Social Media Rules! How Can Higher Ed Marketers Reach Prospective Students?

When trying to reach Generation Z or Millennials, SnapChat, Instagram and Twitter are the “it” social media platforms. Print still serves a purpose — mainly driving the recipient to your digital presence – but social media is the place where engagement and conversion happens. That was the message Michael Mullarkey, chief executive officer of Chicago-based Brickfish, delivered at the Higher Ed SIG gathering that took place April 6.

The SIG meeting, which was held at Troquet North, was a discussion about how to optimize social media for colleges and universities. In keeping with our new format for these gatherings, the meeting was more of a moderated conversation as opposed to a presentation.  It was a huge success!

Brickfish, whose slogan is “Engagement is Everything,” manages the content and social media of large brands like Neiman Marcus and Hertz.  Relevant, fresh content along with a quick response to visitors’ queries is essential to the success of any enterprise. Generation Z and Millennials expect instance responses. Mullarkey believes Facebook is still important, but these cohorts spend most of their time exchanging rapid-fire communiqués with their friends on SnapChat and WhatsApp. Marketers need to become a relevant part of these exchanges.

Mullarkey also spoke about the shrinking reach of Facebook and Instagram. Once brands established their presence on these platforms, these firms monetized their sites.  You now have to boost your post to expand your reach and that requires paying for it. He offered some advice about how to get around having to pay, which includes unique, relevant content, engagement and short video.

Bottom line: For us higher education communicators, it’s new a world. We just need to fasten our seat belts and enjoy the ride.

Betsy Butterworth Dean Petrulakis

Betsy Butterworth and Dean Petrulakis

Co-Chairs, Chicago AMA Higher Education Special Interest Group

Chicago Chapter of American Marketing Association Reveals Chicago’s Most Recognizable Brands

Survey of Chicago marketing community names McDonald’s, Walgreens, Kraft, Cubs, Boeing as top five area brands

Chicago – August 11, 2014 – A survey of Chicago marketing professionals has identified the most recognizable brands in the Chicago area – a diverse mix of corporations, sports teams and organizations lead by McDonald’s, Walgreens, Kraft, Chicago Cubs and Boeing as the top five.

Read more

Lewis Lazare of Chicago Business Journal

Yahoo Finance

Dow Jones MarketWatch

Daily Herald

Rockford Register Star

EIN News Service


Marketing Research “Think Tank” Forming

All Terrain & Chicago AMA Invite You to Attend A Research-Focused “Think-Tank”

The goal is to gather 10-15 senior professionals from the experiential marketing and market research industry to join in a Think Tank where together, we will discuss experiential marketing, campaign tactics and metrics, research methodology, and ideate the ideal way to construct a research plan to address this topic. This is a unique opportunity to exercise creativity, strategy and share your expertise.

Location: All Terrain, 2675 W Grand Ave, Chicago
Date and Time: TBD- Mid/late March – Food and drink will be provided

CAMA will also provide a gift card as a small token of our appreciation.  In addition to generating innovative ideas and devising effective strategies, our hope is that from the Think Tank, we will source one or more partners to help conduct the research. This research will:

  • Generate seminal work leading to a published white paper and findings
  • Be presented at a conference or event such as BrandSmart.
  • Connect the research partner with All Terrain and their client base should they need further research with regard to experiential marketing.

All parties involved in the research project agree that there will be some in-kind work contributed by everyone so that the project can be carried out and that it benefits all without being burdensome to any one group. If you are interested in attending this evening of conversation, ideation and networking with other professionals in your field, please send an email to or by February 28th, 2014. In order to keep the group small enough to inspire constructive interaction, only 15 applicants will be selected.