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Top take-aways from the 2020 CCAE Marketing and Communications Summit

Marketing and Communications Summit
January 27 & 28, 2020

Mitch Joel’s thought-provoking and inspired presentation on disruption showed attendees how to look more closely at your users' behaviours to meet them where they are at technologically.

Know the 3 Little Pigs of Disruption:

  • To transform is an internal function (inside out), think of your constituents as customers and the importance technology will play in the choices they make. Tech has changed how the consumer buys , shift your world to engage them.
  • To innovate (make products and experiences that connect people to your brand)
    Are there tools that your constituents want that create a new path for you to communicate with them?
    Provide people the entirety of all your offerings and communicate with them more frequently as understanding smaller consumer behavior habits have the most possibilities for growth in engagement.
  • To transact (market and build equity)
    What is the catalyst of your transactions, the steps of micro transactions to get to the action item? You need to effectively use the data you collect and employ it in your marketing strategies and think about what potential donors expect from their user journey to ensure it is as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Gain "buy in" from colleagues to reduce silos in your workplace.

When managing many layers of approvals, there arises a duplication of efforts if your structure is siloed. Many individuals find themselves in a culture where the rules of operation seem to instill complacency and mistrust.

Take steps to actively improve your workplace by thinking and acting collaboratively and involving units and various departments, not just your own, to be able to dismantle silos for innovation and progress.

  • Communicate a unified vision to stakeholders, community and internally within your institution
  • Keep students at the core, but allowing more connection and collaboration between departments
  • Even logical decisions are fundamentally made through your emotions.

Collaboration and connections were made over the challenges we face.

Hearing stories from institutions of all sizes, working in the same types of environments and the different ways that they overcame different challenges in their environment, leads to new motivation for individual members.

  • Perspective was gained by many on experiences common to all institutions, that included those that are unique to smaller organizations and to larger ones.
  • Marketing and Communications must be a strategic partner not just a resource center
  • Think less about what you can't do due to budget and organizational or technological restrictions but how to think in terms of the end user and be more efficient the resources you have.
  • Attitude and creativity make all the difference in overcoming the challenges

Many thanks to our speakers for presenting a high-quality program and to the 2020 Marketing and Communications Summit sponsor McGill University.

Related Resources:

Presentation files from the Marketing and Communications Summit are available upon request. If you wish to view the presentation files, please contact the CCAE office at

 marcomm montage

Photos: 2020 Marketing & Communications Summit: Keynote Mitch Joel, Six Pixels Media; Brian Kachur, Univeristy of Saskatchewan; Nancy Handrigan & Sherri Turner, Acadia University; Cristin Christopher, Nipissing University; Emma Nguyen, University of Toronto; Clayton Browne, Lakehead University; Derek Cassoff, Allison Flynn, Gabrielle Korn, Elana Trager, McGill University