Advancement offices often compete for resources from the on-campus marketing department. At times, it is a difficult balance between competing priorities and maintaining composure in a solicitation calendar. The question isn’t whether marketing and institutional advancement can work together; it’s how they can work together. Last year, Kristi Eaves-McLennan, Meredith College’s executive director of marketing, offered three great and easy to implement strategies in Inside Higher Ed to do just that for university advancement marketing.
The job of marketing has become increasingly more complicated, of course: “there is an increasing need,” says Eaves-McLennan, “for marketing offices to oversee branding efforts that differentiate their institutions and to develop marketing strategies designed to enroll and retain more students.” This can happen — but doesn’t have to — at the expense of giving attention to advancement efforts.
Donors, in short, should not get brushed aside for competing priorities. So what to do for university advancement marketing efforts? Three things.
The first effort is to synergize research. Clearly, the resources needed for research can become diffuse quickly. “At Meredith,” says Eaves-McLennan, “we solved this issue by partnering with IA to ensure that the research we conducted for our new branding campaign would also benefit donor communications.”
The second is to integrate messaging. You can “inspire donors to give to initiatives that will take the college to the next level” by linking your messages to appeal to not only prospective students but the ones who can help fund those students’ education.
Finally, Eaves- McLennan says, share: information and staff both. Whether you’re developing a web page or soliciting a potential donor, find what information both tasks need to be successful. A shared staff member can bridge that gap.
Read more at Inside Higher Ed.
Capture Higher Ed can act as that very bridge between content marketing for colleges and identifying the major prospects for advancement. With our marketing automation software, Capture Behavioral Engagement (CBE), we work every angle.
By Sean Hill, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed