Say you own a company. You built a whiz-bang app or the greatest new gadget that people just have to buy! So, you contact a website builder. You want to market your new gadget. You need people to know about it. Let me ask you some questions.
Will you talk about your competition? Will you quote the price on the site? Will you tell readers about the focus group comments, including the ones that were negative?
It’s been a time of tremendous change at Campus (formerly known as Ucroo). While technically the company technically started in 2012, it wasn’t until April of 2017 that Campus came to the US from Australia. (Why? There are only 40 universities in all of Australia, with a handful of technical colleges. While Campus worked in 7-8 of those schools – a tremendous percentage – there was no real opportunity for growth.)
But starting in January of this year, we believe it is fair to say that our team and product have gone through some significant growth and transformation. New partners, major updates to the product, a new code platform, new team members, and a lot more signify serious (positive) changes. That includes from a marketing and branding perspective as well. We have recently started working with a new marketing company and are going to change our strategy very significantly moving forward. What does that mean?
It means radical transparency. If you have any consideration for getting a message out to the masses at all, I highly recommend the book, “They Ask, You Answer (Sheridan, 2017).” Similar to other works we have found philosophically important such as, “Get Naked (Rooney, 2017),” it tells the story of how a pool company went from almost bankrupt to million dollar revenues seemingly overnight. What was the key to their success? Blogging. Well, not just blogging. Blogging (as well as other content) answering real, serious, important questions people had, no matter how hard or potentially embarrassing they might be to answer.
For the past few years, we have tried to create blogs on our site that are “timeless.” We wanted to create pieces that readers could use due to their authority and subject areas. You may have noticed we rarely used the Campus name, we rarely talked about our platform, and we almost always discussed big, over-arching issues facing higher education. We mostly wrote in the 3rd person, providing a more professional, academic feel to our work.
So, starting with this blog, you are going to see a new schema for our company. Yes, we will still try to create timeless, academic, or otherwise authoritative pieces from time to time. (Check out our Teach Better Series for a 2018 look at “best” teaching and learning.) We have a couple of lifelong academics here at Campus and we will continue to leverage their expertise. These are guys who get approached regularly for high level consulting – we’ll try to promote the messages they are asked about regularly. (We encourage you to check out the Institute for Inter-Connected Education. Campus’ CAO, Dr. Jeff Borden is the executive director of that organization and blogs on that site regularly regarding teaching and learning, social connection for students, and much more.)
But we will also include blogs associated with radical transparency. We’ll make it a series, in fact. So what do we mean by radical transparency?
If Sheridan’s research is correct, less than 15% of all websites include the price of their product(s). Why? Among other reasons, because they think their competitors will see the cost and under-sell them. (Competitors likely already know about cost.) Or perhaps because consumers will be “scared away” by the price, so it is important to “trick” people into working with you instead. (In this day and age, consumers already know 85% about your product before contacting you and they want to know the cost – they don’t want sales tricks… Long gone are the “buyer beware” days!) So, you’ll read about Campus pricing in our new series. Yes, there are variables associated with cost, but you already get that, right? That is one example of radical transparency we are committed to in this series.
Other topics might include discussing the other vendors in this space. You’re going to do that research anyway, right? We’ll talk about some of the things they do really well and try to promote some of the stuff we think we’re better at if we can. And we’ll do it respectfully. After all, you aren’t likely out there bad-mouthing other colleges and universities (athletics aside). It’s unseemly. But we’ll do our best to talk about what we believe to be true.
How about problems with our work, platform, or service? Yep, those too. Road-map considerations? Yes. Where does Ucroo fit into a learning ecosystem? You bet. What IS a learning ecosystem? Absolutely. Partner successes? Assuming we get permission, then that too.
In other words, we are going to try very hard to answer your questions. From how to meaningfully retain students to whether or not you need a stand-alone, dedicated mobile app (you don’t), we will tackle some serious, weighty issues. Ideally, the site will soon have enough content that you won’t even need to ask many questions. Each blog will essentially become a FAQ (although we’ll have one of those on the website too) and you can look at the Radical Transparency tag to see them all. Through this information, we believe you will be armed with the information you need to determine if our platform is indeed an omni-channel, community based, portal replacing, holistic student life-cycle system, actually helping you realize ROI.
We hope you like the new feel to the blogs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, comments, or other thoughts ([email protected]). Then watch the blog regularly for the answers. We hope you find this approach helpful and insightful as you work to better education. We also hope you see that our goal is to stand beside you on the journey as we work to better education too.