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Event Highlights: AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education

December 05, 2017

The AMA (American Marketing Association) Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education 2017 was recently held in Atlanta, and this was MBuy’s second year as a sponsor. Typically, this conference   features a full schedule of programming with session after session offering a wealth of knowledge—and this year was no different. 

Common topics included: content strategy, elevating your social media, brand strategy, how to lead with data, engaging audiences, and brand coherence. The conference focused on the necessity of addressing diverse subjects and diverse needs in a rapidly changing landscape.

At the end of the day, the overarching theme was that each school has different offerings and needs that, of course, lead to different challenges, which can be addressed across advertising channels. For example, marketing to an undergraduate student is very different than marketing to a graduate student, marketing to female students requires a different strategy than marketing to male students, etc. Additionally, one student might be more interested in the school’s sports teams and athletic image, and another student might focus more on comfortable amenities and being located close to home.

With an estimated 23 million students expected to attend a college or university in 2018, how do you speak to a wide variety of students? Each student will have different wants and needs, and remember--you aren’t just marketing to students, but to their parents, as well. Therein lies one of the biggest challenges: marketing to the right people, with the right message at the right time.

During one session, a university explained that they wanted to focus on the unique offerings provided by their food/dining services. Why would a prospective student care about the dining services offered at a particular school? This university has all of their dining hall food sourced within a 150 mile radius to the school--thereby helping local business and supporting local farmers. Also, the school has a rich sustainability program and participates in shelter donations, which is very attractive for students who care about environmental and social issues. This is a unique marketing angle that is specific to a target audience—the perfect sell for a media buyer in the know.

Within the highly competitive Education space, each school’s message must be multi-faceted, connecting the creative with the media in a way that speaks to prospective students locally, nationally, and even internationally. No two schools’ needs are the same, and therefore no two media plans should be the same. The team at MBuy knows this, and we have the technology and tools at our disposal to deliver unique and relevant messages across channels at scale.

Universities are responsible for creating the next generation of leaders--and finding the right students to attend that university is marketing’s!  

Let MBuy show you how custom media strategies and execution are created especially for your needs. Click here to learn more.

Susan Shankman-Elvira

Senior Sales Director, MBuy