The Art of Finding the Best Ideas

It is such an honor that Magellan Promotions was named in the 2018-2019 edition of The Best Enrollment Marketing Ideas for our sticker sheets and the innovative ways we help clients benefit from the newest sticker sensation. So we invited the list creator to write a guest blog post this month on how the Best Ideas are chosen. Author Karyn Adams is Principal and Creative Director for H·A ThirtyOne, a marketing firm focused specifically on Higher Ed.


Every year, coming up on eight in 2020, H·A ThirtyOne publishes The Best Enrollment Marketing Ideas. This publication scans the college enrollment marketing landscape to suss out the best, most clever, most effective ideas being put into action. We share these impactful ideas with the higher ed community because we truly believe “who shares wins.” Some of the Best Ideas feature H·A ThirtyOne’s work, while others look at ideas outside of our firm’s portfolio, and some ideas are looking ahead — we share them because they haven’t been tried, yet, but we know they are ready for prime time by innovative institutions.

Our process for developing and highlighting the best-of-the-best list each year is more of an art than a science. We’re fortunate to have hundreds of conversations each year through our own client work, through conferences and speaking engagements, and through our own research. We’ve learned that most of the ideas are like beacons. They shine. Our job is to listen and to look and to be ready to recognize them when they start showing their light. Which leads to how we came to feature Magellan Promotions in our current Best Ideas publication.

When we saw Wake Forest’s web feature, Adhesive Anthropology, we recognized that it embodied all the features of a Best Idea – authentic to their school and their students, rich content with humor and fun, repeatable, and relevant. The crux of the idea is stickers, and we knew this sticky territory was already a strength of Magellan’s, from keyboard decals (a top seller for the last few years) to the current in-demand item, sheets of stickers. Students use these, they are easy to mail and carry for travel, and they keep promoting the institution long after the initial peel-and-stick moment.

That’s why we wanted to shine some light on Magellan in this year’s Best Ideas. Magellan is our preferred partner for stickers and for other promotional items that truly stand out. We’ve come to rely on their efficiency and willingness to handle the curve balls we throw when we ask for something out of the ordinary. They always respond in record time, with a consistently positive attitude, and they frequently add a little something extra, either an additional idea or an alternative approach, to make sure we are considering all of our options. And they are just darn nice people. Put all those things together and indeed, you’ve got a best idea.


To download a copy of H·A ThirtyOne’s The Best Enrollment Marketing Ideas, please go to its web site, where you can also access monthly episodes of their podcast on higher ed marketing topics.