27 min read



In the first of our Digital Marketing Series, Jay talks to Zosya Popik, a digital marketing expert and consultant to Fortune 500 companies. We discuss the use of digital marketing tactics, how digital is continually changing, the digital eco-system that colleges have to pay attention to, and how colleges must be brand-authentic and channel-appropriate on different digital platforms. Digital marketing is often misunderstood and generally undefined. We’ll touch on some of the basics that all enrollment and marketing managers should know.


Zosya has over 12 years of professional marketing experience, specifically in building and scaling digital capabilities for global companies and brands. Zosya has a dynamic and unique experience, starting her career in New York City in experiential marketing at one of the world’s largest hospitality groups, Tao Group. From there she progressed to the healthcare and financial sector, building out the social and digital touchpoints at ALM Media. Zosya then headed down south to build out the global social media offering for the pharmaceutical industry at PRA Health Sciences in Raleigh, NC, pioneering digital clinical trial recruitment through social media and digital channels. Before starting at Reynolds, Zosya helped a boutique agency standup and expand their revenue by launching their first social advertising platform and team. At Reynolds, Zosya launched the first consumer-facing social channels and built and expanded the in-house social media & digital capabilities. Nothing excites Zosya more than bringing ambitious ideas to life through innovative marketing technologies.


This transcript is provided by a transcription service, and therefore, may contain spoken word syntax and grammatical errors.

Jay Fedje: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Enrollment Edge Podcast for college enrollment and marketing leaders. I'm your host, Jay Fedje. The Enrollment Edge is sponsored by enrollmentFUEL, a trusted full-service student search and marketing partner to colleges and universities across the country. If you'd like to learn more about enrollmentFUEL services, or you have questions about today's episode, we've included a link to our website in the show notes. You can also email us at edge@enrollmentfuel.com. We'd love to hear what you think. You can help us by subscribing to our podcast, sharing it with your friends and leaving a five-star review on Apple Podcasts. On today's Enrollment Edge, I have a conversation with Zosya Popik a digital marketing expert and social media consultant. Zosya has over 12 years of professional marketing experience, specifically in building and scaling digital capabilities for global companies and brands. Zosya has worked for fortune 500 companies focusing on deepening consumer brand connection through social media campaigns, as she puts it, consumers are everywhere. Can we talk about the use of digital marketing tactics, how digital is continually changing the digital ecosystem that colleges have to pay attention to and how colleges must be brand authentic and channel appropriate on different digital platforms. Digital marketing is often misunderstood or partially understood or generally undefined. So, we'll touch on some of the basics that all enrollment and marketing managers should know. Welcome to the Enrollment Edge, Zosya. It's great to have you. 

Zosya Popik: [00:01:51] Thanks. It's great to be here. I'm excited to chat with you. 

Jay Fedje: [00:01:54] That's great. We're talking to Zoysa Popik digital marketing expert and Zosya comes with 12 plus years of experience in the digital marketing world in a variety of industries from fortune 500 companies ranging from financial to pharmaceutical, but primary focusing on connecting businesses to their consumers.  You talked about verticals and we're going to dive into that a little bit too. So, I want to make sure that we touch on that. One of the things that struck me as we had a conversation some weeks ago, Zosya was the fact that I talk with so many enrollment managers in the business, marketers and our managers at colleges and universities, and we talk, start talking about the digital space is either misunderstood or is less understood than it should be, or it is really something that's changed and marketers at colleges don't really have a good grasp of it but as we were talking about things I realized, wow, we've got to get back to some basics, I think for a lot of college marketers. So, I approached you with this idea that let's do a series, of podcasts over the next 18 months and talk about digital and talk about things that I think our marketing folks and our enrollment folks at colleges need to know, and today is the baseline. So, we're going to start at that first entry level. Time and space on the topic of digital marketing that that folks just need to start defining things and getting some good understanding and I think that's one of the places that when I talked to you, I thought, man, that's, I think a lot of folks need to hear that. In your 12 years Zosya there's been a lot, that's changed hasn't it?

Zosya Popik: [00:03:41] Yeah, I think out of all the spaces that I worked at and I started in traditional marketing because digital really wasn't what it is today, by any means to your question, there's been so much change in the digital realm specifically around the way that, consumers consume content or individuals or any, and what they expect from the brands that they love and know, and the places that they visit. That's the main piece of the pie that I would say is the hardest one to crack because it's so dynamic and ever-changing, and it's really hard to keep up and it's really hard to keep up for industries and within industries that in a space that weren't, aren't used to nimble change, you have startups and tech companies that are used to that agile way of working, but so many companies that are used to traditional, more traditional marketing route, it's much harder to just switch it and be able to be super nimble and agile. So, I think keeping up with those trends is something that, I would recommend everyone. Every facet and every business in every industry to really focus on right now, because it's not going away and I know that since, for the past 12 years, social media was a phase that you had to convince business leaders and CEO's and CMO’s on, eight years ago. I think their number one focus is social media now, right? When we, when it comes to digital marketing. S,o I think that trend is not going anywhere and I think it's imperative that. That colleges and universities consider how they're speaking to consumers across their digital channels from an overall brand perspective, because that's where everyone gets their information now. 

Jay Fedje: [00:05:11] It feels like, it's interesting. I've been in the higher ed industry for a very long time and the digital space seems to be one that we've always feel like we're chasing something that is hard to grasp, and especially at a college where I think you mentioned that there are certain parts of, within industries that are slower to adapt and move than others and I think college and universities tend to have that characteristic, that we are slow to adapt and to change especially our marketing branding and recruiting strategies and techniques, and in this space, really you have to be nimble, don't you?

Zosya Popik: [00:05:45] Yup. A hundred percent. I think you have to know what the consumer base because consumers are everyone, right? Whether you're a student, a parent, whether you're, somebody who's a graduate student you're a consumer. You buy things. You shop online. 99.9% of these folks are also using Amazon and expect that experience, rate one, click, get what you need and you move on with your life. So, for instance, attention span, I think the statistic is three seconds these days, when it comes to digital.

Jay Fedje: [00:06:17] Its a hummingbird. Yeah. 

Zosya Popik: [00:06:19] Try and get your messaging across in three seconds. It's next to impossible, and it becomes like you said it's becomes chasing the consumer across every single different channel that they're leveraging on their day-to-day life, that they may not even be thinking about it from a marketing perspective. You're scrolling on Instagram. Then you're you see something you like or taking to another website you're hit with banner ads, and then you get an email notification notifying that you left something in your cart while you're scrolling your email. You also see, some other form that you almost finished and, but didn't, and so you get those reminders. So, you grow to expect this kind of communication from everyone. Industry and every place that you visited, every store that you shop from. So, I think that expectation is there for everything. When I worked in the farmers pharma space, that we were trying to have that same approach to clinical trial recruitment. So, that's no different in the school setting where when a student is looking for a school or a parent is looking for a place for their child to go and they want more information. They expect what they expect from Starbucks, and if it's anything less, it causes them to think twice. So, you have that ingrained expectation from folks these days on a seamless experience on the digital side of things. So, I think that's one thing, wherever you can improve or wherever you can consider it, it's really end to end it. Doesn't just start with your advertising. It starts with your whole entire digital portfolio. 

Jay Fedje: [00:07:43] Oh, and I can tell right now that there are a number of enrollment leaders out there that are just going into a flop sweat. When you say that they have to have an experience like Starbucks or Amazon, because they have all the resources and colleges have so little resource I've talked with folks over the years that it's just, okay, let me. Let me just have one small advantage. Can I take one tiny step one before the next for the next? And then eventually maybe I'll catch up and it's hard to encourage them that's going to get them there because this is moving so fast. 

Zosya Popik: [00:08:20] I get that, and I think it's, it's that tree it's what I do in my consulting across the board. Is understanding the marketing budgets and what they look like and where to allocate funds based on what the future looks like. Essentially thinking about ways to future-proof your business. Everything's a business in essence, right? Unless you are a non-for-profit and even that's a business too. If you're considering how to think about the future for whatever you're trying to do, you have to think along with the trends and then allocate your resources accordingly. So, it's good to think about the right now and what you need to do for this season this quarter, the session this year, but it's really more important to be forward thinking about what is it gonna. Five years from now, and where do I make that investment in order to be sustainable for that long, and that's where I start to, talk about where your marketing dollars truly necessary, and where are they going? Is it in the rebuild of the infrastructure of your website so that it can support the agile, nimble changes that you will need to make along the way versus having to pay webmasters, tons of money to do custom coding because it's antiquated and it's older and you're good. Ultimately spending way more anyway. So, I think it's about evaluation of where you want to be, five years from now and then allocating your resources accordingly, and that's separate from, your marketing and branding, but it is inherent within your overall branding and future thinking of the way that you want to present yourself as a university or school to students and parents and faculty alike.

Jay Fedje: [00:09:49] Yeah, as I've had conversations over the past several years, one of the things that is a constant among college marketers and enrollment professionals is everyone's looking for the magic tool to capture the attention of a prospective student, and they're becoming more and more elusive the parents and the students together have so many challenges, but they're being bombarded in so many different ways. It's how do we get our messages in front of them? So, I think where I'd like to start or continue our conversation is by talking about some of the basics. When we talk about digital marketing, and we've, that's a buzz term that goes quickly. It's the top of the umbrella, there are a lot of pieces underneath that. Talk a bit about what is, what are we talking about when we're talking about digital marketing for the industry. 

Zosya Popik: [00:10:37] So, for everyone has their own definition of digital marketing. It varies across the board for anyone that you may talk to, but I'll speak from my personal experience and expertise. It's really the whole entire ecosystem of the way that you speak to your target audience. So, it, it runs the gamut from social to your web experience, to any pay-per-click advertising and search marketing that you would do. All the way through to the way that you communicate within a chat functionality on your website that reaches and it spreads across customer service. So, any touchpoint any connection to your, the individual audience member, individual target consumer or student parent however you want it to find that. Person is a digital marketing opportunity, and that spans across all those things that I mentioned, and they all have to be connected or sing with one another in some way. There's no magic bullet or one main channel that will fix it all for anyone. You could have an awesome ad campaign that is amazing breaks through the noise, makes a big splash and you click on it because you're interested and you have. Really poor web experience and you've lost that person. The first, two seconds of loading your website. So, there's no one, one thing that will fix it all. There's no one methodology or method to do it doing digital marketing properly. It has to be almost a full ecosystem that runs together, speaks to one another and ensures a very seamless communication. To get consumer from point A to point B with the least amount of friction in the shortest amount of time. If I were to sum it up in one sentence, that's what I've come to expect as a consumer in the second ID rail off of that, and something takes too long. You lose my interest immediately, and I go to look for someone else who could do it better, and I think that is no exception to any industry or anything that we do. I think everybody expects the best and the most technologically advanced, because we are in an age that it's pretty accessible to everyone, and most consumers are extremely knowledgeable about what's an advertisement what's paid, what's not, and how. You know how they're being treated as a consumer from an advertising perspective. So, authenticity really does lead the way as well in, in marketing but yeah. We could talk about that in a whole separate section authenticity and specific kind of advertising tactics on digital are key components too, but really digital marketing is that whole ecosystem, and how do we get information and conversion to from a consumer as quickly as we can in this most seamless way. 

Jay Fedje: [00:13:14] Now, one of the things that you talk about with an ecosystem, really glad you talk about it in that space and those terms, because I think that by and large enrollment managers with limited budgets, marketers at colleges, limited budgets are looking for space or things they can do. I can check that off the list. We have banner ads where we have this web page that's built, but the website isn't rebuilt or search engine optimization has we paid attention to it last year, but we haven't done anything in all the rules seem to have changed. So, I really am glad that you talked about ecosystem in that regard, but one of the things that you mentioned, and I want to unpack this a little bit more, and that is you talk about getting from point a to point B in an efficient way. So, quickly seamlessly without lots of friction. Tell me how as you were trying to engage and. Bring 17- and 18-year-olds into the conversation and as well as adults and not traditional students. Talk about where efficiency and engagement or efficiency and compelling how those merge, because I think some of the sites that I've always looked at and thought were great, or the ones that were. Fun funny, quirky that engaged in some things that I would want to share with somebody else especially in social media realm but talk about that. How is it that we're able to do both efficient and compelling and cool and fun at the same time? 

Zosya Popik: [00:14:53] I think there's a very fine line between those two things, and I think there's a very distinguished role for every channel. So, I think social media, like you said there's a specific reason and expectation from social. It's exactly the definition of the world word. It's social media. It's meant to be shareable. It's meant to be fun. It's meant to be an escape and that's why people spend so much time on it. There's it's also meant to be entertaining. So, I think that place on social is where you have the ability to be a little bit more, free, comedic, funny grabby in terms of being able to do some quirky branding messaging. Whereas when you get to the website or you, when you're getting to the place where you're providing information, I think that's where you need to do it in the most efficient way, without maybe any kind of ability to derail someone in an old direction. So, I think the web and where you're landing those folks from your advertising piece is where you need to create that. Bullet simple reasons to believe as to why I should continue to provide my information to you because I am interested in XYZ and then get them to the point of destination of being able to submit their information and there's your lead, right? That's where you keep that very efficient, succinct, and clean and clear, same thing with pay-per-click right where you have banners and you're trying to grab someone in their search. You also want to be very clear and concise. It's not the opportunity for you to be unclear with your messaging. You want to bring your best reason why someone should come to this school or visit the website front and for first and foremost in your marketing. So, I think there's a role for every single channel and how you can deviate in your messaging and where you there's times where you can be that fun and exciting digital ad and there's also times where you just need to be very clean and concise with what you're driving, because people are at a different moment in time when they're searching in different channels. So, for example, if I'm looking on Google and I'm searching for something, I'm going to perform an action, I need information I want. I am already active. I'm not at the very beginning of low awareness. I'm actually looking for something and I'm typing in the terms that I'm expecting to get the result that I need. So, you want to grab those folks in the easiest way, because they're already doing they're there for the exact reason why you're there. For social, you really try to break through the noise and trying to pop out against everything else that the consumer's consuming and then on the website, you've already got them there. So, you deliver your message. So, if I could bucket it out and divide it into those three things, I think that would be a good starting point in breaking it down into a more consumable way to attack digital marketing at the ground level. 

Jay Fedje: [00:17:38] I think that's one of the challenges that a lot of college marketers face, and that is the translation of channel and voice on channel. There's so many college marketers that I've come in contact with over the years, that really started out in the print business. So, they their focus is a brochure or a direct mail piece. Whether that's a postcard or a 16 to 20 page glossy guidebook. That's the mentality of it and they're trying to translate some of those principles, those basics into a digital campaign, which really just continues to be a singular voice. So, we're going to always talk in heavy text. We're always going to want to try to sell them and tell them. Everything about us as opposed to snippets and soundbites and bullets in and that's very different, isn't it? When the design of print and the design of a social media campaign or a banner ad campaign, or even what you have on your website, that is an extraordinarily different way, a method of communicating, isn't it?

Zosya Popik: [00:18:45] Yeah. I think that is what I see across the board in every industry, to some level, unless you're a brand new startup that starts from the ground up in this kind of way of thinking about marketing. I, too, come from that print business, where I worked in publications in New York city, and we were before a digital company, we were. Event business that sold publication advertising space in our magazines across several different verticals and we've relied on the heavy texts, the print copy and all of the tactile marketing, traditional marketing facets that we're used to before, but it's completely different now. Take the Ocean Spray, cranberry juice, Tik Tok skater guy who social media and, Ocean Spray didn't have to do anything. So, pay the guy, its Tik Tok content and that's the world that we live in today and unless we're thinking, at least thinking from that perspective we don't have to necessarily action right away but I recommend that everyone does to some degree. You're going to start thinking about marketing in a completely different way, because that is what is marketing today. It is not, translating an email or a long form website into a small advertisement that we could distribute across digital channels. There is no room for copy. Facebook rejects it at 80%, it's actually not allowed on the platform and won't get your advertising dollar suspend because it is not the ideal experience for the folks that are coming to their platform and they want to provide that for their user base and so that being said, you have to truly flip exactly what you think about. Traditional marketing and it is really about the consumer and that's what I really mean about why bring up the Ocean Spray Tik Tok guy, is because he created that content for no reason other than for himself go viral, but now that's the avenue that a lot of these brands are taking and relying on the consumers to provide them with that. Know-how and that's why influencers are so popular because they're like us, right? They're not this untouchable celebrity that we used to see endorsed products back in the day on TV commercials. Only these are folks who can actually message on Instagram and they'll reply to you with a recommendation for what they like and what they want and you go and buy that stuff. I do. So, I think that same approach across any industry is imperative for survival within the extreme influx of content digitally that people consume on a daily basis and not only was amplified with COVID right. As we all stayed at home, we all didn't do anything other than binge on every Netflix show that you could find and consume as much social media memes as possible, because that's the only thing that we had available to us. We were missing that human interaction and I think that's here to stay even more so right. We've just now had that learn behavior, be amplified even more. 

Jay Fedje: [00:21:49] Relationships, starting a relationship in the virtual space, with soundbites for a lot of colleges, they feel like that's beneath them or outside of them, or they don't necessarily understand the mentality of a 17 or 18 year old to capture something and send it to their friends because it's quirky or funny. I'm sure Ocean Spray saw that guy on Tic Tok and went, oh my God, that's $5 billion worth of advertising. We just got in, we're just going to give him a truck load of product and this guy just blew up our advertising campaign so that our sales just. Yup and they didn't do a thing they just had to go. Yes, he's right. Ocean spray is great. I think that really is a place where colleges and universities have to find themselves because colleges and universities, unlike a lot of other products take themselves very seriously. We're a very serious. School or about learning or about very serious things and we need to be able to start a conversation and begin a relationship with a teenager in a quirky way and not necessarily take away from, or denigrate our brand of being a serious school, but being able to start a relationship and a conversation with them, buddy in a fun way and I think there's a lot of colleges that have concerns about. 

Zosya Popik: [00:23:12] Yeah, I think that goes back to what I mentioned in the beginning when we first started chatting about authenticity and I think that is the other side of the coin. You can do the best digital marketing or marketing across the board, but if you're not being authentic, it's going to fall flat because consumers can see right through that these days. When I'll use an example, since we, we mentioned COVID before. When everybody started talking about, supporting all of our support, nurses and doctors and brands clammed onto that and started using that in their advertising. I mean their approval rating for those brands and brand sentiment went down drastically because they know they were just trying to grab onto something that was topical. Cause everyone was paying attention, but not necessarily had anything to do with their brand. They were just using it for their own, marketing gains and solve right through that. So, if you're not addressing things head on, and really listening to them. Your know, your fan base and I use air quotes there, or your student body or the folks that actually, blow out and talk about you and do the recruiting for you because, and you're, speakerphones for your book brand and you're not listening to what's important to them and then communicating that out, you're missing the boat, right? So, if value, he was important, right and not having student loans is important too, which is important to everyone these days and that's the message that you want to talk about. Then talk about the programs that you offer and the grants that you provide and if location is important and you and remote learning is important. That, and that's something that's important to your fan base. We'll talk directly about that. It's not necessarily about the glamour and the, what you want to be perceived as a brand and as a school, it's about what you can provide. That's valuable for folks that are thinking about giving you all this money to get an education, they're relying on what's important to them to guide their decision making and that you should show up as a brand to provide that same information and actually, hold true to that claim that you make as a marketing individual who's running campaigns. So, I think, yeah, to me it's the single most important piece is being authentic and the way that you produce your marketing collateral on digital channels is key. 

Jay Fedje: [00:25:25] That's such a good point on being transparent, authentic but not coming off as being opportunistic. When it's not appropriate, I think this is the most, and I've read a number of different soundbites in articles over the past few years. This is the most aware self-aware and aware audience in history and for marketing. So, 17- and 18-year-olds are on the tip of that group, where they. They know when they're getting marketed to, and they know when it's phony and they know when it's a contrite or they know when it's made up or it's not real and so consequently, we have to work very hard diligently to make sure that we are providing real brands. Messages that are unique, but also very true to the company organization or college, as we're talking to does topic, digital marketing expert here today about all things, digital marketing and what I'd like to hear also, because it's also, you have so much experience outside of colleges and universities that I would love to hear your view, your response to. What are things that other industries know within the digital marketing world that colleges and universities just don't and they're not up to speed on it yet. They need to know this in order to be competitive in that communication space. 

Zosya Popik: [00:26:40] I think that the information is out there. So, I think the number one piece that I think everyone should knows that there is information out there in terms of learning and being able to educate yourself on. What is, what is new in marketing from a digital perspective, just taking a couple of classes on what social media marketing is and how to do it as the key. So, I think knowing that there's learning opportunities that are completely free, like this podcast plug but that there are those learning opportunities that are available to them. So, I think aside from just the actual advertising piece, there are learning opportunities for you to get to know what is actually missing from your own marketing strategy outside of, your conventional I have to take a digital marketing course that is run by XYZ, there's LinkedIn learning and all those pieces. So, I think start there if you're questioning it right but aside from that, aside from educating yourself, I think there is a huge misconception of how to use social media and how to use digital marketing overall and what are the best practices I think, and it's up to, the agencies that are experts in these fields to educate their clients about that and It really comes from content. I think that's the most important piece is the content is not king, it's actually the kingdom. It's what everyone expects and clamps onto from a perspective of a brand, it's what you put out there in the world and how you disseminated across channels and tweak it to fit into the world of social or the world of your website, or how do you talk about it in an email? I think having that content strategy be, an ingrained part of your brand marketing strategy is the number one probably missed opportunity in certain industries. That I don't see happening. I don't see incorporating, the student life into your marketing and using user generated content and using social media content that's already created for you and, I referenced the virality of the Tik Tok video, but I there's plenty of opportunities across the board for your own brand. You just have to look, and using social listening and using social listening methodologies to go find that and those tools are working with an agency that helps you do that, If you don't want to put those dollars in it yourself and getting a pulse check on what's going on and how your brand is being talked about in the digital space. We'll offer you those opportunities to understand how you can either a fix it if something's wrong, be amplified if something's working and you see it's happening organically, how do I latch onto that and amplify it myself because I see that it's already happening for me or three, just really learn about what your brand is perceived as I think a lot of more antiquated industries are ones that aren't super advanced in digital marketing quite yet, miss the opportunity to really listen and listen is really easy to do because it's all on the internet. Now you don't have to go and pay, thousands of dollars to survey people. To get your market research, you can literally use a social listening platform, type in your keywords, and it will spit back everything anyone's ever said on the internet up to seven years ago. 

Jay Fedje: [00:29:54] No kidding. I've never heard that term before.

Zosya Popik: [00:29:56] Yeah. Social listening. That's what I used to do in the pharmaceutical space. Okay, industries that identify how certain patients feel about certain disease states with public data, so that we can better understand how to recruit them for clinical trials so that they know that they have more opportunities. It's no different with consumers or anyone, right? These are all people, we're all consumers, whatever we want to call them in our industry. Your audience knows this stuff. They go, they're more than willing to write reviews on products. They're more than willing to go and have deep long threads talking about specific things and that's all scrapable through social listening and it's huge. It's not cheap if you go through an agency, but it is a huge value investment in terms of the value it brings to your organization and your brands and giving you the insight that you need to really understand how you're perceived, how you can fix it and also, what channels are you being talked about? The most you could go and advertise there because you know that the audience is they're ready. 

Jay Fedje: [00:31:00] You bring up one point, actually you brought it up a couple of times. I want to point it out and ask you a little bit more about that and that is that colleges and universities tend to be places where budgets are tight, marketing is, I've been at colleges and I've talked to colleges about their expanding, their billboard advertising and their yellow page advertising. They're still in that space and so digital, the digital world is even farther removed but things they are not even considering our budgeting for, talk a minute about expertise in this area. There are so many college marketing departments that feel like they've got a digital plan or marketing plan that they do digital well But we've talked about agencies and even for-profit large companies that you've worked for and around, or for many years they hire experts in the field to come in because they know they can't, or they don't have that particular expertise in that space. We talked about digital or social listening, to be able to use the information there and be able to adapt that data, that information into a strategy is that something that colleges need to strongly consider is that they need to go find those social experts, those digital experts to inform them and to help them strategize?

Zosya Popik: [00:32:18] I think if they're putting any budget into the yellow pages yes, 100%, but in all seriousness, I think what I've noticed the most is that I don't believe that there's a separate, there should be a separate. Or separated marketing budget for marketing and recruitment and enrollment. I think those things, and as I learn about the industry more, I find, I uncover certain things that I didn't know but your marketing, right? Your marketing budget, that overall talks about your entire brand as a school is imperative to any of the digital marketing that you're going to be running for recruitment purposes and enrollment purposes. Those things go hand in hand, they should be looked at holistically because you're ultimately doing the same thing at once splitting dollars that should be combined to get the maximum effort and that's what I'm seeing as a big mess. Is how does the marketing department support the enrollment managers in terms of the budgets that are allocated in advertising? Because you're running typically, you're running awareness ad so that's top of the funnel just brand awareness, or you should be if you're not and that goes hand in hand with, commercials, YouTube advertising, CTV, connected TV, all those platforms that are built to drive mass eyes on any kind of marketing message that you're putting out there, but with that will also come the awareness of the university. So, you have to work together to make sure that you're not spending money for the same reason, double time so you can do both with one piece, you can build awareness through an enrollment campaign. You could also build your lead generation for prospects through a marketing campaign, that's building awareness. So, unless those two things are analyzed and evaluated together it's really hard to maximize your budget because you're ultimately spending double the amount of money for something you could consolidate and make efficient for both goals. 

Jay Fedje: [00:34:22] We talk with schools all the time at enrollmentFuel about opening new markets. School is a regionally tied school where they get most of the students within a certain footprint around their campus. They want to open up a new market in another Metro area and by and large the strategy amounts to some more travel to the area more named buy so students' names are purchased in those areas in potentially an event or some events in that area and a while maybe 10, 15 years ago that could have begun the process pretty well, or maybe even begun an awareness campaign in that space now that's really undercutting the opportunity of a new market in that right now, if you don't open a new market up with a full-fledged awareness campaign in the digital space, you're probably missing a lot of opportunities correct? 

Zosya Popik: [00:35:16] I think so. It's just so different now, you can get all of your information online, right? You could do 360 walking tour of a house that you want to buy. I bought the house I'm in completely sight unseen by doing a virtual tour. Yeah, and it's that's a big decision and a big purchase as is investing in your education. Yeah. you can check it all out online. You could go on a Reddit thread and read what other students say about it. You could go on Instagram, you could go on Twitter and communicate and connect with folks that already attend or have attended and get all the information that you might get walking through a recruitment event and talking to someone at a booth, that's handing you a pamphlet. So, I think to your point, it's I don't say those things, those physical interactions go away. I think they're they still have to be done. Cause you still do want that personalization. You want that grassroots marketing effort of course but you also need to consider that coupled with the support from digital, because. unless you're taking control of your own voice. That's spreading across the internet in any way, shape or form and let it be positive and or negative. That voice is going to be communicated for you and if you're a brand and you don't take that back and then push out your own messaging from the way that you need to be perceived in an authentic way. You're missing the opportunity to grab all those people that are already looking for you in that method. So, I think you, you do both, but I think you're right. I think not having that digital amplification piece of the campaign when you're trying to open up new regions is basically imperative and within digital marketing, you're able to target so closely to region. and I know some of those things. are changing with data privacy and all of that. They are, to some degree, you still have that within your social networks. You they're just, don't give it back to you to understand where those folks are, but they are giving you the opportunity to target them in locations that they are, if they allow their phones to, to open that up and those people that open their phones up to be able to be tracked. They want to see the advertising cause they don't, they want to see relevant ads so the way that they search the way that they live, where they are, they don't necessarily just want to see generic marketing. Personalization is key and there's a ton of technology that allows industries and companies to do that without having to do a ton of lifting that's manual, you do have to financially invest in that kind of technology for your business. So, again, it goes back to that five-year planning, where do you want to be five years from now knowing things change and knowing that these companies adapt themselves to be changed and support you along the way. so why not make that investment? Which is what I would always recommend, it might seem like a lot of money right now, but it's going to hold you up for the next five years. Is everything changes every six months, which it does. 

Jay Fedje: [00:38:04] Yeah, and in six months seems to be almost getting shorter and shorter all the time, too. We've been talking to Zosya Popik, we're coming to the end Zosya, of our time together today, but I just want to plant the seeds of our next series or the next episodes down the series. We have, you have touched on so many topics that I just want to unpack, search engine optimization and building upon impressions and a full-scale ecosystem. That's going to be the next one, I think is we're going to talk about the ecosystem and unpack those pillars within that the system that the schools need to pay attention to, but I have so appreciated your time today Zoysa. I love talking to you about this because I learned something every single time I come away with with some new insights in this. So, I really appreciate your time today.

Zosya Popik: [00:38:53] No, it was awesome. I'm happy to keep talking more about it. I think that's the one thing about digital is that it's never ending and there's another topic that comes out as you speak another sentence. Yeah, I'm excited and thanks for having me.

Jay Fedje: [00:39:04] Thank you Zosya, you've been listening to the Enrollment Edge Podcast. Enrollment Edge is sponsored by enrollmentFUEL, a full-service student search and marketing partner to colleges and universities. If you're listening on Apple podcasts, please give us a five-star rating and review. Your feedback will help us remain relevant and on the edge. The Enrollment Edge is produced by Alison Walls. I'm your host, Jay Fedje. Thanks for listening.