1. According to the Harvard Crimson () Harvard spent $16.4 million on advertising in 2016, tax filings show—enough to book three 30-second primetime spots on Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl LII. The Harvard University endowment is the largest academic endowment in the world. Its value increased by over 10 billion dollars in fiscal year 2021, ending in the largest sum in its history. It has no issue with enrollment either. Using course content, why does Harvard invest in marketing to such a level?

2. Provide a “real university” brand. Provide proof: logo, campus buildings and look, its viewbook, advertisements, and website verbiage. Provide pictures to support your answer. Do these pieces support the brand or fracture the brand?

3. What is meant by the “student market?” Provide at least 3 years of enrollment data for the different student markets at a real university. Is this enrollment sustainable? Why or Why not?

What is Marketing

According to a  in the Hechinger Report, “Today, 56 percent of university chief marketing officers serve at their university’s executive level and 43 percent report directly to presidents. They not only market the institutions but apply research to help devise strategies, set prices and decide which programs to beef up or strip down. Colleges collectively spent $2 billion on advertising in 2018 and $2.2 billion in 2019.”

This is the most recent definition of marketing according to the American Marketing Association. Every university or college has to consider how to market itself. This can be difficult since the university has a large number of stakeholders. Here are a few:

· Alumni,

· Parents,

· Charitable organizations,

· Students,

· Faculty,

· Staff,

· Law-making groups (publics), and

· Churches (religious-affiliated universities).

A marketing plan should use the “4 P’s” of marketing. Here is a 5-minute video to help you understand the 4 P’s of marketing. 

THE FIRST P:  Product–What you sell HEDs sell degree programs & student services.

In developing the product, academic quality is an issue for consideration. Another consideration is packaging. Packaging is the way a product is put together for selling. An example of packaging in higher education is an online degree program. You may recall that #18 on the Fragility Indicators list was “No complete online program has been developed.” Most universities understand the importance of developing online programs. Currently, MC has numerous –6 bachelors degrees, 16 graduate degrees, and several certificate programs.

THE SECOND P:  Price–How much it costs HEDs costs are referred to as tuition & fees.

Setting price is a strategic issue. As you may recall #6 on the the Fragility Indicators list is about tuition: “Average annual tuition increase has been greater than 8 percent for five years.” Mississippi College benchmarks its tuition & fees with its peer institutions and key competitors. MC charts its increases in tuition and fees and considers the external environment when setting its price. Different pricing strategies may be used for different products.

When benchmarked with its ten peer institutions, MC’s tuition and fees are the lowest. The most recent IPEDS data are used to . The undergraduate tuition & fees for the 2021-2022 school year is $20,056.

Many universities provide scholarships based on residential living. Another way to refer to scholarships is the discount rate. This is definitely a price issue. Two items on the Fragility Indicators deal with tuition: #1 and #2 that state “Tuition discounting is more than 35%.” and “Tuition dependency is more than 85%.” These are both considered those items that cause the institution to be fragile. A successful university studies price. THE THIRD P:  Promotion–How do HEDs promote their product? This is usually done through advertising mediums, selling points, and public relations.

Let’s begin with some definitions. Advertising is the use of media to publicize a product. The media choices are vast—television, radio, billboards, newsletters, letters, websites, digital, and print pieces. The key to advertising is deciding which medium works best to advertise the product. Once the medium decision is made, then the decision is how much advertisement you need with this medium and when the advertisement should be used. A successful advertising campaign requires specialization. It can be quite costly.

Many universities use print pieces to advertise and promote their programs. The disadvantage of print pieces is the quickness that they become out-of-date. According to Richard A. Hesel, “every few years expensive marketing materials are discarded and others created, with administrators and marketing consultants churning out new brands, themes, and images at an alarming rate.” Understanding your market is extremely important. For example, graduate students want streamlined information rather than glitzy pieces that don’t give them the important facts—admission requirements, program requirements, and contact information. This is where direct mail advertising or electronic mail can be effective tools. Recently, Mississippi College purchased a piece of software that will automatically generate program-specific electronic mail messages and send them to our prospects. Probably the most widely used promotional tool for today’s student is the website. The websites of universities should be market-driven and up-to-date.

Public Relations may be defined as communication with various stakeholders; someone in charge of public relations manages unpaid publicity, like news coverage. 

THE FOURTH P:  Place–Where you sell it HEDs sell what they do in traditional brick buildings, on-line infrastructure, or a combination of both—commonly referred to as “brick & click.” In the January 2007 University Business article entitled “Is Demography Destiny?” (link in Topic 2) Robert Sevier encourages a diverse picture of the university. He says, “Institutions that serve diverse student populations will likely have an easier job hitting their aggregate enrollment goals than those that do not. By diversity, he lists these options:

· Residential and nonresidential

· Traditional and nontraditional age

· Full-time and part-time

· Degree seeking and students who wish to pursue a course or two

· Precollege students and post-college students

· Domestic and foreign students

· Brick (physical) students and click (online) students” (p. 30)

Each student market the university targets, must be reached through effective marketing strategies. The student market can be described as having any or all of these segments: Traditional (18-21 years old), residential students; Traditional (18-21 years old), commuter students; and/or Non-traditional students (Adults over 21, Online students, International students, Graduate students).

Each of these students have different needs, so when planning to enroll them, consider those needs–many times a budgetary item. It is vital that the HED analyze enrollment in all these different populations it serves. The attached powerpoint provides an analysis of MC’s freshmen enrollment.

 

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MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

ENROLLMENT ANALYSIS

FRESHMEN IN-STATE/OUT-OF-STATE

201301 In-State Out-Of-State 329 274 201201 In-State Out-Of-State 284 180 201101 In-State Out-Of-State 278 220 201001 In-State Out-Of-State 321 178 200901 In-State Out-Of-State 300 166

FRESHMEN WITH A 29 OR HIGHER ACT

Num Pres 201301 201201 201101 201001 200901 98 64 85 67 69

FRESHMEN MALE/FEMALE

201301 Male Female 293 310 201201 Male Female 194 270 201101 Male Female 227 272 201001 Male Female 224 276 200901 Male Female 214 257

FRESHMEN ETHNICITY

Freshmen by Ethnicity

201301 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 471 95 13 6 5 201201 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 354 94 7 2 2 201101 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 377 81 7 6 11 201001 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 368 86 12 10 200901 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 325 90 12 22

FRESHMEN ETHNICITY

Freshmen by Ethnicity

201301 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 471 95 13 6 5 201201 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 354 94 7 2 2 201101 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 377 81 7 6 11 201001 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 368 86 12 10 200901 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 325 90 12 22

FRESHMEN ETHNICITY

Freshmen by Ethnicity

201301 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 471 95 13 6 5 201201 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 354 94 7 2 2 201101 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 377 81 7 6 11 201001 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 368 86 12 10 200901 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 325 90 12 22

FRESHMEN ETHNICITY

Freshmen by Ethnicity

201301 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 471 95 13 6 5 201201 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 354 94 7 2 2 201101 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 377 81 7 6 11 201001 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 368 86 12 10 200901 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 325 90 12 22

FRESHMEN ETHNICITY

Freshmen by Ethnicity

201301 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 471 95 13 6 5 201201 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 354 94 7 2 2 201101 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 377 81 7 6 11 201001 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 368 86 12 10 200901 White Black Asian Indian Black/White Other Hawiian 325 90 12 22

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What is Branding? Is it about Image? Is it about Reputation?

The terms branding, image, and reputation are used interchangeably. Let’s investigate in more detail what these terms mean in HED.

Branding has been defined in various ways. Here are several:

1. What marketers call a brand or market position is nothing more than a compelling identity that expresses the special qualities of that product in ways that motivate the interest and inspire the dreams of important constituencies. [From the article “”; April 30, 2004 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education by Richard A. Hesel.]

2. A brand is the promise of a certain experience. [From the article “”; May 1, 2006 issue of ABC News by Yvonne Lai]

3. A brand is an attitude, a core philosophy, what you stand for. [From a lecture given Rob Bridges, Vice President and Partner of Mad Genius, Inc.]

At issue here is the expectation of value. A brand is basically an expectation based on the information that has been provided. For example, Mississippi College’s literature speaks of its old age—founded in 1826. It also speaks of the residential population. Therefore, a prospective student visiting the campus would expect to find nice brick traditional buildings with nice residential halls, a quad with a lot of green grass, and a nice library with many books.

Mississippi College has traditionally hired an advertising agency and outsourced this function.

Please read the blog called Shaping University Reputation at  The idea of shaping the university brand is an integrate and complicated thing. A strong brand should support such activities as enrollment and fundraising.

Strong brands allows the logo of the institution to solicit a response. For example, Nike and its logo:

Name the product or place associated with the following logos:

No matter what the approach used for university branding, it is imperative that marketing research be done. A university brand is a valuable thing to be protected once established. Rob Bridges, Vice President and Partner of Mad Genius, Inc., cautions universities to have someone to “watchdog the brand.” He says that brands can be fractured when mixed messages are sent.

You can also see the enrollment visual–often called the funnel–that refers to the types of reputation-building and marketing pieces used to get students to apply and enroll. 

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