I spent the past two days at the edu Web Conference at the Sheraton Inner Harbor in Downtown Baltimore. I spoke on the topic of “Effective eMarketing for Higher Ed” along with Sean Carton. Definitely a good time. It was great collaborating with Sean, who is no doubt one of the cutting edge thinkers in regards to the shift to all things digital. Sean also stepped up to the plate and delivered the keynote speech “Connecting with the Future,” after the original speaker Jeff Kallay, from Target X had to bow out due to illness late last week. Sean’s keynote was nothing short of awesome, he did a great job in setting the tone for the conference. He focused his presentation on the shifting digital landscape and on five big trends that are shaping the future of communications, they are as follows:
* The consumer is in control
* Atoms to bits
* Real time to My time
* Centralization is dead
* The Future is Always On
We also had a little impromptu session with a small group of about 30 folks (very unconference style), when the original presenter of a session dubbed “Mobile Web Design: Grappling with a Wireless Web” decided not to show up. I was kind of wondering what that session was doing at an education web marketing conference. We mostly discussed how universities can incorporate SMS into their communications with existing students, then it was a free for all discussion. Lots of questions in regards to web presence, lead generation, and discussion around the heavy, foggy world of the “design by committee” web development process many educational institutions live and breath by.
One observation that I had was that although the education market is beginning to embrace online marketing, many are still missing the boat and need to get their online marketing initiatives in place and executed as soon as possible. This is of course great news for businesses like Blue Sky Factory and any other online marketing related company. The education market is very ripe, with no shortage of colleges, universities and other institutions who are in need of a solid online marketing plan that allows them to Build, Drive, Capture, Convert & Retain prospects and students.