SACAC 2013: Higher Anxiety

There’s an anxiety… I just left SACAC 2013. In an industry where the process has stayed pretty much the same for a very long time…technology has moved to the forefront and seems to be changing EVERYTHING to the next thing even before its finished changing the thing before last to the last thing.
Dan Schrader and Stephen Smith emphasized the use of digital marketing and social media for college recruiting, naming off applications that were only a few weeks old, created by DEVELOPERS that seemed only a few weeks older. A guest asked, “HOW can we keep up with everything young people are using when they’re jumping to the next new thing (even if its inferior…even if its wonky….even if its buggy)…just because its new?”
In another session, a very articulate Elizabeth Orehovec explained, step-by-step, how the University of South Carolina collects, records, and maps data from every visit, every contact, every application, even to where every applicant matriculates if they don’t choose the University of South Carolina. Several guests asked “how can you amass THAT much data?”
Lisa Jordan inspired everyone with Tulane’s story of firing back to life after the flood and leaping forward with a sophisticated digital marketing campaign that eliminated nearly all print materials and put genuine social media at the forefront. “How do you do away with your viewbook altogether?” was a question asked by several people.
The answer to all the questions? Just get started.
Dan Schrader and Stephen Smith said even if you just duplicate posts from one app into another, its better to have a presence in something that might be “the next big thing” when it does become “the next big thing”, rather than play catch up after you realize “oh” so it DID become “the next big thing.” Above all else, however, just get started.
Elizabeth Orehovec explained that USC started collecting data eight years ago. Its starts with entering information from every counselor about every visit and event. You build from there. After years of collecting you too will have an enviable process that will allow you to allocate resources as efficient and effectively as the one USC generously demonstrated. Just get started.
And how DO you completely get rid of your viewbook? As Lisa Jordan so eloquently (and energetically) put it…with a plan… to replace it with something more effective. Just get started.
The bottom line? Just get started. Now.

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