The VPM Blog

Don Crow

Don Crow
Don is an entrepreneur, husband, father, brother, son and several other names we can’t mention here. Don honed his leadership and decision-making skills as a decorated U.S. Army officer. He cut his teeth in the corporate world at AOL, serving as a Marketing and Operations Director, and then went on to deal as a major gifts officer for Auburn University with a focus on Corporate Relations. Verge Pipe Media represents the third venture Don has been a key player in founding.
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Recent Posts

Three Ways to Incorporate Chatbots in Higher Ed

Posted by Don Crow on Nov 14, 2017 12:00:00 AM

If you don't really know what a "chatbot" is, don't worry. Many people don't know them by that name, but chances are great that you've interacted with, or engaged in an online activity with a bot. If you do know what a chatbot is, but haven't considered it functional in Higher Ed just yet, I hate to tell you that you're already behind.

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Topics: higher ed, chatbots

How to Use Inbound for Enrollment Services

Posted by Don Crow on Oct 19, 2017 12:00:00 AM

There was a time when your University "brand" alone was all the enrollment service you need. Students indicated where they wanted to go on their ACT / SAT or they called your main office number - and there was probably only one back then - or they were legacy students and the only, "service" you had to offer was to ask the graduation year of mom and dad.

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Topics: higher ed inbound marketing

For Deans: The Danger of Adding Headcount

Posted by Don Crow on Sep 21, 2017 12:00:00 AM

At the end of 2008, I transitioned jumped from corporate America into the world of Higher Ed administration. Over the next three years, I would see and learn many things, and ultimately decide that my value in Higher Ed was on the outside.

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Topics: higher ed marketing

Top 3 Reasons to Outsource Your Higher Ed Marketing

Posted by Don Crow on Aug 29, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Casual observers of Verge Pipe Media know we are in the business of providing outsourced marketing to clients in Higher Education, Technology and Healthcare. If however, you're arriving at this article with less than a clue who VPM is or what we do, this is your disclaimer that the following article, while objectively outlined, may seem partial to the idea of outsourcing your higher ed marketing.

Outsourcing is one of those words long overdue for a suitable replacement. During political cycles, which increasingly seem to go on longer and longer, it's a dirty word used to strike fear in the hearts of voters. In corporate board rooms it's a term with few equals whenever cost savings is on the agenda.

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Topics: higher ed marketing

How to Make an Attention Grabbing CTA

Posted by Don Crow on Aug 24, 2017 9:00:00 AM

If you stumbled upon this article hoping to learn how to improve your, "Critical Thinking Appraisal" you might want to tap the 'back' button. Yes, this is a blog that is all about helping Higher Education professionals, but in the areas of Marketing and Communications.

A very important part of the Inbound Marketing process is an attention grabbing Call To Action (CTA) to help convert those strangers you attract into leads. Translated as:

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Topics: higher ed inbound marketing

Why Your About Us Video Needs to Change

Posted by Don Crow on Jul 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM

You'd have to be under a pretty large rock to have not noticed how much video content has taken over our newsfeeds. It seems we have more options than ever to "go live," stream daily (and nightly) activities, or just hit record with a smartphone, make some basic edits and produce a well polished video to share with the world.

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Topics: Video Content, Video Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a Marathon, not a Sprint

Posted by Don Crow on Jun 6, 2017 9:00:00 AM

If you've never run a marathon, and I have not, the whole thing seems like torture. The training, the diet, the race itself, and let's be real - the recovery - all seem like exercises in bodily pain all for the sake of a t-shirt.

Sprinting by comparison seems easy. You can see the start and finish line clearly, the other runners aren't stacked on top of one another, and you'll sometimes see runners - albeit well trained ones - sprint in several races per day.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

A Very Verge Pipe Media History Lesson

Posted by Don Crow on May 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM

I don't recall the exact day Verge Pipe Media became a reality. It wasn't when the blog began as a free WordPress site, or the day we processed our first payment from a client or the day we hosted a hospitality tent at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce golf tournament.

Verge Pipe Media introduced to the world at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament, September 24, 2010 (Moore's Mill Club)

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Client Leadership

What's the difference between Marketing and Advertising?

Posted by Don Crow on Apr 5, 2017 9:00:00 AM

We seem to be on a food-in-our-blogs kick here at Verge Pipe Media recently, and this article won't be any different. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. I love to eat.
  2. #Foodstagramming makes for some powerful visuals.
  3. You'll notice by the end of this article, the very real struggle of my diet (marketing) combined with my short term behaviors (advertising) have led to a lot of my own confusion on how to get out of this mess.

With St. Patrick's Day behind us, I'm going to use my annual Guinness Shepherd's Pie as a way to descrbie the difference between the age old question, What's the difference between Marketing and Advertising?

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Topics: Marketing, Advertising

[Infographic] Marketing Deathmatch: HubSpot vs. Pardot

Posted by Don Crow on Mar 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM

One of the biggest differences between HubSpot vs. Pardot is that HubSpot is a complete Marketing Platform, whereas Pardot focuses mainly on marketing automation such as email drip campaigns and lead scoring. HubSpot also has marketing automation, lead scoring, and a robust Salesforce integration, but they also have many top and middle-of-the-funnel tools that Pardot does not.

HubSpot has everything a modern marketer needs to do marketing right, in an all-in-one, easy-to-use product. HubSpot's platform includes tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Management System (CMS), blogging, social media, email, automated workflows, landing pages, lead intelligence, and analytics for each and every tool, to help marketers make smarter decisions to help their businesses grow. You can see the full list of HubSpot products here.

Tools aside, one of the most stark differences in the experience of a HubSpot vs. a Pardot customer is the level of education, training, and support you’ll receive.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, HubSpot