Recent report outlines success of IU marketing

Dan Smith, dean of the Kelley School of Business, presented this report to the Board of Trustees when it convened Oct. 13 and 14, Board Chairman William Cast said.

“Universities really aren’t different from any other organization when it comes to marketing,” Smith said. “If we at IU want to attract the best students and the best faculty, and not to mention outside support for students, for scholarships or to support research, IU absolutely must be endowed in a meaningful way.”

Smith said IU President Michael McRobbie asked him to look into the University’s marketing efforts and offer recommendations on ways to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

Smith said he spoke with leaders of the IU campuses to understand how the schools market their programs. He then combined this feedback with information from marketing leaders in the president’s office and his own observations and experience.

Through his research, Smith found an increase in student applications, student quality, research funding at IU and recruitment of students by companies and government corporations.

“It suggests that something is working well here,” he said. “It’s clear that, collectively, our marketing efforts are making an important, positive difference with respect to many of the University’s most important goals.”

Cast said the report defines what can be done in order to make marketing efforts more coherent overall.

Smith also emphasized the importance of using marketing to indicate IU’s differences compared to competing universities.

“We have to communicate those differences in the marketplace,” he said. “It’s really critical for us to have a compelling value proposition and to articulate it vigorously to the marketplace.”

Smith said although he did not execute the report to instigate changes in IU’s marketing, he believes there will be improvements nonetheless.
“The purpose of the report was not to change the marketing strategy of IU, per se,” he said. “That being said, as a result of executing these recommendations, I think we can expect the marketing activities and the marketing strategies of various units on our campuses to evolve.”

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