Episode 49: Centralization of Marketing and Branding, and Why Trust is The Most Important KPI with Isaac Munoz

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Shiro Hatori
Okay, hello, everyone. Welcome to the higher ed demand gen podcast hosted by concept 3d. My name is Shiro and I will be your host today. And today I’m very, very excited to introduce our guest is sock Munoz. He is currently serving as the associate vice president of marketing, strategy and insights at Texas a&m College Station. Welcome to the podcast. Zach.

Isaac Munoz
Thank you for having me, Shiro. Excited to be having this conversation today.

Shiro Hatori
Great. And I do love to ask all of my guests this icebreaker. What do you love about higher ed?

Isaac Munoz
I, I love higher ed, I have been in higher ed, interestingly enough on and off for, let’s say, five years working in higher ed. But I have undergraduate masters and a PhD. So I love higher ed. But what I loved the most about higher ed outside of politics, which huge passion of mine is that everything, there’s so much going on in higher ed at at one place. Let me talk about one of the most about higher ed is there is so much research happening in one campus. Right. And I just I don’t just say our main campus, we have obviously, we have a campus in dentistry in Dallas, we have for worth law school in, in Fort Worth. And so there’s a lot going on. And there’s a lot of research happening, a lot of students are learning new things. And a lot of professors are advancing research on something that they never thought of before, right. And so we’re all solving in quotes, the world are trying to make the world a better place. And I love that there’s that energy, that it’s only that you can only feel in higher ed. So that’s what I love about higher ed.

Shiro Hatori
Love that. And you know, this is a great transition into my next question is, you have a little bit of an interesting, you know, come up to where you are today in terms of your position like can you tell us a little bit more about your role and how you got there?

Isaac Munoz
Absolutely. So I like I said, so I’ve worked in higher ed, in my current position for two years. And before that, I you know, I worked in higher ed as usually as a clinical professor or adjunct professor. But I used to do that as a side. On the side. I have always been interested in higher ed, as I was mentioning your previous question. But before I joined higher ed, I actually started in advertising many, many years ago. And my job was in research, right, I was pretty much an account planner, by default account planner. For some people, it’s also known as strategic planner, a strategic planner is takes into consideration the brand, the customer in the marketplace, and you’re able to understand kind of what’s the inside between those three pillars, or those three molecules and how they come together. So from there, I went to I finished my doctorate education at the University of Texas at Austin. And then I moved to Southwest Airlines. And I was at Southwest Airlines for about eight years or so. And there I was a senior business consultant and customer insights. And so again, think about that strategic planner, that was my job was to oversee kind of advertising brand development, execution of the brand. Go to Southwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, we are the customer insights team was the internal consultants. And so we will be doing a lot of research for advertising, you know, international expansion, you know, community engagement, brands, athletics anyway, so we would be doing all that. They will be the internal consultants for Southwest Airlines. After that I went to a tea and tea and I worked at AT and T for about two and a half years or something like that. And then there was the head of customer engagement. So I will take into consideration everything that that goes into the OTT product. Ott is over the top. So think about Netflix and Hulu combined, but for Latin America. So that was the product that we had was it was direct to the go. for Latin America, it was quite fun. And so I was in charge of the curation of the product, the content, customer engagement, the customer care. And my, you know, my charge was from Mexico all the way to Brazil. And that was quite a bit of fun. So then you’re asking yourself, so how did you end up in higher ed? Right. And so I had been in conversations with tech, same university for a couple of years here and there. They said, Hey, we’re actually going to be looking for a an Associate Vice President of Strategy and insights, or strategy and analytics. And I said, that sounds interesting. Let me know when you have the position. And so we started the conversation. AT and T said that we’re going to be selling that part of the business. So they said are you interested in staying with AT and T or trying something new or moving to Latin America? This was altering COVID. And so as much as excited as it was to move to Latin America and to move to Brazil. We weren’t ready to do that, which is given the situation with with COVID and I think you So transparency with with your listeners and your viewers, I had a, you know, one year old. So I was like, well, we’re not going to be leaving, you know, to Latin America to South America, in the midst of all this. And so I talked to Texas a&m university, I liked the challenge. I liked what they were trying to build, I liked that they were being innovative in bringing in somebody to oversee strategy and analytics. And so I took the job. And just to fast forward two years to where we are today, you said it, my job is different than when I started my job right now. It’s in charge of marketing, strategy and insights. It’s different than the job that I started when I started two years ago, my job right now is pretty much to oversee the marketing part of the university. So we are marketing and communications. And I get to oversee the marketing side, which is, it’s quite fun. To be completely honest, that was a long explanation, but a little bit of the background as to, you know, how I ended up here.

Shiro Hatori
It’s amazing. Can you tell us a little bit of your main goals right now and kind of the dynamic of the departments? I know you, there’s several assistant, I think there’s several assistant vice presidents who have different roles within a bigger umbrella that I think you described in our previous call.

Isaac Munoz
Absolutely. So we are a we have where a small leadership team, leadership is wrong word. We are four associate vice presidents. And we serve under one senior associate vice president, who then serves under our senior vice president of our chief External Affairs Officer. And the way we’re structured, we have one associate vice president that is in charge of what we call schools, colleges, and outside divisions, etc, at campuses. And his charge is to be kind of the liaison between the school and us, right marketing and communications or marketing. So we’ll be referring. So then we have another associate vice president that’s in charge of executive communications, and her charges pretty much to be, for lack of a better explanation, the voice of the President and the other C level. People, right, like the chiefs, the Chief Commercial Officer, my boss, boss, which is the senior, sorry, the chief EXTERNAL AFFAIRS OFFICER, obviously, our president, so we have that second as a vice president, then we have the next one. And she is our associate vice president of media, right. And so crisis management is, so she’s very knowledgeable in that space. Because she comes from that background of making sure that you can manage and understand what’s going on within culture, and making sure that you can understand how to better assess, you know, bad news, or great news. And so she has that she is the liaison between newspapers and media, I mean, that’s hence her title. And then it’s me, and I’m the person in charge of marketing. And so within marketing, right, then I get to see anything from, let’s say, the website to you said a little bit earlier insights and analytics. Then you also have read project management, we have our advertising, our media, our creative, graphic designs, etc. So everything that has to do with marketing, I get the privilege oversee. So that’s kind of how we’re structured based on how we’re structured. We are going through centralization, centralization, in the, in the private sector is not uncommon, because you have one marketing department, you may have different offices, but you have one marketing department and everything fits through the marketing department. In higher ed, it’s not like that, right? There’s a lot of what I would refer to as small nonprofits in each of the schools, right? So the school of the business school in this in this group, in this case, our Mesa School of Business, they may they used to have a small marketing team, and I say small, let’s say three to five people, right? They will have a Director of Marketing, a marketing manager, somebody video somebody for social, sometimes it could be the same person. And so multiply that times 18 schools, right? And then that goes, that goes very quickly, that tutor Yeah, but you have a lot of teams. So through that centralization, we are now organizing where we have the University Marketing team, right. So my team, our marketing team, gets to then separate based on functions. And so we can then be we have better position for lead, but we’re able to leverage better for negotiation purposes, for investment purposes. For marketing for messaging, you create a sort of uniformity, you asked about, you know, KPIs, or what are some of the goals. So through centralization, that is one of the big goals, right, making sure that we as a team can deliver what’s best for the university in the school by having one team and having different expertise with Been wanting centralization takes a while. And precedent bank started that at the end of 2021. It’s still going, it’s going strong. We marketing have are doing it in phases. So we’re in currently phase three. And we’re doing quite well. For phase three. We have now centralized web, we’ve centralized, we’re centralizing project management, we’re centralizing graphic designers, in why do I say all this, I say all this, because we’re spending enough time setting up our work so that you can have a nice workflow from the school, through our associate vice president, who is in charge of schools, his name is Blake that comes through Blake Blake comes to us right to my team and to marketing, and then we can have a cohesive strategy. One of our goals is to have that a cohesive strategy that we can then deliver from the university brand all the way to the schools in the way they want to execute. So that’s one, I don’t want to say, qualitative goal, because it’s not we’re measuring against that. But one of the best one of our biggest goals under centralization. Now, some goals that I specifically look for with my team with a marketing team is trust, and when it comes to the brand, so trust is one of the in the private sector. And sorry to compare it to that, but I think it’s a good liaison. It’s a good comparison, which I appreciate.

Shiro Hatori
Yeah, just. Yeah.

Isaac Munoz
Yes. So in the private sector, I’ll let’s see, let’s take a let’s take a KPI that it’s incredibly important. NPS Net Promoter Score, right. But at Net Promoter Score, we also measure it in higher ed, but net promoter score in the private sector is incredibly important. It may have shifted to other metrics. But that’s still kind of a key metric in the private sector. They they use that the NPS, because it’s a it’s a measurement of a relationship, right? Did you come to the store? Did you have a good experience? They do not? Will you come back? Right? It kind of helps with loyalty in higher ed, that’s not necessarily it is important. But your relationship with the university is more than transactional. Right? You can have a more than transactional relationship in the private sector. Sure, right, let’s think of Apple or Southwest Airlines where you have to use the product multiple times AT and T. So sure, that’s important, right, but that evaluating the experience, every time you do something, or engage with the brand, with ours, we are talking to prospective students, right. And then we were asking them to spend at least four years of their life with our brand, getting their education. And then once they graduate, they become former students. And so then that sort of engagement lasts a lifetime. So while on the private sector, it’s NPS in higher ed, I believe it’s trust, that trust of I believe in what I believe that my university is doing the best that they can to educate me, I believe that my university is going to help me succeed. And I believe that the university is using fonts for the betterment of you know, the world, if you will, right. I mean, so you can do something better. So that’s one big goal that I have for the brand trust. Now, it’s not as simple as it sound. Because how do you measure trust, right, and so within trust, we have to make sure that we explained what trust us and what trust will do for the brand for the school for the programs that we’re trying to go after. So with that, we’re trying to make sure that we have the right brand metrics, the right brand measurement, making sure that we’re establishing those KPIs and those benchmarks, those things have not been set in the past. So one of my key roles and goals is making sure that we’re setting up those things from the get go. So we can know if there was a positive shift or a negative shift that we can then set a KPI of our trust has increased. Last thing I’ll say, and then I can go to a second goal, but we don’t struggle with awareness. Right? The majority of people are, according to our research. In fact, three quarters in quotes of the population are 76% of those people that were interviewed are aware of Texas a&m University. So it goes up to 79 per sec, right? So we don’t struggle with awareness. We don’t struggle with even people wanting to come here. We have enough people that but it’s, do they trust that we are the right investment for their kids for themselves? Do they trust that we are using the right funds for the university to give back, right? And so that’s why trust is an important metric that I want to make sure that our team my team is measuring moving forward.

Shiro Hatori
And why is that important measurement for the institution or business however you want to look at it right? Or, you know, for the flip side, not the customer side, which is the student and their family and parents.

Isaac Munoz
It’s incredible. I love The question, thank you for asking it because we’re a not for profit, right. And so yet, a lot of the money that we have not a lot of the money that we have is coming from, obviously the government. It’s coming, it’s coming from legislature, but it’s also coming from donors, right. And so we need to be incredibly good stewards of the money that we are given. I’m not saying that the private sector is not, they obviously have to be good stewards. But the way it’s measured, it’s a little bit different than we are because the stock market plays a big role. Right. And so there’s a constant measuring within the customer, there’s a customer at the end of the quarter, or how they did, we’re not there yet, I would like for us to get something closer to getting that sort of measurement on how our current customers or former customers, not former customers, they’re always our customers, but our former students about what we’re doing. And so it’s our fiduciary responsibility to make sure that we’re good that we’re being good stewards with that money. Because it’s, I mean, it’s, it’s taxable, it’s not for profit, right. So to make sure that we operate as such,

Shiro Hatori
that makes sense. And, you know, I know we’re gonna go back a little bit further, you know, and but love this trust question and how you’re trying to, you know, bring something from outside a little bit outside the industry, which probably isn’t, you know, the mind boggling, but it’s, you know, it’s a great metric, you’re kind of going back to the centralization and the phases that you broke down, can you go until more detail there about how you’re breaking it down? And, you know, what was like phase one and phase two, like, and how are you able to measure that they’ve been successful so far?

Isaac Munoz
I, that’s a great question. I don’t know if I can answer

Shiro Hatori
it, it doesn’t have to be in detail, but just, you know,

Isaac Munoz
not even not even because of anything that is proprietary. It’s where, what there’s the same of, it’s gonna, it’s gonna be a little bit weird. But people who are people who are intrapreneurs, you know, sometimes they they jump off the plane, and they’re building the parachute as they go down, or something like that. Sounds a little bit of a morbid example. But the idea is, we need it to go through centralization. So we are going on a case by case basis of where we need to go. We know when we know that we need to centralize the teams, where we are where we took, so we did a survey, we need to make sure that how many people we have, right how many people are doing what they’re doing, we realize that there’s a lot of duplication. There’s a lot of duplication, because what happens, you have a school, I don’t know, I’m just picking a school, I’m actually not going to name a school, you have a school a right? The School B schools see, right, they may all be having, they may all have the same positions. And so there’s a lot of duplication. And so you’re not maximizing the strength of what one team can do for all those three schools. So we had to do a survey, we had to do an analysis, we had to figure out those things. Once we figured out how many people we have, how many positions we had, what gaps we had any sort of benchmarking, then we worked on the phases. Phase one was pretty much doing that. The homework, phase two was beginning to do the transition as to what teams are in quotes affected the most in this case, web was one of them, right? Because web is not transitioning. And it’s not going to happen that fast. In fact, there’s so many, we have so many web teammates, right across campus, that as we’re trying to focus into one team, right? There’s work that still needs to be done within those schools. So we knew that we needed to start with web in that the web centralization was going to take years. So that was, for example, phase two, phase two was the kickoff of Web. Phase two for analytics. We didn’t have an analytics team. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that we didn’t do analysis. Of course we did. There’s plenty of people who would have had, we have a lot of analysts. So it’s not that we were doing analysis is that we didn’t have you talked about data. And we’ll talk about data in a second. But we didn’t have a dataset where people were saying, oh, that’s that’s a repository of data. That’s where we go to evaluate. That’s where we extract the data. That was a good to analyze, none of that that wasn’t happening. Right. So what’s happened so that we have to then face to what’s also that kicking off of in the explanation of what the analytics team was to do? Insights, that’s an insight. We didn’t have any insights team that is the primary research that set up the benchmarking that figure out where we’re going to be going. And so again, that was phase two. So that thus far, I would say that it’s proven successful, in that we have centralized some of those things, right. Digital Signage, again, it’s probably going to go through phase three. Photo Video, right? We have a lot of photographers and videographers across campus. We’re centralizing that and we’re going to be setting them up in hubs. So how they’re gonna be working with different teams. But now phase three is how do they work together with the teams? How do they get the process started, where I need to take a picture, I need to take a video, or, Hey, I need to engage with the customer insights team, because we need to partner with X brand out there. Can you do the research on our behalf? How does that work. And so Phase Two was the kicking off of these teams. Phase three, is making sure that these can get into practice, right, it’s the applied side. So phase three is the amount of finish with this. Phase three is the continuation and the applied of these teams. But it’s also the kickoff of the centralization of graphic designers. It’s also the centralization of project management is the continued centralization of Web. So it’s kind of it goes, if we did the analysis, phase two for Stan will keep on going for some ghost stuff that phase three then becomes apply in phase three. And so that’s kind of how it’s going. It’s going on? Well, it’s going well. It’s a it’s a long term project. That’s what it is. And thus far, people are nervous and people are excited as well. nervous because it’s a big change. excited because they get to work with other graphic designers will get to work with other graphic designers rather than be a team of one within a specific school. So it’s little things like that, that it’s good. And it also takes a little bit of time.

Shiro Hatori
Thank you. Thanks for explaining that because that, you know, I know centralisation very hot topic, a lot of schools are moving to the model. And you know, and I think one thing I’ve been shouted out on on this podcast is, you know, people like specific details. I personally liked them, too. It gets me thinking about like, How can I know recreate or redesign a specific model?

Isaac Munoz
So let me jump in really something that I really like about higher ed, you asked this actually earlier, something that I really like about higher ed is people are willing and wanting to work across the board. So we have contacted on Pete like friends at the University of Texas at Arizona State University at University of Florida, like a Vanderbilt like we just people are not shy of saying, Hey, I think this school is doing it, let’s let’s call them. And so there’s some there’s that sense of if now, not a competition, we’re all wanting to do what’s best. And so people are willing to share in the private sector. Sure, that happens here and there. But you are competing for that one customer, right? Because gonna make a big difference. Right. And so there’s a lot of that in higher ed, I haven’t seen it. It’s, we’ve we’ve called different schools, and people are more than willing to help us. Because some people have contractualization not at our level, because we’re a very large school. But they’re they’ve gone through it. So we have for sure lessons learned there.

Shiro Hatori
No, I completely agree. It’s definitely said to me, I’ve heard many times. But that same question is that, you know, open resources, open books, that community feeling. Community is also a great topic, because I know it’s another one of your, your goals here. Yeah, you’re focusing on in your new position. Yes, as well. So tell us a little bit more about that.

Isaac Munoz
Absolutely. So we have a we, there’s there’s multiple communities, right, there’s the athletics community. They’re very passionate, obviously, about our fans and about our fans are very passionate about our school, and how we’re succeeding and doing well, in football and basketball, and et cetera, et cetera. We have a second community that is in quotes, our current students, how are they engaged? You know, where are they going on campus? You know, where are they eating in, you know, what type of resources are they requiring, for them to succeed? And then we have another community that is called our former students and our former students. It’s like, I think 500,000 Plus. Right. And so that’s a very awesome engaged community. And so from a marketing standpoint, how do we work with the different affiliates, right, because we have different affiliates and associations that help with that. And so our job, my job is to work with, for example, our VP of brand development, who used to be in marketing, and now it’s a part of finance. And he does an exceptional job and making sure that we are always engaging with the local community, right, because that’s actually a fourth area and local community. We have local vendors, local partners, people that sale, you know, our products. And so my job from a marketing standpoint is making sure that our brand showcases the core values of what we stand for, and that is represented well. Right. And so making sure that at the end of A day is giving a good light and shining a good light to the university. That’s my job is not I wouldn’t think of it as a brand cop. But to some extent, it’s a little bit of a brand cop, I need to make sure that, that as we, if it’s an advertising campaign, Billboard, anything that is well represented, he’s representing well are different communities. But my job is also to partner with those people like those associations, affiliates, that they’re the ones reaching out to some like we have an association that is that is that is reaching out to our former students, right? What how can we help them? Right, making sure that they have what they need. For our athletes, the same thing. I work with athletics very closely, and we meet on Tuesdays, to kind of discuss they share what they’re doing, we share what we’re doing, how can we work together? Because again, we’re serving the university, we all work for one brand. So how do we work with them? With a local community? Right? How do we give back whether it’s through serving or talking to a school to high school students to elementary, or maybe our medical school is helping with with, with the local community as well? How do we do that? And then so anyway, so that’s, that’s a big one. I think it’s, yeah, in fact, sorry. In fact, it’s so important that we have hired an executive director that is in charge of External Affairs, and her job is making sure that we are servicing our inside of serving our different communities as best we can. Because we have a big brand special Amin across the US, but especially in this area, in for sure in Texas. So we need to make sure that that we are top of mind, right, in not necessarily just focus on, on, on on awareness, but unfavorability familiarity and trust, right, those key metrics that I was talking about earlier, making sure that we’ll be we are present, right in the local communities, that people will be like, Hmm, I am not only aware, I am familiar, I have a favorable score, and I trust this university. Right. And so then when when they have to give more money, right, or money to the university, it’s done in a way that it’s a they’re doing a good thing.

Shiro Hatori
And how do you prioritize the different communities? You gave us a couple examples to go for? First, you look at those three measurements, you just talked about familiar, clarity? favourability? And, you know, whatever, yes. Breaking lower? Or do you look at like, audience size? Like, how do you? How do you tackle these? Or is this more around the schools, you know, values and core core values? And where are you trying to get after?

Isaac Munoz
It depends on the initiative, if I’m honest, it depends on the initiative. So for example, Texas is a big, it’s so important to us, right? I mean, like the state of Texas. So we need to make sure that that we prioritize our state in whatever initiatives we have going on. But if so, when I say that, just by default, we’re saying our focus is Texas. And then we need to focus on those, like I said, we have a school in Fort Worth, right? We have the Law School in Fort Worth, we have dentistry, you know, Dallas, we have, you know, medical school here. And so the way we’re trying to make sure that we can serve as those communities that we can reach out to those communities, and then the priority comes through what the school is trying to do within a certain area, and how can we support them from a university marketing into what they’re doing, and then making sure that our external affairs team is involved. That’s the way we prioritize outside of the president, saying, we have these four key priorities that we must deliver. And those priorities are, are very transparent. You can go to our website, and they’re like, they’re based on the path forward. And that’s what Dr. Banks is trying to go after and saying, these are our priorities. This is all going after. And so then it’s our job to execute on those. And so in the essence of transparency goes do need to like whatever the schools are doing, they do need to ladder up to those priorities. And so by default, those will get closed prioritizing, sorry for the redundancy there.

Shiro Hatori
No, no, no worries. No, it helps me kind of understand, you know, at least at Texas a&m, you know, how you’re approaching you know, how to reengage with such a big population again, because of how large the brand is and how big your alumni classes can be used.

Isaac Munoz
For example, no, no, that’s a good so for think about. I press on the School of Medicine, it’s about to be 50 years old. How do we celebrate that right? And so that in that has that we have to do some community engagement there because the you know, some of our focus is for sure. The rural All areas forward right forward used to be a different school, a different law school, but now it’s about to celebrate its 10th anniversary. So. So the conversation and the way we engage with the community is a little bit different there because it’s 10 years versus 50 years, but we just celebrated 100 years of the 12 men, right. So now that’s, that’s a tradition that was built on pretty much, you know, one of our one of our students saying that I’m ready to go in, right. And so how do you celebrate 100 years of, you know, one tradition what it stands for, right? So the 12 men, or you know, the university 150 years old, I mean, about to be or something. So how do you say those little things? They affect priorities? Because they affect the storytelling of what we’re trying to go after? It’s not that numbers. Yes, numbers matter, but it’s the sort of that’s the driver is how is that going to be seen within the community? And how can we engage with the community to make sure that they feel they’re a part of it? Because one way or another, you know, they’ve been a part of the university because the university has been in existence for, you know, 100 years plus?

Shiro Hatori
Gotcha. No, thanks for explaining that. Yes, storytelling, big topic as well. I think you know, that along with personalization, brand, all kinds of Yeah, tie really very close together. How are you kind of using all these insights? And then bringing practice? And I know, we talked previous around data management principles, and so like you haven’t, you know, you’re trying to create a better system around this, you know, tying back to KPIs as well, but in how are you moving forward with using all this information, and then also, merging that with data and best practice around data?

Isaac Munoz
I wish I could tell you that we were rocking it. But we’re not. So we, I just came from a conference last week, okay. And the conference was on data, like it was for like data officers, okay, I’m not a data officer. But I get to work with a lot of data. And, you know, one of my teams is analytics. And so therefore, you get to work with data. And one of the common threads that I saw across the board is, you know, axis cleaning, or maintenance. You know, the governance, and, you know, tools, and duplication. And so, listening to private sector, companies, explain those things and worry about those things made me feel better, because we are thinking about those things, right? We are not there where we can feel comfortable saying, we have one data lake and even though it’s a massive, one data lake, we’re not there yet, right? We have different sources of data. And so we have a team, not they’re not my team, they’re part of a different team. And they are, they’re beginning to structure our data set, our data leak, our data warehouse, right, and they’re beginning to see who they’re going to partner with. So we’re beginning to go that route. But like I said, governance, metadata, taxonomy, all those things will take some time. And so my team is working very closely with those teams to make sure that they can take it to consideration other datasets that are for marketing purposes only that may have not been thought about in the past, right, because in their mind, they may be thinking about just the student and the current student. And what they do is if that’s a dataset, we marketing, bringing different datasets, you know, what has been bought, who has been, you know, what websites were visited? Why were they visiting, perhaps prospective prospective students, or whatever, right? But we’re doing that, not for the purpose of selling. You go, I go back to loyalty, I will go back to trust. And I go back to community say commitment. To me, those are the metrics that matter. In order for me to be able to understand you Cheryl better. For example, I need to understand, you know, where you like to buy, and why you like to buy or you know why you go to your university, or you and I were chatting a little bit even before we started, you went skiing. And that’s awesome, right? But so why do you like that? Right? It’s not to say I’m gonna sell you skis. I’m not interested in that. But it’s the what makes you tick. And with the university, there’s a lot of love and loyalty that goes with the university. And as much as I can understand those datasets, I will be able to serve you better. And so that’s the goal I have now. Are we there yet? No. But we are working very hard towards that. We’re looking at different partners that can help us better understand that 360 approach of a person and I mean, I’m not I mean, we have other different partners that are working on that. And so my team is working on on making sure that we have marketing data and access to that data for segmentation purposes. Now, that’s one aspect of it. The second aspect of it is just even the migration, g4, right? We know that’s happening. And so, like I said before, because you have, because we were decentralized, right? A lot of people, a lot of areas didn’t have, for example, tech manager, right. So it’s something’s not simple, but something small, that didn’t show uniformity. So now, my team, so within my teammates, his name is Patrick, for example, Patrick’s in charge of analytics, and Patrick is working with different teams and different schools to making sure like, Hey, we’re setting up tech manager, we need to access this, and he’s going to help you in this way. So we’re doing the work, we’re not being innovative, we are migrating people to the next step, explaining why that matters. But then also showing how by us doing this, they’ll be able to have access to a certain kind of data. This is a really long answer to your perhaps maybe simple question, but I wanted to provide a little bit of context, that data, as sexy as it is, is really hard to manage, especially when it’s decentralized. So through the process of centralization, we’re beginning to do this, and then migrate and then show the importance and hopefully, continue to set KPIs which we are setting now. So that’s exciting. But our KPIs are just kind of a little bit of that’s right in whiteboard. And it kind of erase it and go as soon as we have more data. So

Shiro Hatori
Gotcha. Yeah, no, I like how you kind of tied it together with our earlier talking points. And I mean, weren’t we currently are going through J for migration as well. And, yes, it’s a lot of work understanding a completely different user interface. But it’s also been a good opportunity to kind of, you know, dig deep into the websites. And, you know, we only have two websites that I’m managing. So I can’t imagine with hundreds, which I assume Patrick is working on. Yes, you know, what kind of opportunities that could also create, just with going through that process, and it’s probably good timing for you right now. Because you’re creating all these principles and KPIs right now. That’s great.

Isaac Munoz
Why if you want to be scared sexually, like, we stopped, and we’re at over 1700 17. Wow. Well, websites and web pages and so yeah, it’s, it’s fun.

Shiro Hatori
That’s great. That’s awesome. Thank you. It’s Switching gears, just, you know, slightly a little bit here is, I know, You’ve had a lot of leadership and management experience, you know, what, what’s, what’s something new that you’re bringing to the table that’s helped kind of influence this change? I know you have a large, large team. And so you know, what’s helped kind of influence this kind of change. And I think it’d be helpful for our audience.

Isaac Munoz
So I don’t like to micromanage. I don’t like I don’t, I don’t believe in micromanagement, in the sense that I believe we should trust our people, I think you’ve we are either a professional, and you’re in this environment, micromanaging just takes more time. And it doesn’t give people it shows people that you’ve not done trust. Now. Some people are micromanagers. And they like that. That’s okay. That’s just not my style, you ask about me and myself is not micromanaging. Because we’re trying to do a lot of change, we’re trying to make a lot of change happen. In a very, I mean, quick for higher ed. It’s not as quick on the private sector. I mean, this would have been considered quick on the private sector, but it is quick for hire. So we’re, we’re trying to enable change. micromanagement is not one of the pillars that I believe in, I think we should perhaps trust people. Okay, now that said, trust is something that needs to come also from, you know, my boss and my boss’s boss. And I think that’s where I feel very confident that I do feel like you know, the transparency and the information, the transparency, the plan, and then pretty much enable, it enables me to make sure that I can give as much information with my team so that we can all be, you know, walking together, you know, advancing together. Now, one of the things that I learned from the pandemic is I my team was all in have a team in South America. So I have a team in Brazil had a team in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, and the USA. So I had had different have different teams in all of those countries, and they needed to work together, okay for different initiatives, because our product was sold all the way from Mexico to Brazil. So we had about eight countries that we were working with, and our product was launching. And so one of the things that I learned from the pandemic that I’m trying to bring in here is technology, we need to use technology to communicate. But it’s a double-edged sword because that means that you should have the flexibility should give people the flexibility to work whenever they work best, right? So people work best at night, so it will work best in the morning. But now, when there is also the hybrid environment of going to the office, right, you may not see somebody in a desk, and you may assume that they’re not working, they just may be working, you know, at the park, saying that right? Or they’ll be working from home, or they may be working at night. And so it’s that transitioning, that I can see people struggling with and so we’re I am bringing in what I saw from the pandemic is no people just especially creatives. They like to work in different environments, and we should be allowing them to do that. To be fair, that’s not how higher ed thinks higher ed doesn’t necessarily think, as much in hybrid, maybe other schools do hours is not there yet. Our university doesn’t necessarily think about it. Well, they should, it should be a set schedule, and I liked the set schedule, but the set schedule, also could, you know, affect other people. Because they’re like, No, I prefer to work at a certain time. And so what I’m trying to do, from my management experiences, how can we give freedom and flexibility, but also make sure that we are getting the best work forward for the university and for the for the employee. And that’s a hard space. And I’m sure I’m not the only one, I mean, obviously, Disney’s going through that Amazon’s going through that. So all companies are trying to figure out a way of bringing people back into the office or culture creation or culture focusing, but also giving people the freedom to make sure that they can work from home, so they can have some sort of flexibility and creative juices happening there. So I’m bringing that I’m also kind of working through the system to make sure that that can work for the employee, but also for what’s best for the business. And then the last thing is making sure that as the teams work together, they have that freedom to reach out to whoever needs needs to reach out. I don’t believe in I shouldn’t be the bottleneck, right? I mean, I think just said, well, the organization is getting larger, and I shouldn’t be the bottleneck if I am the if I’m the bottleneck, because I have to be the ultimate decision maker, or my boss has to be the ultimate decision maker. Like me, the process is not there yet. It’s not that I shouldn’t make decisions. I should and I should make plenty of them. But if everything is, if I’m beginning, if I’m beginning to be the bottleneck, that does not work, right. And so again, that happens with trusting your employees, make sure that they can feel comfortable reaching above you or to your colleagues, and that they let you know we did we made this decision. And this is kind of how it works. But you need to have that relationship. And you could have that one those one on ones on a constant basis. Sorry, that was a long answer.

Shiro Hatori
No, no, it’s great. It gives me a little insight into kind of how you you view you know, leadership and in management. So that’s, that’s great. And I mean, the score your workforce is fantastic, and has is are doing all the things that you’re working on right. correctly. So I think you know, it’s it’s a good example, in my my personal opinion, for what to be looking for. That’s great. And curious sec, where can our listeners connect with you and learn more about you know, your history and all your different knowledge and insight shares?

Isaac Munoz
Absolutely. So well, LinkedIn is for sure. So a sec. Munoz same university. So you can you can opt for sure connect with me there. Or you can just email me and I am about to give my email. So just be patient. I get a lot of emails. So the sack is ac dot Munoz and un o z@tamu.edu. So anyway, yeah, so that’s my email. For sure. Connect with me via LinkedIn. Be patient because I do get a lot of emails. And I get a lot I didn’t get invites. So but I’m more than happy to chat with any of your listeners. Glad to do that.

Shiro Hatori
Thank you so much. And to our listeners tuning in today. Thanks again for listening. We’ll have another great episode up next. So make sure to tune in to the next one. And a quick message from our sponsor is that if your school needs an updated interactive map, virtual tour or centralized events calendar, make sure to reach out to concept 3d dot com. Thank you again. Thanks, Zack, for joining us. Thank you

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The biggest challenge for [Claremont Graduate University] was lack of a centralized map system entirely. Roughly 30 different maps existed on our website pre-[Concept3D], created by various departments to meet their own needs.

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Our residents are getting more savvy with technology and they will certainly appreciate a tool that guides them from location to location on our campus. Concept3D’s wayfinding capability was the immediate draw for us, but the map and interactive media have been valuable for depicting a bird’s eye view in print materials, or when scheduling an onsite visit. Residents, visitors and even staff find a lot of utility and functionality in Concept3d, and we often hear compliments about our beautiful map.
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Steven Lim, Marketing Vice President, Vantage Data Centers

We want Rice to be a welcoming destination for art, music, lectures, food, athletic events, lectures – a great place to visit just to enjoy the beauty of our campus. [The Concept3D] mapping system will help people find those amenities and explore those opportunities.

Linda Thrane, Vice President of Public Affairs, Rice University

The new virtual campus map is particularly helpful to showcase our campus to prospective students and families who are not quite ready or able to physically visit campus. International students are a great example of a group who typically do not visit our campus before enrolling, but really value getting a birds-eye view of the place they’re considering calling home.

Admissions Director at Boise State
The CMS makes integrating our data feeds a simple, easy process. We can update our content feed once and it updates within the CMS and our map simultaneously.
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