2020 Carnegie Conference Sessions

2020 Carnegie Conference Schedule


Day 1

Joe Moore, Carnegie


Ross Simmonds, Keynote

Brand Distributions: How to Attract Relevant Traffic Through Diverse Channels

Many of us spend a disproportionate amount of time focused on generating traffic from Google and our Facebook pages. We pray that our position in search lasts forever and hope that our competitors pages don't get more likes than us. In a world where Google search results are quickly changing regularly and social media algorithms are wiping out entire business models, it’s becoming important for marketers to embrace a diverse set of channels for traffic and attention.

In Ross’ session, you’ll learn:

  • What organizations can do to spread their story beyond SEO and SEM.

  • How organizations can leverage communities and other networks to drive consistent traffic.

  • The importance of diverse channels, based on research and data.

  • Real-life examples of what happens when you embrace a more diverse content approach.

Kirsty Hulse

Considered Creativity: How to Supercharge Your Ideas to Drive Better Result

In a world where the average consumer is exposed to over 3,000 ads a day, our ideas and content have to emotionally resonate to cut through the noise. In this talk, Kirsty will walk through a scientifically proven creative process and share tips on how to test content before investing in execution in order to supercharge your content efforts.


  • Understand why people share content

  • Learn how to create content that triggers this thinking

  • Learn what happens in the brain when real creativity happens

  • Develop a process to tap into that

Purna Virji

Connect the Dots: Paid Search, Artificial Intelligence, and Customer Experience

We are so resistant to ads today that we install ad blockers, DVR our shows to fast-forward ads, and have developed banner blindness. But it wasn't always like this. As a kid, most of us loved watching commercials. They were clever, fun, and most importantly, not as omnipresent or intrusive. So how can you make your advertising something your audience is going to want to consume? How can you cut through the noise and distractions to most effectively engage with your audience? With rapid advances in technology and consumer expectations, the result is that even average quality advertising will not cut it. We need to get really, really good. In this tactical session, Microsoft’s Purna Virji will talk you through the latest PPC strategies and how you can apply them as part of your student recruitment plans.

Talia Wolf

The Power of Emotion: How to Acquire More Customers by Understanding the Emotional Triggers That Make Them Buy

All the analytics, automation tools, machine learning, and other current buzzwords in the world will never help you create high-converting experiences for your prospects if you fail to leverage the one component that matters more than anything else in marketing: emotion. Talia Wolf will show us how to tap into the different emotional triggers that persuade people’s purchasing decisions.

In this talk, you’ll learn:

  • The powerful emotional targeting method Talia uses to increase conversions for her clients and students

  • How to supercharge your existing landing pages with emotion and persuasion

  • 3 meaningful A/B tests every business should run to increase conversions and understand their customers and clients better

Andy Crestodina

Content & the Future of Marketing: Search Engines, Social Media & Email Marketing

Two million blog posts are published every day. That’s right. We’re drowning in a flood of marketing content. But smart marketers know how to rise above the noise and build lead generation machines.

The key is to combine search engine optimization with social media and email marketing. This is an important message for any marketing department.

Stop. Do not write another word of marketing copy without search, social, and email in mind.

Tiffany DaSilva

6 Lessons From a Marketing Fraud

We've all been there: you finally step foot into the job you've wanted forever only to feel like you aren't good enough for the role, or worse, a complete marketing fraud. You're not alone—an estimated 70% of people from all walks of life, both men and women, experience imposter syndrome at some point in their careers.

In this talk, Tiffany daSilva will share her own experiences along with the framework and tools she uses every day to eliminate this feeling.

You'll walk away knowing how to:

  • Get off autopilot—identify the negative self-talk in your head and how to handle it

  • Identify your villains and find your "shine crew"

  • Discover your legacy and what you were meant to do in life, and learn how to visualize it

Stephen App

Beyond the Headlines: Understanding How and Why High School Students Use Social Media Platforms

Facebook is dead; start using Snapchat. Forget Snapchat; publish to Instagram. Everyone is on YouTube; no one is on Twitter. Reddit is NSFW.

Each year, research abounds with eye-catching headlines about traditional prospective college students and the social platforms they frequent. But while these reports can provide data into general use rates, they rarely provide insight into why or how students use social media. In this session, we’ll go beyond the headlines of these reports, examing real social media content from schools and students to uncover the drivers behind social use and what it means for your institutional social strategy.

Andrea Vahl

Facebook and LinkedIn Strategy for Graduate and Adult Learners

Facebook and LinkedIn continue to evolve as platforms. What is working now for higher education and how do we approach our strategy on each of these platforms? Standing out from the competition means using your best content combined with the strengths of the platforms and then measuring what is really working for you.

Learning Objectives:

  • How social media is evolving and what is working now for higher education

  • How to approach your Facebook and LinkedIn strategy

  • What to post and when to get maximum engagement

  • How to differentiate your offering from your competitors

  • How Facebook and LinkedIn Ads fit into your strategy

  • What metrics to track to know that your efforts are working

Breakout A

The Importance of Personality

With more than 4,000 degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the U.S. and a shrinking number of college-going students, it’s more important than ever for colleges and universities to stand out among the competition. Similarities in program offerings, student experiences, information delivered to the market, and even in mission statements can make it difficult for prospective students to distinguish between options. Institutions that break through this paradigm often do so on the strength of a most critical asset – how audiences feel about them. In this breakout session, we will explore realities of the human personality of organizations and its power in developing an emotive response from audiences.

This session will explore:

  • How personality can differentiate.

  • The ways in which it can anchor messaging.

  • Its importance in creating audience affinity.

  • Why personality leads to human connection.

Breakout B

The Growing Challenge: The Trendline & Commflow Conundrum

Let’s face it, the macro trends effecting enrollment are causing big shifts to the commflow strategy, and it’s not getting any easier. To stay ahead of the increasing market-based competition, you have to intelligently study the trends, evolve your strategies, channels, and methods of communicating to take advantage of opportunities as well as evaluate what’s working and what’s not. In this session, you’ll learn how about the key trends to watch and what steps to take to integrate them into your enrollment and marketing plans this year.

Day 2

Andrew Davis

Loyalty Loop: How the Small Things Add up to Big Success

We spend a lot of time telling our prospective students how different we are. But conduct an online search for a specific degree or program and you'll quickly find that you and your competitors all sound the same. It's time to stop telling people you're different and start showing them you're different.

It turns out one of the most effective ways to win over more students isn't raising awareness for our institution. Instead, treat your existing students as our most valuable asset. It's time to exploit our Loyalty Loop.

The Loyalty Loop leverages your existing students to drive a steady stream of highly valuable, highly engaged new applicants.

In this exhilarating keynote address, best-selling author and marketing guru Andrew Davis will help you harness the power of the new consumer experience. You'll learn how to build anticipation, harness the honeymoon period, and drive inspirational moments that result in new applications. The Loyalty Loop is designed to create a powerful engine that never sleeps.

You'll leave inspired to rethink the way you win over new students and transform the way you serve the students you've got.

Are you ready to embrace the Loyalty Loop?

Michael Barber

Bloody Hell! The Convergence of Content + Email + My Ridiculous British Mum

Email isn’t the sexiest marketing topic, nor is it the most fun, but if done well, it can lead to the highest ROI of any channel in your marketing mix. Regardless of industry and even though there is more noise in the inbox and more apps for us to juggle, email continues to prove itself as the best one-to-one communication channel for brands and most preferred by consumers. That said, marketers continue to struggle with this channel even some 26 years after the first email campaign was sent.

Join Michael Barber (and his Mum) as he challenges your email conceptions, explores some of the best and most practical ways to improve your email campaigns, and shows you why this tactic continues to be vitally important for marketers.

Angie Schotmuller

Optimizing for the Eye: Cues, Colors & Culprits that Impact Conversion

Sometimes the biggest marketing opportunities lie on the surface of first impressions. Join this session for a fascinating glimpse at how you can leverage physiology (how things are physically processed by the eye) to tangibly improve the user experience. Angie will walk through mind-blowing science of illusions, color and directional cues with case studies and frameworks that you can immediately leverage to reduce bounce, improve CTR, and grow conversions.

Jay Acunzo

Break the Wheel: How Recruitment Leaders Can Make Better Decisions, Faster, for Their Best Results

Our world is overflowing with ideas and answers, available instantly, everywhere, from everyone. Yes, the dark side of the Information Age seems to be Advice Overload. Do you continue with a conventional approach, or try that hot new trend? Adopt someone else's "best practice" fully, or partially, or not at all? When everyone inside and outside your team has a million answers for what works best "in general" or "on average," the real question becomes: What works best for YOU?

It's time we learned how to answer that question, to become masterful decision-makers and proactive innovators -- all in the face of constant overwhelm.

It's to escape the endless cycle of reactive work. It's time to break the wheel.

In this fast-paced, inspiring talk, author and podcaster Jay Acunzo will hand attendees a sledgehammer. Through eye-opening science and relevant stories, pulled from his years crafting more than 300 business innovation stories, attendees will walk away masters of making the best decisions for their situations -- regardless of the "best practice."

In this talk, attendees will learn:

  • The behavioral forces that prompt us to react instead of get proactive (and how to escape them).

  • Decision-making system to more quickly vet any idea, given your situation.

  • A team-wide operating change that can bridge the gap between average and exceptional.

Flavilla Fongang

How to build your personal brand to become an industry authority

Is the reputation of your university enough for your successful student recruitment strategy? Discover why and how promoting your personal brand and your thought leadership will not only elevate yourself as a leader but elevate your university brand as well.

Building a great personal brand takes effective strategy, planning, continuous innovation and passion. Identifying and articulating your personal brand values is a crucial differentiator in becoming an industry authority that will not only position yourself as a leader but leverage your institutional brand.

During her engaging talk, Flavilla will share actional strategies to develop your personal brand to position yourself and your team as a thought leader while placing your institution in a potentially new light. This talk has been designed to help you get the clarity to develop your personal brand efficiently with practical solutions you can apply immediately.

Breakout A

Undergraduate Enrollment Trends & Prospective Student Insights: Practical Applications for How Marketers Can Respond

The trends and demands are clear, high school students are looking for personalization, more authentic communication, and access to the right information in the places that work best for them. Drawing from Carnegie Dartlet’s Enrollment Trends Report, along with the insights, perspectives, and reams of responses that are part of the CollegeXpress Student Insights Report, we’ll walk through the specific marketing considerations that can be applied in response. In this session, we’ll hear straight from the students themselves (over 6,400 of them!) on what they want you to know about their college search process. And we’ll review the marketer’s role in responding to that…from social media strategies and website optimization to communication flows and content development.

  • Freshmen through Senior perspectives and ways to respond

  • Your website, what they’re demanding, and how to optimize for it

  • Social trends and preferences from Instagram and SnapChat to Reddit and Quora

  • Institutional personality and making authentic and valuable connections

Breakout B

From NAGAP, LinkedIn, and Prospective Grad Students Themselves: Trends & Insights for Grad Marketing

In this one-stop-shop session for data and insights surrounding graduate level recruitment marketing, we’ll draw from results and findings from a number of industry leading resources and reports. What are prospective graduate students saying about their journey from awareness and research to decision-making? What are LinkedIn audiences saying about their preferences for connecting and communicating with graduate schools once they’ve inquired? What are graduate admissions and marketing professionals around the country and across all types of institutions saying are their top challenges and possibilities when it comes to digital marketing strategies for grad? These questions, and many more, will be reviewed throughout this session which will include findings and highlights from 3 different surveys and reports within the graduate recruitment world.

Highlights and insights from the NAGAP/Carnegie Dartlet Graduate Digital Marketing Insights Report
Survey results and perspectives from prospective graduate student audiences
LinkedIn research data focused on communication preferences from inquiry to enrollment
Practical applications for marketing across various channels and strategies – from social to your website,