Reaching out

Williamson’s role extends from fundraising through student recruiting to alumni relations.

While active in print, TV, radio and other forms, social media has become the school’s main media marketing platform.

“It’s been really good at connecting with alumni and former students, but it’s also been really good at contacting potential students, letting them know about what the university is and what programs we have,” Williamson says. “Overall, we have found it is cheaper and can hit more of a specific audience.”

But Twitter and Facebook are just the tip of the iceberg in today’s evolving marketing and advertising world.

As account director, Erica Hollis leads Oklahoma City-based public relations firm Saxum’s marketing efforts for clients. Having moved to Oklahoma from Los Angeles, she has played
with the big boys, working with Coca-Cola, Converse, Wrigley, CoverGirl,
Honda and General Mills, to name a few.

definitely think [prominent brands] are ahead of the curve and they set
the tone for what really everybody else does,” Hollis says. “That is
because they have very strategic agencies behind them who are really
driving a lot of that direction and staying on top of what is new and
what’s going on. They’re not saturating these individual resources by
throwing these brands into tactics that don’t make sense.”

As mobile marketing makes more and more sense, Hollis says firms are salivating at the possibilities.

June 2010, the Mobile Marketing Association released a revealing study:
In 2010, companies were set to spend $128 billion in America on all
media. Mobile marketing accounted for just $2.3 billion of that.

By the end of 2011, the media buy for mobile marketing was expected to top $5.5 billion.

these are just U.S. numbers. According to tracking firm Nielsen, the
amount of data usage by smartphone users nearly doubled over a 12-month
period beginning in 2010 and ending last summer.

right Marcus Williamson, OCU Meinders School of Business director of
outreach, says social media has become the school’s main media marketing

think mobile marketing right now is people trying to figure out how it
is that you use it and how is it that you use it in an effective way,”
Hollis says. “I think digital in general is something that is really
big, so there are a lot of different opportunities, whether you’re using
behavior advertising or geo-targeted advertising. I think mobile just
opens up another opportunity.”

The mediums are changing, but so is the message.

“I don’t think any of it will ever just diminish and go away,” Hollis
says. “I think what marketers are doing is they’re being more strategic
and they’re looking at their marketing mix.”

Williamson agrees. There always will be a place for that letter on university stationery or that postcard in the mail.

in today’s interactive world, Facebook, Twitter and mobile marketing
seem to be taking a larger piece of the marketing pie in driving loyalty
and sales.

“It sets
up a two-way conversation where somebody not only sees the advertisement
or message, but then they have the opportunity to respond to it, and it
can start a relationship or conversation — more than just a one-sided
type of message that goes out,” Williamson says.

And that’s what relationships are all about.

Photos by Mark Hancock

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