Higher Education Marketing-2023 Complete Guide

Higher Education Marketing

Higher Education Marketing

Higher education marketing is the process of building and maintaining relationships with potential and current students, faculty, and staff to sell and promote the institution. It encompasses all aspects of marketing, from generating leads to executing campaigns, targeting students, and building relationships with organizations.

Big Data For Higher Education Marketing: Things To Know

Higher education marketing and communications happen in an environment where, on average, 75% of communication and promotional staff on campus report to the college dean or department head instead of to a central office (advancement, recruiting, etc.). This can consequently result in numerous operational inefficiencies, brand ambiguity, and a disjointed experience for constituents, students, staff, and supporters.

A college or university can use various marketing and communication plans for different campus tasks. Their board of education can also make profitable decisions. Still, one of the most important is to align and unify different marketing and communication parts in one place. Unfortunately, this can have many problems and requires many people to work together.

The  Challenges of Higher Education Marketing

How schools and departments are set up: When there is a culture of decentralization, it is harder for people to work together.

Shadow technology: marketing technology purchased and used without input or direction from marketing or IT.

Not paying attention to central communications and marketing:  When departments don’t see the central department as a strategic partner, they use outside agencies.

Getting too fast: If you try getting too many departments to work together simultaneously, it can slow down the process.

The Advantages of Marketing and Communications

Marketing and communication in higher education have many benefits beyond making it easier for constituents, staff, students, and supporters to connect. It is according to the new education policy. These include important efficiencies that save time, improve understanding and knowledge and spread costs across departments. Since budgets can change, marketers and communicators need to be able to show how alignment helps concretely.


Costs are shared: because marketers and communicators at most universities use different technologies. Unnoticeable cost redundancies are produced as a result.

Shared Knowledge: When using many different technologies, there are a few ways to combine knowledge to encourage development and better understanding.

Shared Data: With shared data, colleges can engage with constituents meaningfully. This means that everyone gets different messages. Instead, the main message can be the same for all groups, but there can be some customization.

5 Strategies for Higher Education Marketing 

Universities should use five key strategies if a campus wants to run more efficiently.

1. Use The Same Message, Voice, and Tone Every Time

The Department of Education must set up a way for the whole university to talk that everyone can use. It is important to have a core messaging platform. Although a unified voice, message, and tone are important, they will only be widely embraced if it applies to many departments and colleges on campus. For a message to be effective, it is crucial to recognize how audiences overlap.

Social Media in Higher Education:

Clear rules for interacting with the media can lead to consistent messages that confuse press releases, web pages, social media, and emails. BraMost institutions lack the staff and resources to run a “house of brands” (think well-known colleges or schools within the university). So it’s important to use a strategy called “branded house,” in which resources can be shared.

2. Segment Your Constituents

The big-picture effort is to learn more about constituents so that engagement can be more useful. Since COVID-19, marketers and communicators in higher education have been talking a lot about how to divide up their audiences. 

Limited access to complete data, especially metadata (descriptive information) about constituents, makes it easier to segment and personalize messages. So, batch-and-blast email strategies are sometimes used to get people involved. 

The primary factors to consider are the data’s location, accessibility, usability inside the desired marketing and communications platform, and ability to segregate the data before sending any communications.

Metadata for Constituents:

  • Full name 
  • Address
  • Major
  • The last event attended
  • when they last gave blood
  • Date of expected graduation (or date graduated if alums)
  • Look into what they do.
  • Forms filled out by everyone at the university.

3. Give Help And Support

Create a community on campus to help with training, guidance, and documentation. It is important for marketing and communications in higher education to be seen as a major partner and not just as someone who does what the rest of campus tells them to do. 

Unfortunately, alignment doesn’t just happen on its own. It needs full support services that bring people from different departments together. Documenting best practices and making them easy to find online is a good start. 

Still, departments also need initial and continued training to understand the brand’s voice, message, and tone and how to use technology to get it to the right people. Institutions that have achieved alignment meet with all of their campus partners once a month to share what they’ve learned and talk about how to involve more people. In these meetings, campus partners should describe how they use the resources.

Some ideas for support services are

Brand Assets Library:  Which includes typography, a colour palette, a social media guide, graphic elements, email templates, and web standards.

Training: This includes getting started and continuing to learn. To keep partners interested, you need a mix of courses for beginners and more advanced ones.

Campus Community: Partners and the central department meet regularly to discuss strategy and share their points of view.

Governance Model: Set the rules for how campus partners should work together. The owner would be in charge of marketing and communication in an ideal world.

Center of Excellence (COE): Needed to manage a central tech platform. Campus partners will be able to ask questions and get answers here.

Innovation workshops: partners can learn about new tech features and test how they will be used in the future.

Best Practices Sharing: Share what’s working and what’s not, and give others chances to learn from your successes and failures.

4. Have A Full Set Of Marketing Technology.

Have a single digital marketing and communication platform used across the whole campus. A unified marketing and communications department in higher education know that the best way to get the right people interested is through a strong central martech strategy.

Set Of Marketing Technology

Universities use many digital channels for marketing and communication, such as email, SMS, social media, the web, and advertising. Even though it’s nice to have tools and features for coordinating campaigns across channels, what’s most important is being able to use the right data about your customers to make personalization’s.

Here, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform for higher education is needed to collect known information about constituents, then use that information to divide audiences into groups and engage with them personally, timely, and relevantly.


5. Plan Big, Start Small

Plan, make changes, and grow naturally. Once you’ve decided on your brand message platform, found campus-wide technology, and built the right support systems, you’ll need campus buy-in to implement the strategy.

Most universities, on the other hand, use a decentralized model. Unless the President gives a direct order, getting other departments on board requires building consensus. If working with your central team is too hard or unclear, other departments might not see why it’s important to be in sync.

Start small because big changes can only happen at a time. Find initial partners who are willing to try new things and test, can pilot, and tweak a unified approach. Early partnership learnings are important because the rest of the campus can use it as a guide.

How to Start Higher Education Marketing

  • Find one large strategic partner on campus that is important to your success – Let them help plan things.
  • These departments should understand the benefits of alignment. They should have an interest in learning with you.
  • Tell everyone else on campus about these partnerships – Others on campus may get some doubts.

Higher education marketing takes work from many different departments, but it’s worth it. If institutions use these marketing strategies, they can make their operations more efficient, learn more about the ManTech landscape on their campuses, and get their constituents more involved. Of course, behind every great plan is a partner you can trust.

Higher Education Marketing FAQs

  • How is marketing useful for educational institutions?

Marketers learn the skills they need to make and use a marketing strategy through marketing education. Additionally, marketing education teaches marketers the value of marketing to their companies and entrepreneurs the fundamentals of marketing strategy.

  • How to do digital marketing for a university?

Marketers must do the following to run digital marketing campaigns for universities:

  • First, search engines should be able to find the college website.
  • Thoroughly read the new education policy
  • Long-tail keywords are the ones you should focus on.
  • Next, plan out how you will get backlinks.
  • Finally, focus on making a good user experience on your website.
  • Run PPC ads
  • Create social media presence
  • Offer unique selling points
  • Make a site that works on both mobile and desktop devices.


Higher Education Marketing

  • How does higher education use social media marketing?

Higher education uses social media marketing to share information and photos, ask students to comment and share posts, and even make groups or events so that people interested in the events can talk to each other.

  • What are the best marketing strategies for higher education?

The most effective marketing strategies for higher education are to target a specific audience, focus on key benefits based on the audience’s perspective and interests, and are presented at a suitable time — when the audience is most likely to be attentive and interested in the message.


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