Welcome back to Web Marketing Wednesdays (WMW), Southwark Consulting’s weekly roundup of news and notes from the digital marketing world! This week we share lessons in b-school branding from the art world, a few key SEO tips, LinkedIn’s decision to allow members to block users, and some excellent email marketing advice. As our regular readers know, the aim of this column is to provide a concise rundown of key news items and tech tips for business school admissions and marketing staff. Read on for all the latest news…
We begin with a fascinating article from Ad Age which uses the art world to offer a valuable lesson about branding – and one that is highly relevant in the MBA arena. In a nutshell, the article points to the fact that most successful artists have built their brand by essentially creating a new category rather than competing head to head within an existing category (Monet/Impressionism, Pollock/Drip Painting, etc.). In a business school landscape that offers an incredible (and ever-increasing) amount of choice, this lesson resonates. Applicants gravitate towards brands – or those schools who own a ‘category’ (be it finance, entrepreneurship, health care management, etc.) – and your program is likely better off owning/creating a new category than it is building a reputation as second or third best in an existing – and overcrowded – category.
Shifting gears from the art world and branding to social media, there were two articles this week that dovetail nicely with our last WMW post. The first covers more news out of LinkedIn, which is now allowing users to block other members (perhaps those who are a bit overzealous in their efforts to network). The second article of interest comes from the Harvard Business Review and explores Facebook’s decision to buy WhatsApp, making some compelling arguments as to why the $19 billion price tag may not be so outrageous – including Facebook’s need for younger users, the opportunity presented by a different business model, internationalization and more. This is a good read for any admissions officer or marketing professional who is trying to anticipate where Facebook will take WhatsApp and how WhatsApp (or any SMS service) may emerge as a possible channel for reaching prospects.
We’ll close WMW with a focus on three articles that offer excellent practical advice for anyone seeking to market their b-school via the web. The first comes from Susan Gilbert’s ‘Monday Memos’ and focuses on four tips and tools that can help with search engine optimization. What’s nice about this piece is that it’s not run of the mill advice – rather it offers up some less common (and fairly simple) tips to help shore up a broader SEO strategy. The second piece comes from a social media marketing site and stresses the importance of having a social media manager on your team – which really just means avoiding a fragmented approach and ensuring that someone is acting as the ‘editor-in-chief’ of all of your efforts. And finally, we wanted to highlight a few great tidbits of advice on maximizing your email marketing efforts – e.g. your newsletter and email campaigns – with prospects and applicants alike. As we’ve stressed in the past on this blog, your strategy with regards to email marketing should not be overlooked – despite all of the hype surrounding other channels like Instagram, Twitter, etc.
That’s the web marketing news for this week. Thanks for reading and for turning your colleagues onto WMW!