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Feeling overwhelmed trying to manage and execute your digital marketing for your college or university?

overwhelmed 2

Well, you are not alone.

A recent Imedia survey of brand marketers, from across a broad range of business sectors, found that “overwhelmed” is the most common word marketers would use to describe how they feel when they think about managing their brand in today’s rapidly changing digital environment.

cloud diagram overwhelmed

Source: Imedia Survey of Brand Marketers (see link above)

The survey report described the top three challenges contributing to this feeling as:

•    Lack of expertise and training
•    Misaligned organizational structures and processes
•    Ingrained legacy practices

Based on our experience from across a wide range of colleges and universities, including for-profit, public and private, I’d suggest that higher ed marketers and their staffs are faced with exactly the same challenges.

The following data, from the report’s summary infographic, could have easily been plucked from a HighEdWeb or EduWeb conference panel:

•    Marketers had highest confidence in more established strategies like email , websites
and SEO. They had the lowest confidence in newer tactics like mobile, blogs and
•    Marketers felt strongly that their companies were not doing enough to address digital
marketing success factors like:
–    investing to create strong digital content
–    investing to create strong digital platforms
–    hiring internal staff to implement and manage digital tactics
–    hiring internal staff to guide strategy and best practices
–    investing in digital marketing training for employees
•    Digital is not integrated enough with traditional offline media campaigns

Even with these prevalent issues and concerns, the survey goes on to report that the majority of companies are planning to increase the amount of digital marketing they’re currently doing. Again in these comments, I hear echoes of higher ed, as digital expands its profile into all marketing segments and the overall cost effectiveness and track ability of digital marketing legitimately asserts itself in a school’s marketing mix.

increase dm spend

Source: Imedia Survey of Brand Marketers (see link above)

So the moral of the story is that marketers from across all business sectors are pretty much in the same boat. Higher ed is not unique with respect to these problems and challenges, nor in being faced with the challenges of learning how to grow into the digital marketing space.

At HEM we create and share informational and educational resources with the higher ed community to help you expand your knowledge and skills to better tackle your marketing challenges. Producing these resources is also central to our content strategy to help us maintain our search rankings and to catch your attention when you are looking for outside professional services. We hope you find them helpful and that you will consider HEM when you decide to bring in outside resources to help you meet your emerging marketing challenges.

So what particular digital challenges are you struggling with? How are you addressing these challenges?