AACSB Blog

A Look at Higher Ed Marketing and Development Departments Worldwide


Posted June 16, 2017 by Andrea Smith - Senior Associate - AACSB International

Though the marketing and development functional groups at higher education institutions often operate with vastly different budgets and numbers of employees than their peers, we found that they share some of the same challenges and resource types as departments from dissimilar institutions.

AACSB’s Marketing and Communications Council Affinity Group recently surveyed 200 schools (72 percent public and 28 percent private) on topics including budget, organizational structure, and departmental priorities, among others. The survey also contains questions aimed at getting comparison results against a similar 2008 survey for trend analysis. AACSB’s Development Professionals Affinity Group also collected data to gauge characteristics like campaign goals and status and staff numbers. Here are just a few noteworthy findings:

  • From 2008 to 2016, the typical marketing department went from an average of 4.4 full time equivalent (FTE) staff members to 5.7
  • When asked, “What does your department do best?” respondents in 2016 reported social media as the top answer, followed by print materials. Comparatively, the strengths of these same departments in 2008 were marketing collateral and branding, respectively
  • Commonly, individuals working in development value relationship building and team building. Their greatest reported opportunities for improvement include more staffing resources and lifelong engagement strategies for alumni

The infographics below offers a broad view of marketing and development departments. Schools that participated in the survey can access the full results on AACSB’s DataDirect, the world’s largest resource for business school data.

Infographic of business school marketing and development stats from AACSB-accredited schools

Infographic of business school marketing and development stats from AACSB-accredited schools

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