2023 Carnegie Conference

The Higher Ed Marketing and Enrollment Strategy Event

Thank you for joining us for the 11th annual Carnegie Conference. As always, we bring speakers from outside higher education who push us to consider what's next. Below are links to the presentations they gave.

Additionally, if you have not already done so, please take five minutes to complete our conference exit survey. Your insights are appreciated!

2023 Carnegie Conference

Delivering Content for the Win: How to Attract Students By Becoming The Trusted Advisor

Presented by A. Lee Judge

The way that students look for information is constantly changing. With a sea of information, advice, and opinions on fast-moving platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, it can be a challenge for traditional marketers to even enter the conversation. In this session, we looked at what it means to be a trusted advisor in a digital social world; and how institutions can gain a larger share of the conversation as students seek answers for their next big step.

Takeaways from the session:

  • How the search for information has changed
  • The difference between Influencer and Trusted Advisor
  • How to create trustworthy content (that’s not boring)

Download the slide deck.

Everything You Need to Know to Master Digital Marketing and Drive Enrollments

Presented by Dennis Yu

TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and other media channels are where prospective students are spending time. But driving leads and enrollments is frustrating for colleges and universities.

Let’s cover a simple 6 step process called the Social Amplification Engine to run successful marketing campaigns across all channels, even if you have a tiny team and no budget.

Better Conversations, Faster Decisions, and Stronger Strategy

Presented by Jill Schiefelbein

Attention leads to engagement, which generates conversations, and leads to a decision—that’s the marketing pathway in a nutshell. Yet the most well-crafted, beautifully articulated, theoretically sound messages don’t always attract the attention they’re designed for. Why? In this fast-paced session we covered the science behind how our minds work when it comes to processing and making decisions and detail how you can make slight adjustments to your marketing and communication strategies to change the way that your audience is positioned to receive your messages.


Download the slide deck.

Magic Words: The Art of Using Persuasion, Psychology, and Nuance in Your Copy

Presented by Mike Kim

At the core, the purpose of marketing is to persuade. Whether we want someone to make a purchase, join an email list, or double-tap an Instagram post, we’re all trying to persuade people to take a particular action. But how do we do this in a way that’s tasteful, compelling, and effective, especially when so much copy seems like it’s regurgitated from one ad to the next?

Mike Kim is the author of the Wall St. Journal bestseller, You Are the Brand, and a copywriter who has marketed some of the biggest names in thought leadership. In this session, he dives into several principles you can use to infuse your marketing with personality, nuance, and a bit of psychology so that you and your organization can persuade in a natural yet effective way.


Download the slide deck.

Numbers, Measurement, and... Inspiration?

Presented by Karen Hopper

The beauty of data is that it’s everywhere! Every platform spits out dozens of metrics which can tell us what our audience is looking at, clicking on, sharing, scrolling through, watching… the list goes on, and on, and on.

But harnessing the power of data goes far beyond keeping track of these individual numbers in a spreadsheet. Which engagements are actually helping our bottom line? How do we know we’re building our audience towards our ultimate goals? How can we use our data to inform new, creative ideas?

Building a focus on the numbers that matter – and tossing the numbers that don’t – can unleash an unstoppable force that leads to more applications, more donations, and greater alumni engagement.

Session takeaways:

  • How to know which metrics matter – and which ones you can toss
  • How to incorporate data into everyday discussions to optimize your efforts
  • Where to look to find fresh inspiration

Download the slide deck.

Effective Change Leadership

Presented by Scott Ochander

Marketing leaders are often burdened with the task of institution-wide change– something that comes with immense challenge and strategic reward.  In this dynamic and demanding post-pandemic world, leaders need strategic frameworks to guide their thinking around managing conceptual change and consensus from within and across the institution.

This session we looked at some of the key changes facing higher education and explain best practice models for change management and strategic planning.


Download the slide deck.

The Future of Communication: How Synthetic Media Can Transform Your Marketing Strategy

Presented by Jill Schiefelbein

Did you know that AI can now write your marketing copy? Create videos with your digital likeness? Provide subjective advice to potential students? Even if you’re on the fence about trusting artificial intelligence tools, knowing about these technologies, especially when combined with forms of hyper-realistic synthetic media (think deep fakes, but not nefarious), is important for any marketing and communication leader. Imagine being able to have your digital likeness communicate in over 40 languages. Think about how amazing it would be to create customized content for every audience group without building each piece from scratch. Marvel at how that *perfect* image can manifest from typing just a few keywords.

In this session we learned about the evolution of communication technologies, how artificial intelligence has expanded our range of connective possibilities, and what possibilities exist for leveraging these channels of communication in your role.


Download the slide deck.

Slate Track | Reach Your Audience: Setting up for Communication Success

Presented by Amanda Johnson + Mo Brazil

No matter the stage of the student life cycle, ensuring your Slate instance is reaching all of your target audience is critical. In this session, we learned about gathering the right amount of data on a student at the first touch point and beyond, how to protect your sender reputation and ensure email clients aren’t filtering your messages into spam, and feel confident in your compliance to accessibility standards.


Download the slide deck.

Slate Track | Cover Your Bases: Aligning Your Channels for Communication Success

Presented by Monica Brazil + Chris Besse

Students can tell when your departments are siloed and voice, tone, and branding don’t align across communication channels. With Slate’s enhanced abilities to customize all of your outreach to match your .edu website or digital marketing efforts, you can communicate a singular story to your target audience. In this session, we learned how to align the look and feel of your Slate forms, emails, print, portals, digital ads, and branding within Slate to reach students effectively.


Download the slide deck.

Story Selling

Presented by Valerie Garcia

Why do people buy anything? Whether you sell education, tacos, sheets, or thumbtacks – the answer is always the same. In this session, we looked at the science behind what really motivates our customers, and what that means for our business. You’ll never think about selling the same way again.


Download the slide deck.

How AI Will Transform the Way Higher Ed Marketers Work

Presented by Dale Bertrand

In 2023, artificial intelligence will continue to improve at tasks like writing articles, generating images and mimicking human creativity. Change is coming fast. Marketers for colleges and universities who seek to future-proof their careers can no longer ignore the AI revolution that is transforming the way we do creative work. AI expert and futurist Dale Bertrand presents an optimistic take on leveraging your uniquely human abilities to keep you in the driver’s seat and maximize the benefit of AI tools.


Download the slide deck.

When Data Science Blows Your Mind

Presented by Mike Keane + Tim Lyon

While most colleges leverage financial aid strategies that align institutional grant and scholarship funds with enrollment goals, that’s basic AF. The colleges that are using data science to drive predictive yield models are changing the game. From increased transparency to understanding the power of yield models, this session will take you through the data science behind aid optimization, arm you with the right questions about modeling, and empower you to get the most out of your aid strategies. No prior statistics knowledge required: just an open mind and desire to level up your understanding of the power of financial aid optimization.


Download the slide deck.


Presented by Katie Camacho Smith

Tik-Tok is the world’s hottest entertainment platform and is one of the best places to engage with young, college-aged audiences. Join us to learn how to engage users on Tik Tok. In this session, we learned what students want to see and hear, and how you can create content to scale to meet both your organic and paid objectives.


Please reach out to Katie directly for details and examples from her presentation.

Time to Remarket: Communication & Outreach for Current Students

Presented by Ken Higgins

The pressure of recruiting the next class will forever be daunting. Annual budgets are often structured mainly around the continuous flow of incoming class sizes, profiles, etc. But what about last year’s enrolled students? Or the year before that? We talked about shifting efforts toward our current students and marketing to keep them enrolled and ensure their sense of belonging. Increase retention through marketing and communication in Slate.


Download the slide deck.

Meeting Students Where They Are At: How Social Media Contributes to Admissions + Enrollment Successes.

Presented by Ross Sims

Ross led us in a presentation and discussion on ways to thoughtfully engage your future student base on social media. He shared best practices for thoughtful engagement, ways to identify conversation around a particular audience, as well as ways to thoughtfully engage potential incoming students to give them a positive digital experience before stepping foot on campus.


Download the slide deck.

Slate Track | Track Your Efforts: Proving Your Communication Success

Presented by Chris Besse + Amanda Johnson

Collect data on engagement and report on ROI to inform real-time and future decision-making on your communication efforts. Slate allows you to use UTM parameters and assign origin sources that work for you, which is critical to gathering the right data. In this session, we learned how to add UTM parameters within Slate, configure Origin Sources that make sense for your institution, and combine all the information into a Marketing Portal that allows your internal users to make decisions by reporting on what really matters.


Download the slide deck.

Lighten Up and Lead: Leverage Levity for Client Connection + Employee Engagement

Presented by Tami Evans

A happy workplace is imperative to success and longevity, but how do you remain positive AND professional? We learned key characteristics to create levity in the worker, workforce and workplace, with tools that help you reach your personal and professional potential through the power of fun. Connection creates culture and culture creates employee engagement and client confidence—and the fastest way to connect is through levity. Engagement empowers employees to collaborate through challenges, create innovative solutions, and communicate confidently.