The visibility is clear: Integrated marketing makes a difference in higher education

Dennis Richard DePerro, University of Pennsylvania


Integrated Marketing requires institutions to think and act strategically across the board. It is defined as a listening-first, database-dependent approach that segments and coordinates strategic assets for specific target audiences. Specifically, these strategic assets are product, place, price and promotion; the traditional "four P's" of marketing. At the conclusion of the 1990's, integrated marketing entered the dialogue of the academy for the purpose of increasing visibility and potentially raising the level of enrollment, giving, name recognition and pride on many campuses. Colleges and universities that are regional, predominantly small, and often those that have slim endowments and limited resources have been the main participants in costly efforts to expand their geographic base, increase name recognition, strengthen enrollment and cultivate better relationships with their constituents. This study is designed to gain an understanding of the impact of integrated marketing at three Master's Colleges and Universities I. The institutions selected for this study are from the universe of small comprehensive colleges and universities that generally rely heavily on tuition and giving as their sources of revenue, with tuition clearly being the largest contributor. This qualitative study focuses on three regional universities that have acknowledged their engagement in integrated marketing. This case study approach explores the influence integrated marketing has had on each of these campuses. The following questions are addressed in depth: Has integrated marketing been successful in the view of all major stakeholders? How have target audiences responded to institutional message? What assets have been created as a result of this process? Has integrated marketing had a positive impact on enrollment and tuition revenue? Has support from alumni and benefactors increased since engagement in integrated marketing? Has engagement in this process helped the institution realize its mission and vision? The findings indicate that those who have employed integrated marketing, in a formal manner, have had dramatically increased enrollment, substantially increased giving, and greater engagement of all constituencies, internal and external to the institution. In the end, the study validates the important role integrated marketing can play in moving institutions toward realizing their vision.

Subject Area

Higher education|Marketing|School administration

Recommended Citation

DePerro, Dennis Richard, "The visibility is clear: Integrated marketing makes a difference in higher education" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3210007.