Overview: The Vice President of Marketing & Enrollment (VPM&E) is responsible for overseeing the planning, development, distribution and analysis of Houghton College’s brand and enrollment strategy for all areas of the College (residential campus, extension centers, and online degree programs) in alignment with and in support of Houghton’s mission, vision, values and strategic goals.
The VPM&E will work with senior leaders, educators and stakeholders to establish brand and messaging strategy, and then oversee the execution and distribution through integrated marketing and communications program implementation. The VPM&E will also utilize segmentation, data analysis and business intelligence tools to measure and adjust marketing and communication strategies to maximize the efficiency and ultimate impact of all communication efforts to drive awareness, build brand affinity and activate admission quotas for college degree programs and events and ultimately optimize enrollment of best-fit students online, residentially, and at extension sites.
The VPM&E will oversee the areas of college communications/media relations, editorial and design services, web strategy and content creation to ensure consistency through all communication channels and generate forward-thinking ideas to build and maintain a robust digital, media, print and public relations presence and to effectively tell the Houghton story to diverse audiences.
The VPM&E likewise needs to understand prospective student segmentation, application and enrollment processes and relational recruitment techniques as they will ultimately lead the admission team accountable for converting applicants into matriculated students who will complete degree programs on Houghton’s residential and extension campuses as well as online. Additional enrollment activities will support Houghton’s regional event programs ranging from educational, inspirational, entertainment and sporting events.
To be successful, the VPM&E must possess demonstrated ability to lead and inspire a team, have outstanding interpersonal skills, and possess an enduring entrepreneurial spirit.
The VPM&E must also be a key collaborator with campus partners. With the Student Financial Services Office employ appropriate data and insights in the awarding of institutional financial aid to balance both enrollment and financial targets. With the Office of Retention, to meet retention and ultimately graduation targets.
The VPM&E also chairs the Enrollment Management Council.
Market Analysis: Provide a foundation of knowledge identifying Houghton’s distinctive competence, competitive threats and opportunities. Using market insights, help guide cross-functional leaders throughout the development and launch phases of degree programs, events and advancement activities.
Product Strategy: support degree program development and on-site event planning to aid cross-functional leaders in using market research to develop programs with maximum appeal. This includes program positioning, sales process & execution, developing user personas, product road maps, and launch plans.
Marketing Strategy: Create go-to-market strategies to increase awareness, brand affinity, use, referrals and loyalty. Utilize a data-driven approach to identify key messages and audiences, consistently telling the College’s stories by weaving them together to create a unified message that articulates the College’s image and brand to all constituents. This includes: developing marketing plans, prospective student acquisition strategies, program launch plans, creating prospective student personas, collecting and promoting testimonials, leveraging the college’s collective thought leadership, developing lead generation campaigns and more.
Sales Readiness: create the support programs necessary to convert prospects to enrolled participants in Houghton’s degree programs and attendees at the college’s events. This includes maintaining SWOT analysis, managing admission and enrollment teams, developing sales collateral, event marketing support, developing and maintaining performance measurements and more.
Channel Support: Champion cross-functional collaboration to help Houghton’s P&L leaders meet enrollment, endowment and attendance goals. Create a collegial, team-building work environment, motivating staff and cultivating productive, collaborative relationships with all constituent groups. Establish workflows for requesting, creating, editing, reviewing, approving, publishing, promoting and retiring marketing support college-wide.
Brand Management: Serve as the College’s brand manager, ensuring all content is on-brand, engaging, and consistent in terms of authentically conveying key brand attributes, style, quality and tone of voice, and optimized based on user segmentation for all channels of content, including online, mobile, social, email, video, print and in-person.
Departmental Management: Lead a diverse team of marketing and enrollment professionals including directors, managers, designers, writers, admission counselors and support staff, both in terms of departmental strategy and professional development. Develop standards, systems and best practices (both human and technological) for marketing and sales purposes.
Budget Management: Manage budget, define and measure ROI and KPIs that ladder back to the College’s brand and business goals for all activities.
Go the Extra Mile: Be willing/available to attend weekend and/or evening activities, meetings, and seminars. Some travel is required. Perform other job-related duties as assigned.
About the Department:
The Office of College Marketing & Enrollment serves as the institution’s central hub for content creation, brand management and driving enrollment including both degree program enrollment and campus event attendance. The office’s mission is to coordinate the College’s marketing and communication efforts and tell the Houghton story in interactive and compelling ways via our website, social media, video features, and media placements to increase awareness and spark engagement, driving enrollment for academic degree programs, and attendance at Houghton’s conferences, events, and community programs.
About Houghton College:
Houghton College was founded in 1883 as a Christian liberal arts college. For 136 years Houghton has prepared students from diverse denominational backgrounds to become global contributors empowered by a challenging education, embedded in a multi-generational, international community of learners, and grounded in Christian faith. Undergraduate degree programs are offered online, at extension center in Buffalo and Utica and at its founding campus in Houghton – located in New York’s scenic Allegany County on 1,300 pristine acres. Houghton’s residential campus offers amenities including 4+ miles of hiking trails, downhill ski slope, state-of-the art 115,000 square foot athletic complex, and nationally recognized equestrian center.
Today, Houghton’s student body represents 1,000 students from over 40 states and 31 countries and 30 Christian denominations. Baccalaureate degrees are offered in 46 fields and Master’s degrees are offered in Music and expected to expand to additional disciplines. A comprehensive, independent institution, Houghton’s mission is to provide an academically challenging Christ-centered education equipping students from diverse traditions and economic backgrounds to lead and labor as scholar-servants in a changing world. Houghton College is consistently recognized for excellence by The Fiske Guide to Colleges (a top 10 private institution), U.S. News & World Report (Best National Liberal Arts College), College Factual/USA Today (top 2% for best value in the U.S.) and more.
The ideal candidate will have 10+ years’ experience in marketing, sales and communication management in higher education, not-for-profit or service business experience, preferably within a complex organization with multiple locations.
Possess undergraduate degree in business, marketing or a communication-related field, with an advanced degree preferred (MBA, MS, MFA).
Successful career track record of developing and implementing research-based strategic integrated marketing and communication plans in a complex environment to activate consumer audiences.
Houghton College is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity within its administration, faculty, staff and student populations.
About Houghton College
Founded in 1883, Houghton College is a Christian liberal arts college in the Wesleyan tradition. Few colleges have so successfully combined the inspiration and strength of the Christian spirit with a contemporary, academically excellent, liberal arts education. The overall student body of 1,100 represents 40 states and Canadian provinces and 25 foreign countries.
Houghton is a member of the American Association of Colleges & Universities, the Annapolis Group and the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. US News & World Report's “America's Best Colleges" Guide has ranked Houghton among the Tier 1 National Liberal Arts institutions. Houghton is also ranked in the top 3 percent of colleges nationwide according to the fourth-annual ranking of America's Best Colleges, compiled by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Additional information on Houghton College can be found at: www.houghton.edu.
The college has an operating budget of $35 million.