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2022 Building a Better Higher Education Marketing Team — Survey Report: Preliminary Results

We surveyed more than 100 higher education professionals to capture the current and future states of higher education marketing teams — including roles, skills, and capabilities. Here are some preliminary findings from the initial data.

We'll continue to collect survey responses until the middle of November, but we already have more than 100 responses from higher education marketing professionals from large public universities as well as small private institutions. Based on the preliminary data, there are a number of insights we're excited to share as we build out the full report. 

What primary leadership group does your team report to?

A donut graph displaying team reporting structure based on the 2021 survey data

 

A donut graph displaying team reporting structure based on the 2022 survey data

When we first fielded our Building a Better Higher Ed Marketing Team Survey in 2021, it was abundantly clear that higher ed marketing teams report to a wide range of leadership groups. The preliminary data from 2022 shows some signs of consolidation — particularly with more teams reporting directly to the President (+20%) and fewer reporting to the Advancement/Alumni/Parent group (-24%) — but the industry is still quite varied in terms of reporting structure.

Please indicate the extent to which you agree with the statements below:

A bar graph outlining the resource sentiments of higher ed marketing professionals based off data from the 2021 survey
A bar graph outlining the resource sentiments of higher ed marketing professionals based off data from the 2022 survey

Just as we saw in 2021, higher ed marketing professionals are still somewhat dissatisfied with both the size of their team, as well as their budget. At the same time, confidence in the skills of their team and the training opportunities available to them, has increased significantly (+26%) — a surprising increase considering the concern regarding budget. It would appear that survey respondents are either finding inexpensive or free professional development opportunities, or they are simply more confident in the skills of their team than they were a year prior.

How many full-time employees are in your department?

A bar graph outlining the changes to higher education marketing staff based on 2021 survey data
A donut chart displaying the number of higher ed marketing team members based on the 2022 survey results

Team size is one area where we're seeing a very clear trend away from small teams in favor of larger ones. Teams of just one or two people handling everything from design, to content creation, to social media made up 22.73% of respondents when we fielded a similar survey in 2017. Based on our preliminary results for 2022, just 3.30% of respondents belong to a team that small. At the same time, large teams with 16+ are increasingly becoming the norm, with 40.66% of respondents belonging to the largest teams.

In the next year or so, do you expect your department will...?

A bar graph outlining the changes to higher education marketing staff based on 2021 survey data
A bar graph outlining the changes to higher education marketing staff based on 2022 survey data

As for where higher ed marketers feel their teams are trending, it's impressive to see that — at least so far — not a single respondent feels confident that their team will get smaller in the year ahead. Nearly everyone who responded feels their team will either increase in size, or at least stay the same. The level of uncertainty has also declined, with far fewer responders claiming that they "don't know." 

Full Report Coming in Early 2023

While the preliminary data we've covered here is compelling, it is just a small subset of the valuable insights we'll be able to share once we've finished collecting responses and are able to pore through the entirety of the data from the 30-question survey. Once we complete the final report, our hope is for you to be able to compare your department to the survey findings and be able to make the case for what you need to build your best higher ed marketing team. 

To get access to the full report as soon as it is available, enter your information in the form below.

Learn How the Higher Education Marketing Industry is Evolving

OHO Interactive is leading a research study to better understand the staffing resources marketing and communication departments have, to capture the current and future states of higher education marketing teams — including roles, skills, and capabilities. The full report will be available in early 2023.

Register now to get access to the repot as as soon as it is available.