What Does a Higher Education Marketing Timeline Look Like?

What Does a Higher Education Marketing Timeline Look Like?

Partnering with a higher education marketing firm for marketing and enrollment services is a big, exciting decision. And once you’ve made a commitment, you’re understandably eager to get ads in market as quickly as possible. 

At MindMax, we share your enthusiasm and are just as committed to a new engagement as you are. We work diligently behind the scenes to streamline campaign kickoffs. But there are many steps that occur after you accept a proposal, and we always like to set realistic expectations. 

In the spirit of transparency, we’re sharing what our process looks like from proposal through kickoff and offering practical tips to reduce friction along the way.

The Ideal Marketing Kickoff Timeline 

Many clients envision a two-month turnaround from the moment they approve a proposal to the moment they’ll know if their campaign is “working.” But the proposal is really the trigger for contract negotiations, which can take up to two months to finalize. 

Once we hear a yes, we jump into action, even while contract negotiations are going on. Our team needs to allocate resources, collect data, obtain system access, hold internal and client strategy meetings, and develop content for the campaign before we can get in the market.

Tips for Streamlining Your Timeline

We’re committed to doing everything we can on our end to expedite your kickoff timeline. Here’s what you can do to reduce friction on your end: 

Meet with internal stakeholders and decision-makers early in the process
Sometimes, clients start the conversation with a higher education marketing firm prior to obtaining the necessary approvals from key team members. We recommend holding internal discussions to determine stakeholders’ and decision-makers’ wants, needs, and priorities before engaging with us. The more information you can provide us initially, the faster we can move forward.

Determine your budget
What is your budget, and where is the money for marketing and enrollment services coming from? We’re willing to work within the constraints of whatever budget you have, within reason. We may not be able to execute all the initiatives you want, but we can make strategic recommendations based on the wants, needs, and priorities you share with us.

Understand your school’s approval process
Once a proposal is verbally agreed upon, the next step is typically contracting. However, some schools require other approvals before contracting can begin. For instance, your engagement may exceed a predetermined threshold that requires an RFP and competitive bidding process. Knowing your school’s approval process—and potentially connecting us with your financial team—helps eliminate time-consuming delays.

Dedicate one point of contact
We can’t speak for other higher ed marketing firms, but at MindMax, our team begins the initial discovery for a campaign during the contracting process. We recommend providing one point of contact for our project manager to speak with to streamline access to systems, data, and assets. This person needs to be empowered to make decisions and execute on the tasks assigned to them. 

Ultimately, allowing adequate time for a campaign to progress from proposal to kickoff helps us deliver a better outcome. At MindMax, we’re committed to building meaningful relationships and getting results, and we strike a careful balance between urgency and due diligence as we prepare for a new engagement. Contact us today to learn how we can help your school reach its enrollment goals.