How to Structure Your Higher Ed Marketing Department for the Future

If you’ve been reading our recent insights or if you’ve reviewed takeaways from our study on higher education strategic planning, you may already be aware of our research suggesting, while institutions have embraced marketing as a vital means of promotion, the embrace of marketing to aid in new program development or signature experiences is still not as ubiquitous. Even as marketing has increasingly entered the C-suite in higher education, its role in strategy setting—thanks in part to a constituent-centric focus that should bring an intimate understanding of stakeholders and the marketplace—is underdeveloped and underutilized.

But the connection between marketing strategy and the success of endeavors like new program development, signature experiences or other strategic plan initiatives is undeniable. Marketing needs to be brought into the conversation sooner, which requires a stronger, more capable and more responsive department.

Having a well-structured marketing department on campus offers tremendous value to an institution. Yet achieving that ideal structure is no easy feat, particularly if your campus still considers marketing to reside predominately in the domain of promotion.

The guidebook also poses some foundational questions to center your perspective on the change that marketing should affect for your institution. The guidebook can then help you understand the roles and expertise you’ll need, take stock of the resources you currently have, and decide what components you may be missing in order to shape the department in a way that best suits your institution’s goals.

You may wish to share this with your team, and other leadership on campus, in your efforts to prepare for the challenges ahead. Should you discover along the way that you need support, we’re ready to assist. Our counsel in organizational design and effectiveness has helped institutions of all types transform or evolve their marketing departments for greater impact.

To download the guidebook

  • Spread the word
Rick Bailey

Rick is the Principal and founding partner at RHB.