Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Marketing to those who hate marketing: Gloss

It's no secret that graduate and professional schools are full of savvy, smart consumers. High-achieving students and scholarly professors are, almost by definition, independent thinkers, and most hate to be marketed to.

So how can a professional communicator best reach these marketing-cynical audiences? By re-thinking typical marketing practices for a potentially skeptical audiences, small choices can make a big difference. For my next few posts, I'll hit on some simple ways your marketing communications can be more effective with academic audiences.

Tip #1: Watch the gloss. Nothing says "slick marketing piece" like a high-gloss design. While many--if not most--color designs look best on a coated sheet, there can be such thing as too much of a good thing. I once heard a professor mock a brochure from another institution as portraying its faculty as "god-like creatures" due to the super-shiny gloss spot varnish on its cover portraits. If you're going for a highly formal or serious academic message, consider skipping the shine entirely and print on an uncoated sheet.

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