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Google Has Explaining to do about Marketing Leads and the Need for Focus in Ads

Earlier this afternoon, I wrote up a brief overview of an interview I did for the Education Industry Investment Forum. Stephen Tave, Director at American Higher Education Development Corporation, offered some focused criticism and some insights into how for-profit education can grow in 2010 and beyond. So who is Tave and what is the AHED? Glad you asked.

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Stephen Tave, Director at American Higher Education Development Corporation, offered some focused criticism and some insights into how for-profit education can grow in 2010 and beyond.

So who is Tave and what is the AHED? Glad you asked.

AHED is a management acquisition firm that operates post-secondary educational institutions including Madison Media Institute in Madison, Wisconsin, Rockford Career College in Rockford, Illinois, Stautzenberger College with locations in Maumee, Ohio and Brecksville, Ohio and The Stautzenberger Institute in Livonia, Michigan.

The parts of his interview that made the most sense for someone reading Fast Company was about the use of social media technology in education strategies and the ROI and social return of using such technology. He had some interesting things to say, backed up by his 25 years in the industry. So, I stripped those out for your perusal.

To begin with, Tave wonders if it even makes sense to go fully into social media as a business strategy when so much due diligence and market testing still needs to be done. There may even be a new veritical for the digital technology industry.

Question from EIIFCan you give me your future education scenario for America in 2012-2015?

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Tave Responds

If your Facebook account died tomorrow, you really wouldn’t have a problem. I have been working more for myself more ohn a legacy product that you invest more into.

It takes you literally minutes and you open a facebook account and you are “friended” by a lot of people. What would be interesting is creating a web-based thing that has more value, that you put more investment into as a person.

Such as?

Such as, nobody takes a few pictures at a time, they take thousands of pictures in a few weeks. What do you do with all of that stuff?

A legacy platform is more of your whole history being put online and saved and the company that does that has the ability
to make the promise that when new vehicles come out there to show this stuff, they will commit to do that transposing of your
documents to that platform so that your entire legacy can see it.

This seemed like a pretty interesting idea, so I looked into it. Digital Legacy aims to address your digital remnants for your future readership and viewership.

I wonder if this is a new vertical for the digital economy. I will be looking into this more.

And then Tave calls out Google a little bit, but also takes to task the education marketing companies and buyers of “leads” for education marketing. This will be compelling for people who are interested in how to make qualified leads work in internet marketing.

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Question from EIIFOperators of schools have complained in the past about the costs of marketing and it’s a true that marketing is not easy. It can be expensive and it can be cumbersome, and not to mention completely ineffective if the right media are not leveraged. What out there is compelling to you as a marketing solution and how do you think it will be managed, purchased, or built?

Tave responds

The whole marketing thing has to be looked at. Google has to look at the way they are doing business too. It’s bait and switch the way Google does business. Nobody brings this up. It used to be a nickel a click. Today, if they [a content reader] clicks on culinary school it’s probably 25 to 35 dollars a click. This happened in ten years.

Why has it done that? It’s done that because people have created companies that bid on that, but they are not in the industry. They collect the leads. I sell that lead that I paid 20 dollars for for 20 dollars to a hundred schools. Those leads are not focused leads. They are getting a huge amount of them and they are working their admissions people at levels that are very frustrating to them.

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About the author

Douglas Crets is a Developer Evangelist and Editorial Lead at the Microsoft BizSpark program. He works to tell the story of thousands of startups hosted in the Azure cloud platform built by Microsoft. Traveler, technology enthusiast, meetup leader, education reformer, and global nomad. 1.650.224.1475 or dcrets@microsoft.com

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