Author: Beth Harvath

Would you settle for a 30% retention rate? Neither should colleges.

In our last blog, Higher education is desperate to lure more of Gen Z. How will they succeed?,  we focused on how Colleges and Universities are bolstering their efforts to attract Gen Z as new-student enrollments continue to drop. The college strategies we reviewed are applicable to any business looking forward to Gen Z or serving them today. Of course, onboarding is just part of the story. The next challenge for higher education is retention - how to keep Gen Z engaged and enrolled through to graduation.   According to the most recent statistics available, 59.4% of students do not graduate from 4-year institutions and 70% of students do not graduate from 2-year institutions. It’s a sad statistic for our young people, the colleges they attend and our nation as a whole — especially when you consider that a majority are lower-income, minority students who may be the first in their family...

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Higher education is desperate to lure more of Gen Z. How will they succeed?

In our next few blog posts, we’ll explore a score of challenges faced by colleges and universities across the U.S. and how marketing is part of the solution. Our goal is to gain some inspiration and insight that’s applicable to any business with seemingly unsurmountable changes looming in their marketing sphere.   While industries that require higher education are growing rapidly (think healthcare and technology) it’s ironic that colleges are suffering from a steady decline in enrollment. Experts point to many factors including a strong job market that’s luring people away from higher education. Then there’s the larger issue of a declining birthrate which means fewer high school graduates from which to recruit today and in the years ahead.   So, what are colleges doing about it?   In order to recruit more of Gen Z, which encompasses the next 14 years of high school graduates, savvy college marketing departments are capitalizing on tactics that can...

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Three Marketing Lessons from Bryce Harper

Don’t underestimate the value of brand building.   Before signing his record-setting contract with the Phils, Bryce was busy scoring endorsement deals with T-Mobile, New Era, Gatorade, and others. He’s not one to be content with RBIs and MVPs. To the contrary, he’s been called an ad-making machine and that has pushed his name recognition through the roof. Now, they’ll have to create a new wave of ads with him in a Phillies uniform.   Loyalty is worth whatever the going price may be.   Marketing 101 says it costs less to keep a customer than it does to pursue a new one. Apparently, the Nationals need some marketing majors in their office. The Phils had no problem paying for a little loyalty and neither did Under Armor when they locked him in for a 10-year endorsement deal in 2016 (the largest ever for an MLB player at the time). After the boost in ticket sales,...

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Super Bowl LIII Ads: SUPER-FUNNY or SUPER-FAIL?

Super Bowl advertisers fearlessly go for the laugh.   With an audience as monstrous and diverse as the Super Bowl, are brands taking a risk by using humor? A study of 6,500 ads by Ace Metrix concluded that humor grabs our attention but seldom motivates action…   “Humorous ads tend to garner higher levels of viewer attention, increased likeability for the ad, and improved willingness to watch the ad again in the future … however, low information and relevance on many funny ads results in creating lower desire for the advertised products than non-funny ads.”   So why are so many brands willing to spend 5 million dollars to generate a chuckle in 30 seconds? Most of us would agree that trying to be funny but failing is far worse than doing nothing at all. Let’s chalk it up to the basic human need to be noticed.   Who was SUPER-FUNNY?   Bud Light differentiated why their flavorless beer is...

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Spotlight on Scott Morrison President, CX

Your marketing experience prior to joining DCI runs deep. Could you touch on some of the highlights?   I was lucky enough to get my start in the financial industry just as credit card marketing was catching fire in Delaware. It was there where I discovered that the marketing department was the place for me – energetic, fun and driving revenue (measurable). My next move was to the agency side where I led new business and strategy for Devon Direct and later The Martin Agency. Eventually, I co-founded Fulcrum Analytics to focus on CRM and predictive model-driven marketing.   What was your biggest takeaway from all of that experience?   I learned early that great relationships are what create great agencies. In the world of new business development, executive relationships are everything. The same can be said for a client’s marketing strategy. If you want to build sales overnight and your brand over-time, you must first...

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BRING IT ON!

Embrace 2019 with Marketing Savvy. What will the new year bring us? That depends on what we bring to the new year. Looking back on 2018 as a 365-day learning experience, we have plenty of marketing knowledge to carry us forward. Consider these five facts as you finalize your 2019 marketing strategy.   Direct mail delivers:  In 2018, we saw an increased demand for oversized and dimensional mailers among our B2B clients. Smart marketers continue to invest in direct mail because the ROI is strong thanks to campaigns that are increasingly data-driven and micro-targeted. In addition, digital marketing overload has made direct mail more personal, novel and interesting, especially among Gen-Y audiences.   Video views are rising: This is a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Adding video to a website or landing page keeps visitors engaged with your site longer which leads to two important outcomes – better connections with your audience...

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Spotlight On Angela Evans-Evans

How long with DCI and what brought you here? Angela: I’ve been here at Direct Choice for two years. Previously, I was a Senior Accountant for an affordable housing non-profit. Although rewarding, I eventually realized I need a position with a company that was less frenetic and overly stressful. That’s what led me here. What keeps you there? Angela: While I still take on responsibilities beyond accounting, I’ve always thrived at smaller companies. I prefer the friendly atmosphere and respect that everyone has for one another.   What’s the worst job you ever had? For me, it would be my first job as a dishwasher. Angela: I can’t say that any job, even retail work I had through college, was a negative for me. I’ve always learned something valuable and met great people throughout my working life. You have a very calm and composed quality, yet you live a very active life. Tell me a little about that. [caption...

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Lonnie “the man” Bidwell now Director of IT!

Along with the planned expansion of our Information Technology (IT) capabilities comes the advancement of Lonnie Bidwell from Senior Programmer to Director of IT.   Lonnie has been an integral part of Direct Choice for eight years and leads all the agency’s programming functions. During his tenure here, Lonnie has advanced our data processing through new protocols while continually winning accolades from clients.   “The feedback I usually hear from our clients is, “Lonnie’s the man!” He’s not just technically savvy, he’s a people person and a strategic leader.” – Nick Lanzi, President and CEO   In his new role, Lonnie will continue to work in development and data processing for our clients while expanding our IT department’s capabilities beginning in 1Q19....

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A funny thing happened on the way to present CX Research findings!

During the 1st quarter of 2018, Phoenix Marketing International and Direct Choice collaborated to conduct a consumer research study to better understand which major US brands were delivering the best and the worst Customer Experiences (CX) and the leading reasons for consumer sentiment behind each brand’s experience delivery. Numerous compelling facts came out of our CX research including how the leading competitors in each of 32industries stacked up against each other in the delivery of CX. Upon meeting with executives and senior managers of some of the top 300 U.S. Brands to discuss the CX research findings, one of our hypotheses was proven to be significantly flawed...

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