According to Chris Lucas, VP of Marketing at FormStack, 35% of universities have a chief marketing officer on staff. My belief is that this number will continue to grow in 2015 as universities focus more on their brand and how to bring a consistent brand experience in the highly competitive higher education market.
Formstack’s research goes on to say that universities with CMO’s are 49% more likely to have strategic marketing plans. It makes sense right? A strategic marketing plan ensures a coordinated branding effort across all schools and departments within a university. Not an easy task, but CMO’s in large companies do this all the time. They are quality control for brand, messaging and customer experience. The research report points out that 45% of higher ed professionals think their marketing department needs more focus on brand. No surprise, that’s what CMO’s are wired to do.
Whether its admissions, student relations, alumnae relations, institutional advancement or any other area, it’s one brand and how that brand message translates to each specific area of the university is critically important to how your audiences engage with your university.
Finally CMO’s bring accountability to the marketing function and that’s music to the ears of university administration. CMO’s bring a wealth of knowledge in the areas of CRM and marketing automation. Being data-driven in their roles, they realize the power of technology to nurture relationships and build brand awareness among those ever elusive millennial and adult education target audiences.
As a marketing communications firm who has the opportunity to work with talented CMO’s across a variety of industries, it’s always beneficial to work under a CMO who can clearly define the brand and develop solid strategy against each of the target audiences. So, consider a CMO to elevate your brand and ultimately your enrollment.
Tim Leon is President, Brand Strategist at Geile/Leon Marketing Communications. For more information on our experience in branding for the higher education category, give Tim a call at 314-727-5850.