Sunday, February 27, 2011

Marketing to those who hate marketing: Why?

I think I may have put the cart before the horse on my last post by diving straight into tactics before strategy. So let's answer the bigger question: What's the point of marketing to groups who hate marketing?

First, let me better define marketing in this context. The first reference to marketing is what we do: developing and communicating programs that provide value to our defined markets. The second reference to marketing refers to advertising tactics meant to persuade individuals to buy a product or service.

There are two major audiences in graduate and professional schools who usually have disdain for traditional advertising: Gen Y students who value authenticity and academics who value substance over style. Notice any similarities?

Thankfully, the strategic approach for addressing both of these groups is the same. Be straightforward. Don't let form get in the way of function. And if you work for a great institution with solid academic programs, the best thing we can do is share its story without diluting the impact with tactics that could backfire (which is what the rest of this series will cover).

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