Digital Marketing Consultant for Small-to-Medium-sized Colleges

Small colleges may not be able to afford the marketing necessary to thrive and grow.

In six years at Wheelock as the Director of Marketing Stephen made a huge impact, taking a department that was not meeting the institution’s needs and not only reviving it – he revolutionized it. Bringing in agency and freelance talent to augment his staff, he created Wheelock’s first social and digital advertising campaigns – with amazing outcomes! Thanks to Stephen the Marketing program at Wheelock played a crucial role in bringing in the largest class in Wheelock’s history.

— Roy Schifilliti, VP Administration, Institutional Effectiveness and Innovation

My name is Stephen Dill and I have been specializing in marketing for higher education Stephen Dillsince 2011. I worked first at Wheelock College in Boston to build a marketing department and the systems needed to bring in the largest class in its history. I then worked as a consultant for one year at Cottey College in Nevada, MO, to again build a marketing department and the systems needed to increase their enrollment, as well as find a full-time successor.

Knowing the varied skills and degree of expertise necessary to build marketing campaigns that get found by the students looking for specific college experiences, I realized that many small colleges will not have sufficient tuition-based revenue to afford the marketing staff they will need.

The adverse impact of marketing the same way as before is measurable in enrollment data and predictable in your marketing methods. Worldwide thousands of students are looking for what your college offers, you just don’t know where they are and you should not guess. Traditional, and many non-traditional, students are searching for colleges like yours, will yours be in their search results? Using proven methods your Marketing Department can become a lead generation machine and your Enrollment Department will do what they do best: build relationships with prospects to convert them to deposits who stay full term to earn their degrees.

The solution to this marketing challenge is not terribly costly, it does not need larger staffing, and once in place it is easy to monitor and adjust. Working with your team to identify their primary strengths, evaluate how they are being applied, and bring in the missing resources on contract will create the lead generation mechanisms you need. Then your team takes over and keeps it optimized.

What I Offer

The primary benefit I provide is a plan based on success. A college president and their leadership team can access my experience in portions or engage me for a full transformation. Choose from four modules alone or in any combination:

  • Marketing Strategy – current assessment to go-forward plan
  • Staffing Assessment – strengths, adjustments, gaps, and how to address each
  • Digital Marketing – goals, systems, implementation, measurement, and optimization
  • Executive Coaching – coaching the president and their leadership council on what to ask for and what to expect from their Marketing Department

While the emphasis of my work is on raising the enrollment and increasing tuition-based revenue, the value of content marketing on Advancement and Alumni Relations is real and important. I am fully prepared to work with your marketing team to be sure they are able to leverage the same systems we put in place to communicate with the audience of prospects and influencers to raise awareness and engagement with donors and alumni.

When I first met with Stephen, I asked him to pull no punches – I wanted to know what it would take to turn Cottey into a marketing-conscious community and to grow the global awareness of this amazing college. He wasted no time accelerating a static brand roll out; redesigning our enrollment collateral and messaging; infusing new energy in our social media to increase awareness, engagement and growth; and launching the “We Are Cottey” blog with faculty and student contributions. He contracted with a media agency to capture and create 36 videos to increase the value of and traffic to our YouTube channel; working with Finance and other departments, he recommended staff changes that benefited the College. Stephen managed the search for freelance consultants, a digital agency, and his own replacement. He took every opportunity to meet with students, faculty, staff, or alumna and made those encounters teaching moments. Stephen left Cottey College wiser about brand, messaging, and digital marketing.

— Jann Weitzel, Ph.D., president, Cottey College

For many small colleges right now, time is of the essence. May I speak with you for 15 minutes?

Contact me at srdill@me.com or text/call 339-364-1105.

Career details available on my résumé: Stephen Dill-Senior Digital Strategy Leader-2019