Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Powerful Example

(1:11) Amazingly, we've occasionally received over-the-air TV from Miami, FL while anchored in the Exumas, Bahamas. If you have followed my Minutes, you know I love real world examples of points I'm trying to make.

(1:05) As we caught up on events, I was struck by an ad for Phoenix University that was being run repeatedly. If you are outside the US or don't usually watch TV, I would imagine you can find it on YouTube.

(1:00) The ad used the well known song from The Wizard of Oz, "If I Only Had a Brain", with a change-up on the words. It was a terrific use of a familiar tune combined with an interesting female voice. I literally can't get it out of my head.

(0:53) The reason I bring it up here is that I think they did a masterful job of finding and presenting how Phoenix University is different.

(0:49) There is no question that online education will continue into the future, but like all dramatic changes in paradigms, it needs to prove its worth. Rightly or wrongly, online degrees are still seen as second best. I've no doubt that Phoenix University is struggling with that. How do you compete with traditional brick and mortar universities? You don't, you figure out how you are different.

(0:37) Wisely, they realized the key is convincing potential employers of the worth of their graduates. Remember, these are not silver-spooned kids attending school on their parents' dime.

(0:32) So the ad focuses on what is different about the Phoenix University students verses students attending a traditional university. They show a variety of vignettes of hardworking students juggling jobs, kids, and other responsibilities, while working on their degree.

(0:24) To me the message was that these people bring so much more than just a degree. They bring hard work, determination, life experience - the things that can not be taught. In fact, I believe the final line is: "A degree's, a degree, you're going to want someone like me. That's if you've got a brain."

(0:16) It was targeted. It was hard hitting. And it was believable. I found myself thinking, I'd rather hire that waitress grabbing some study time than a fresh-faced graduate.

(0:11) They set out to show potential employers how their students are different in a way that is better. They convinced me and I bet they convinced others as well.

(0:06) The lesson, find out what makes you different from your competition and present it in a unique and memorable way. Use that difference to drive more business to your marina.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.