Everyone is a marketer now. In the age of choice, where the consumer has access to orders of magnitude more options than ever before, marketing is more important than ever as a way to cut through the noise.
Just take a look at this article on how colleges are incorporating online marketing into the admissions/recruiting process.
Colleges are starting to use all the tactics marketers have developed this past decade, from old chestnuts like email and personalization (Case Western, Cal Poly), to the new new things like podcasting (Allegheny College), blogging (MIT), viral videos (Franklin & Marshall), and even a videogame (DePauw).
Sadly, my alma mater HBS does seem to be doing anything innovative...I've been begging them to do something with blogging for years now. That's the problem with being #1--you get conservative and stop trying as hard.
Beware--no matter how prestigious you are, you're not immune to the market. Just remember what one student told the reporter:
"I read e-mails more than I looked at all the paper schools sent," she
says. "I put all the pamphlets from schools in a pile to look at one day. But
with e-mail, I would read it and was either intrigued and looked further or I