could have someone either on the team or an 287 00:21:22.700 --> 00:21:26.500 internal client help take notes for them to hear things firsthand, to I think 288 00:21:26.500 --> 00:21:30.460 it's helpful for them and then their ambassadors of the research and all that. 289 00:21:30.700 --> 00:21:36.410 And so it has come at least at ball state people even through the year 290 00:21:36.410 --> 00:21:38.769 SEC ay. Well, need to test that during focus groups and I love 291 00:21:38.809 --> 00:21:44.730 it when some of our internal colleagues are mentioning it and instead of us, 292 00:21:44.769 --> 00:21:48.039 always bring it up to so it is an expensive it's right under our nose 293 00:21:48.640 --> 00:21:55.079 and it is a great check step, positive or negative, constructive criticism that 294 00:21:55.119 --> 00:21:59.440 we can learn. That's great. That's very good. Sounds like you get 295 00:21:59.440 --> 00:22:04.750 a lot of pertinent information on your marketing through that research. Very inexpensively for 296 00:22:04.869 --> 00:22:08.869 sure. Mary, thank you for everything that you've shared with us today, 297 00:22:10.109 --> 00:22:12.269 but again, I can be a little greedy. So before we close, 298 00:22:12.750 --> 00:22:18.339 whether it be one nugget or idea that we didn't get a chance to mention 299 00:22:18.660 --> 00:22:22.940 that you think could be applicable for other marketers out there, oh gosh. 300 00:22:22.220 --> 00:22:26.059 Well, we did cover a lot and I can talk about marketing and I 301 00:22:26.259 --> 00:22:32.089 read and ball state all day. But one thing that's maybe a little random, 302 00:22:32.329 --> 00:22:36.809 I guess, is a little bit about recycling and recycling our vinyl. 303 00:22:37.450 --> 00:22:41.210 I don't know about other folks but under my perview is a lot of campus 304 00:22:41.250 --> 00:22:47.880 banners and billboards and a lot of vinyl on campus, even some of the 305 00:22:47.920 --> 00:22:52.359 things in the athletic facilities. You know, we generate a lot of that. 306 00:22:52.960 --> 00:22:59.829 Of course all universities have good recycling protocols in place, but it's still 307 00:23:00.109 --> 00:23:04.470 plastic after all. So one of the things we have done here, is 308 00:23:06.269 --> 00:23:11.069 here at ball state, is we took one of our vinyl banners that was 309 00:23:11.230 --> 00:23:18.299 displayed very prominently in the Indianapolis International Airports During our centennial celebration and we took 310 00:23:18.339 --> 00:23:23.220 that down, we cut it up, we had some experts at a local 311 00:23:23.299 --> 00:23:30.730 company make them into little zipped pouches that we then used as gifts and we 312 00:23:30.809 --> 00:23:34.009 use with a little card in them with a little bit of the story that 313 00:23:34.170 --> 00:23:41.039 this was a centennial banner that hung in the airport and it's recycled and hopefully 314 00:23:41.039 --> 00:23:45.839 you can have a little piece of our untilnal celebration and then gave a little 315 00:23:45.839 --> 00:23:51.319 life and another nice little story that we could pass on. So he passed 316 00:23:51.400 --> 00:23:56.309 those out some key downers and some key folks who worked really closely with the 317 00:23:56.390 --> 00:24:02.269 campaign, the centennial campaign, as a thank you gift. That is a 318 00:24:02.349 --> 00:24:06.589 wonderful idea, as I think about it, as we produce things like that 319 00:24:06.869 --> 00:24:12.700 for other colleges, universities, finals everywhere, and I hope someone else skills 320 00:24:12.779 --> 00:24:17.980 that nugget. If I may ask, was that you or someone on your 321 00:24:17.980 --> 00:24:21.619 campus, a student? How did that idea come about? Yeah, no, 322 00:24:22.420 --> 00:24:23.890 I've been kind of tuned in. I don't know if I should name 323 00:24:23.930 --> 00:24:27.809 the company, but up, it's a nonprofit. It Indianapolis, Indiana. 324 00:24:29.569 --> 00:24:32.690 I've had a relationship with them through the years just through some of my other 325 00:24:32.769 --> 00:24:41.440 volunteer work and pop stands for people for urbidden progress and they do a lot 326 00:24:41.480 --> 00:24:47.279 of that work with sports outlets and other entities that do produce a lot of 327 00:24:47.319 --> 00:24:53.910 vinyl. So they are a really wonderful recycler of materials and so I had 328 00:24:53.910 --> 00:25:00.470 a relationship with them before and so I was always seeing vinyl and I've always 329 00:25:00.470 --> 00:25:03.549 wanted to do a project with them and I was thrilled that I could. 330 00:25:03.549 --> 00:25:07.259 At the time one of their founders was of all stigalum, so that add 331 00:25:07.660 --> 00:25:14.019 added to the story as well. But yeah, there's they are amazing nonprofit 332 00:25:14.460 --> 00:25:18.859 located at Indianapolis. I'm sure there's some other folks or sometimes even internally with 333 00:25:19.140 --> 00:25:26.730 a pail design program fashion design. Sometimes you may have some resources right into 334 00:25:26.730 --> 00:25:30.970 your nose as well and again adds to the story for something that might be 335 00:25:30.049 --> 00:25:36.480 kind of fun and unusual for a fundraising campaign or a special event. Thank 336 00:25:36.559 --> 00:25:40.240 you, Mary. That was a wonderful example. If someone would like to 337 00:25:40.400 --> 00:25:44.599 contact you about that idea or anything else, what would the best way for 338 00:25:44.720 --> 00:25:48.480 them to get in touch with you be? Gosh, probably my old school 339 00:25:48.480 --> 00:25:53.990 email. I'm easy to find. Em Bar and Bar at bsudded you. 340 00:25:56.390 --> 00:26:00.910 Thank you very much for your time and all the wonderful wisdom that you gave 341 00:26:00.990 --> 00:26:03.470 us today. Barred, before we get out of here, do you have 342 00:26:03.630 --> 00:26:07.299 any parting words? Yeah, I just wanted to thank Mary and for all 343 00:26:07.339 --> 00:26:11.140 that she's offered us today and I think that knowing her for so long as 344 00:26:11.180 --> 00:26:15.660 I have and just in this conversation, I think everyone can kind of understand 345 00:26:15.700 --> 00:26:18.650 and know that she's a brand expert and I think one of the expertise of 346 00:26:19.170 --> 00:26:23.369 recognizing that and somebody who really understands brand is how willing they're able to kind 347 00:26:23.369 --> 00:26:27.250 of talk about stories, and I love the fact that a lot of what 348 00:26:27.329 --> 00:26:32.049 we talked about today, whether it was the use of some focus groups, 349 00:26:32.170 --> 00:26:34.920 whether it's about, you know, the stories of some of the transitions that 350 00:26:36.039 --> 00:26:38.799 she's been a part of and what that means and how to how to navigate 351 00:26:38.960 --> 00:26:42.440 that. The idea of, you know, what stories can do brands together 352 00:26:42.599 --> 00:26:45.920 tell and even down to the story of, you know, hey, we 353 00:26:47.039 --> 00:26:49.230 want to recycle something, but not only do we want to recycle it because 354 00:26:49.230 --> 00:26:52.349 it's the right thing, but how can that then support our brand, because 355 00:26:52.549 --> 00:26:56.710 our brand is all about empowering people. It's about, you know, ball 356 00:26:56.750 --> 00:26:59.829 states brand is a lot more than just recruiting students. There's a lot of 357 00:26:59.990 --> 00:27:03.339 things that Mary has kind of talked about today that I think is reflected in 358 00:27:03.940 --> 00:27:07.700 her conversations and things that they're doing a ball state that go deeper and telling 359 00:27:07.740 --> 00:27:11.460 those stories to help articulate the brand, I think is so important and I 360 00:27:11.500 --> 00:27:15.500 think that Mary does a great job of doing that, whether it's through a 361 00:27:15.539 --> 00:27:18.250 billboard that you see on interstate sixty nine or whether it's just through this conversation 362 00:27:18.329 --> 00:27:23.009 about, you know, the recycled elements and utilizing a local nonprofit to do 363 00:27:23.170 --> 00:27:27.289 that and making those into meaningful gifts for donors. I think there's a there's 364 00:27:27.289 --> 00:27:30.960 a chance for all of us to tell our story better, and if you 365 00:27:30.039 --> 00:27:33.480 want to learn how to do that, I would observe what's going on a 366 00:27:33.559 --> 00:27:34.759 ball state. And so those are those are some really good ideas. So 367 00:27:34.920 --> 00:27:37.960 thank you again, Mary. Oh Gosh. Well, thank you bart and 368 00:27:38.039 --> 00:27:41.799 thank you troy, and thank you for all the work that you both do 369 00:27:41.160 --> 00:27:49.029 in our industry and help us look great our pleasure and want to remind everyone 370 00:27:49.190 --> 00:27:56.109 that the sponsors of this podcast. Number one is barts company, Kaylor solutions 371 00:27:56.509 --> 00:28:02.460 and education, marketing and branding agency and by Think, patented a marketing, 372 00:28:02.539 --> 00:28:07.819 execution, printing and mailing provider of higher it solutions. On behalf of Bart 373 00:28:07.859 --> 00:28:14.769 Kaylor and myself, troy singer, thank you for joining us. You've been 374 00:28:14.809 --> 00:28:18.930 listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. To ensure that you never miss an episode, 375 00:28:18.170 --> 00:28:22.369 subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with 376 00:28:22.450 --> 00:28:26.849 apple PODCASTS, we'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the show. 377 00:28:26.849 --> 00:28:30.720 Simply tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Until next 378 00:28:30.720 --> time,