We are a full-service marketing agency for colleges and universities.
Our research-driven approach increases leads, applications, enrollments, and retention.
We are a full-service marketing agency for colleges and universities.
Our research-driven approach increases leads, applications, enrollments, and retention.
Regular pipeline analyses helped equip marketing, admissions, and faculty with the right messaging for interactions with prospects and applicants.
“Suzan and her staff members were strategic, collaborative, and proactive in ensuring that we used our prospect and applicant data to drive conversions. Suzan’s attention to detail and innovative approaches increased ROI and relationships with our faculty stakeholders.”
At Penn State, Suzan led a multi-year initiative to build out an international recruitment strategy, consisting of quantitative and qualitative research, in-country focus groups, message testing, and pilots for global media buys.
The research helped select South Korea as the optimal target market. Using custom imagery, messaging, and a digital media mix, we reduced acquisition cost by 50% compared to domestic students, and recruited 200+ students in the first three years.
“A few years ago, the highly ranked Penn State University World Campus was exploring developing a focused international marketing campaign to reach students in targeted countries around the world. Suzan Brinker led this global market research strategy. Her innovative, thorough, focused, objective and high quality work inspired huge confidence in the results. As a result, her deep quantitative and qualitative assessments informed the World Campus’ global marketing strategy, resulting in a cost effective and successful strategic marketing campaign.”
The Mass Legal Assistance Corporation launched a legal resource finder, which over 20k people per month use to get connected with legal aid organizations. While many users were accessing the site, it was hard to tell how many of the users were finding what they were looking for. We designed and implemented tests with the actual demographic that is most likely to use the system.
The tests revealed major obstacles that users experienced to find the assistance they needed. We were able to improve the portal with content changes that were economical to implement and could help users right away. Beyond successfully implementing the tests, we trained five staff members in future test design and implementation,so the cycle of improvement could continue.
At Penn State and Northeastern, Suzan and her team conducted dozens of SWOT Analyses in addition to competitor research projects and value proposition exercises to identify short-term and long-term opportunities for curriculum improvement.
Strategic presentations to and discussion with faculty and administrators about opportunities for curriculum improvement better aligned market demand with institutional supply, ensuring the sustainability and fiscal health of programs offered.
“Suzan has a mind for strategy. She is terrific at facilitating groups to develop a shared vision and helping translate that vision into action. She follows through to keep things moving while simultaneously taking the time to build the buy-in she knows is needed.”
The Global Entrepreneurship Week Brand at Penn State was stale with lackluster images and uninspired copy. Suzan and her team reimagined the logo and tied the tagline “Start Something Here” into the larger Penn State concept of “Inspired Doers.”
The year of the rebranding doubled the previous year’s attendees for Global Entrepreneurship Events.
“Suzan supervised a group of marketing strategists with whom I worked very closely for nearly four years. Her input and direction on our shared projects was always on point and delivered clearly. It has been a pleasure watching her team members flourish under her leadership.”
Before the start of every fiscal year, Suzan and her teams at Penn State and Northeastern worked with faculty and administrators to develop a marketing plan for each partner unit and academic program they supported. In total, that translates to 80+ marketing plans created under Suzan’s leadership.
Consistent and actionable marketing plans increased clarity for internal and external stakeholders, grew ROI, and created efficient workflows.
“I had the pleasure of working closely with Suzan at Penn State Outreach. She was a phenomenal leader who constantly inspired and encouraged our team. Suzan had great relationships with unit leaders across the University and provided strategic leadership that guided our teams most impactful marketing work.”
Over 1,000 colleges and universities have joined Campus Compact to increase civic engagement.
We redesigned and rebuilt their website. In close collaboration with the client team, we brought together 5,000 web pages of scrambled documents into a resource library.
We went beyond the original scope of the project to update their logo and refresh the face of the organization and have continued to work closely with the organization to help launch new initiatives, improve the resource library, and launch 18 additional websites for the regional and state sub organizations
“We have been very pleased by the graphic design work performed by Viv. Both their overall website design and their logo re-design work have achieved exactly what we hoped: We now have a public presentation telling the world that we are up-to-date without being trendy, that we are focused, that we are active, that we are making change…We have been working hard to communicate to our audiences that we are a rejuvenated organization, rapidly moving forward in pursuit of our mission. From the feedback we have received from constituents, we know that Viv’s web design has been a crucial element in our success in achieving that communications goal.”
Suzan has led domestic and international search campaigns. She has direct experience with Google, Bing, Naver, and Daum.
Penn State’s paid search campaign in South Korea leveraged Google and Naver to drive prospect traffic to a designated landing page with custom messaging and photography for international audiences. Informed by rigorous market research, the SEO strategy for this landing page highlighted key value propositions for Korean prospects. The campaign’s student acquisition cost was 50% lower than for domestic search campaigns.
“Suzan is a pro at SEO and SEM strategy. She considers keywords and search engine algorithms early on when planning campaigns and pushes her collaborators to do the same. This results in stronger copy, better websites, and increased ROI”
At both Northeastern and Penn State, Suzan led content development for dozens of email nurture campaigns. Always rooted in audience insights and quantitative data, those email campaigns highlighted custom value propositions and equipped prospects with information they needed throughout their journey to becoming enrolled students.
Email nurture campaigns facilitated 1:1 contact between admissions staff and prospective students. Clients saw increased conversions to applicants and enrollments when compared to traditional email blast campaigns.
“Suzan knows her audiences and develops content that will resonate with them. She is able to integrate CRM strategy and technology to deliver results.”
Our client Climate X Change (CXC) is a highly impactful carbon pricing research, advocacy and communication organization that needed an effective and inspiring landing page that could truly convert and inspire people to shell out $250 for a raffle ticket towards winning a Tesla and supporting the organization.
The website in 2018 sold over 3,434 tickets across the country, grossing $858,000 and netting $588,000 for the org. The tickets sold through a landing page that needed to inspire two audiences: those who covet a new car and those who want to help the planet, and so it did. We also redesigned the main website of the organization, which has helped the organization expand its efforts from Massachusetts to around the country.
“Since Viv redesigned our website we have more than tripled our membership, we have also seen an increase in engagement from our active members, both of which have helped grow the impact of our organization.”
At Northeastern, Suzan’s team developed downloadable e-books and blog posts for a large portfolio of undergraduate and graduate programs.
“Earned” leads converted at a higher rate than paid leads across the board, which served as “proof of concept” for content marketing and allowed to team to ramp up efforts and budgets in this area.
“Suzan’s vast knowledge of the Higher Ed industry allows her to immerse herself in the institution’s brand and produce content that is informative and relevant. Her ability to stay on top of industry trends while maintaining the core value propositions within all communications is a unique and valuable skill.”
Suzan and her teams at Penn State and Northeastern have worked with many social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have performed best when it comes to increasing quality leads, meaning prospects who engage with program marketing materials in meaningful ways and convert to applicants at high rates.
LinkedIn sponsored ads and inMail campaigns were uniquely effective in driving quality leads into undergraduate and graduate programs.
“Suzan has a talent for creating engaging content in a concise, informative way that motivates the target audience to take the next desired action. She knows what value propositions are important to prospective students at each point of the student enrollment journey and how to elevate these in communications. Suzan is also an expert in developing marketing campaigns for both the international and domestic audiences, and has a strong handle on how communication strategies for these core groups differ.”
Penn State Outreach needed to demonstrate its complexity and impact in a way that captured the attention of peer institutions, donors, administrators, and the media. After delivering the print version of the inaugural annual report, Suzan leveraged the content for the organization’s website redesign.
The Annual Report and subsequent website increased internal and external understanding of Penn State Outreach’s mission and impact to improve fundraising efforts and media placement.
“Suzan worked on an annual report for my unit in 2018. The final document showcased our mission and impact in a compelling and effective manner, and we were able to use it in conversations with donors and other stakeholders.”
We have collaborated with a premier app building company with 9 years of wayfinding app building experience on their Frmwrk.io platform.
Frmwrk.io is the most beautiful and functional custom map and tour app engine on the market. The app also has event functionality that makes it a great solution for alumni weekends and for a fully immersive touring schedule of prospective students, or for summer and pre-college programs on campus.
We are hiring! Please see the Digital Marketing Strategist role.
Suzan has dedicated her career to helping higher education initiatives build strong value propositions and communicating them to the right audiences. Her work spans enrollment marketing initiatives at Penn State, Northeastern, Babson, and Tufts. Having served as Director of Marketing in complex university settings, Suzan is excited to lead Viv Higher Education because it gives her the chance to build the agency partner she always wished she had.
Suzan is a collaborative leader who understands how to navigate university environments. She has worked extensively with faculty, administrators, and senior leadership teams and is proud of her track record of increasing conversions and enrollments for initiatives targeting a diverse set of audiences, including: continuing education and lifelong learning; undergraduate and graduate students; domestic and international audiences; and broader university communities and employers.
Kalman is a creative leader with an eye for detail honed from rigorous training in the fine arts at Boston University. He has developed graphics for small businesses and nonprofits as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies. After transitioning to web design, Kalman’s deep curiosity about psychology and human behavior led him to cultivate an expertise in User Experience (UX) and the subtle aspects of persuasive design.
Audra specializes in conducting market research and implementing data-backed communications plans, including broadcast and nurture emails, social media strategy, and execution, and messaging centered around key value propositions. Audra offers strong communications and digital marketing skills, as well as a background in admissions and enrollment management. Thanks to her prior experiences at both Bowling Green State University and Williams College, she understands the importance of building and strengthening relationships across university communities.
During her decade and a half in the field of international higher education, Flannery has worked with universities, colleges, consortia, government agencies, companies, and nonprofits in 15+ countries to improve their international communications and strategies. Her background has included positions such as lead marketing and publicity writer for the global outreach office of a US university, editor at a large university press in China, and manager of content strategy and editorial services at The Brenn-White Group, a marketing firm that established international higher education as a specialized field requiring focus and dedication.
Emily has several years of higher education communications experience, with skills encompassing social media management, content creation, marketing analytics, and public relations. She found marketing and communications when seeking out a career that allowed her to combine her creative streak and analytical mind in day-to-day work, and she’s been passionate about translating data into actionable insights ever since.
Her previous roles at Penn State, as well as completion of her Master of Professional Studies in Strategic Communications, have led her to develop a broadened understanding of the strategy necessary to drive successful marketing and public relations campaigns.
Shamir seeks to bridge the gap between human behavior and technology. Shamir’s journey to marketing technology began when he accidentally started a business in high school designing websites and social media pages, after learning programming languages as a hobby. He has over 10 years of rich experience within the marketing, technology, and higher education sectors at institutions including the University of Massachusetts, Georgetown University, and Harvard University. Shamir’s inquisitive mind drives him to explore all facets of a problem to find the most effective technical solutions for his clients, driving efficiency and enabling them to reach their goals.
Soon after starting at Johnson & Johnson in 1999, Steve grew interested in digital marketing and became the in-house expert on web analytics. In his 25 years there, he managed multiple large-scale Google Analytics projects, facilitating tracking mechanisms to monitor website activity and campaign performance. At Viv Higher Ed, Steve helps our clients diagnose website tracking issues to ensure proper lead attribution and conversion tracking. He also builds data dashboards to provide a holistic view of the enrollment funnel, enabling more strategic decisions about marketing spend and priorities.
Adam’s technology skill-set spans every layer of online production, from UI design and development to software architecture to enterprise server management. Hailing from a background in the humanities and education, he switched to the online technology field in 2006.
Adam worked as a web developer for the Boston Herald, where he managed the codebase, designed new features, and co-managed a high-traffic server cluster. Today, Adam specializes in public sector transparency and workflow efficiency. In 2012, he designed and developed a modular platform for state governments to publish election statistics, starting with Massachusetts.
Matt was hooked on web design after building his first website in 2003 and has not stopped since. He was the lead web and graphic designer for the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut for seven years, where he managed Mystic.org, a leading tourism website that was later incorporated into the state’s official tourism site, CTVisit.com.
Matt is a proper unicorn—the magical mix of designer and developer—who specializes in alleviating the issues that so often pop up between design ideas and perfect code implementation for all devices, which is the Achilles heel of the modern web.
Are you energetic marketing professional looking for your next career move? We’d love to hear from you. For this Digital Marketing Strategist position, but we are always also looking to connect with additional senior advisors and specialists – contact us if you are passionate about Higher Education marketing.