Marketing in Higher Ed: Tips for Overcoming Your Biggest Challenges

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By Patrice Meadows — Apr 17, 2018 11:00 AM


There’s always something new to learn in marketing, and the same can be said in higher education. Those working in both industries know how difficult it can be to succeed amid so much change.

This new, month-long series will highlight four challenges marketers face and offer practical solutions to help them achieve their goals. Each entry will offer actionable advice marketers can use to kickstart the change they want to see.

Let’s take a look at some of the topics we’ll tackle in this series.

What are the challenges?

Changing attitudes toward the value of higher education present major challenges for marketers. They are tasked with not only surmounting stiff competition but also defending the value (and cost) of higher education to skeptical stakeholders.

Stagnating wages and substantial debt is common among college graduates. This trend makes prospective students and parents wary of marketing initiatives and creates real barriers for recruiters. As they examine their options, they’re more focused on outcomes, student support initiatives, and the overall value institutions can offer.

While increased scrutiny can yield more educated buyers, it also makes marketing in higher education that much more difficult. Decreasing budgets and increased demand for more marketing collateral only amplifies the pressure felt by this group.

Here are just a few of the ways that these major challenges translate into day-to-day issues for marketers in higher ed.

Everyday, marketers must:         

  • Understand audience motivations, interests and behaviors to craft compelling content and help institutions stand out with powerful messaging
  • Share the right message with the right stakeholder, in the right format at the right time
  • Satisfy various audiences, often with competing priorities and goals
  • Anticipate content trends and actively retool campaigns to match them

Each blog post in this series will tackle an issue above. We will explain the central issue, highlight its importance, and outline a path forward for marketing teams. We’ll also share examples so you can see how others respond in the real world.

Want to learn more?

Download our Trends in Higher Education white paper to learn how leading institutions respond to industry challenges.

How will this series help you?

While this series is focused on the challenges that marketers face, it can also help cross-functional teams handling marketing activities. Reading up on these common issues will help those teams and individuals learn how to overcome these challenges.

Even if you’re not involved in marketing, this series can help you understand some of the tactics marketers implement on behalf of your college or university.

Stay tuned for the next entry in the Marketing in Higher Ed series where we will explain how to create buyer personas to guide your content development.

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