Breaking Down Silos: Marketing and Enrollment Working as One Team

March 14, 2024

Breaking Down Silos: Marketing and Enrollment Working as One Team

tag Higher Education Enrollment Marketing
Breaking Down Silos: Marketing and Enrollment Working as One Team

A Recipe for Enrollment Success

In a previous blog post, we discussed the importance of a strong marketing and enrollment partnership. Enrollment marketing goes beyond numbers; it’s about crafting a compelling narrative, fostering an experience, and creating a journey. It’s also about building a connection that transcends a simple transaction, where students become part of your institution’s story.

Through conversations with clients and prospects, a common theme emerges: “This collaboration feels daunting.” Let’s delve into the reasons behind this disconnect and explore steps to break down departmental silos within your institution.

When was the last time genuine collaboration with enrollment and marketing occurred?

Both departments share the critical goal of increasing enrollment. Ideally, this should be a campus-wide responsibility. Unfortunately, departments often hold onto their responsibilities tightly (enrollment and admissions, we’re looking at you!). 

Here’s a breakdown of responsibilities with overlapping areas:

Marketing Enrollment Responsibilites

The overlap is clear, particularly in outreach, communication strategies, and advertising. 

The issue? It’s confusing for prospective students when marketing runs a brand awareness campaign with a specific tone and visuals while enrollment (through a partner) utilizes a different approach. This inconsistency wastes resources and weakens the message. Imagine the impact of a cohesive, collaborative effort!

Let’s Talk Honestly 

Enrollment sometimes goes rogue because it perceives marketing as slow or unresponsive. This can lead to cringe-worthy, off-brand communication.

Tip:  Monthly meetings are a simple solution. 

Share a calendar of needs and identify projects where marketing or enrollment should take the lead. 

Additionally, marketing can equip enrollment with brand guidelines and tone training to ensure consistent communication with prospective students and families.

Shared Ownership: A Different Perspective

Imagine an obstacle course where success depends on teamwork. Both enrollment and marketing significantly impact enrollment. 

Let’s examine your enrollment funnel:

Enrollment Funnel

Top of the Funnel 

Marketing and enrollment share the common goal of generating prospects and inquiries at the top of the enrollment funnel. 

For instance, marketing may launch a brand awareness campaign using digital marketing tools while enrollment may acquire lists to bolster the funnel’s top. These efforts result in leads that can be further nurtured. 

By pooling their resources and efforts, both teams can increase their chances of attracting right-fit students by widening their reach. A perfect example would be enrollment collaborating with marketing by sharing their upcoming visit plans, enabling marketing to reinforce brand awareness before counselors’ visits. 

This synergy enhances the effectiveness of both departments in achieving enrollment objectives.

Lead Nurturing

Together, departments can develop personalized, on-brand nurture campaigns tailored to specific audiences. This ensures consistent messaging throughout the funnel, making your institution stand out. 

As we move further down the funnel, marketing transitions into a supportive role, collaborating with enrollment to understand communication touchpoints and campaign needs.

This collaborative approach should extend throughout the recruitment process, culminating in a positive experience for enrolled students that continues into their campus life.

Tip: Create shared reporting.

Share performance updates and make adjustments collaboratively.

Both marketing and enrollment aim to positively impact the institution’s enrollment. Thus, having a transparent view of the reporting process would enable both departments to share ownership effectively.


Great ideas aren’t born in isolation. Collaboration fosters innovation. While marketing and enrollment have different perspectives, they share a common goal: build and maintain a thriving student body. 

If your teams already collaborate effectively, that’s fantastic! If not, have coffee or lunch with your counterparts and start breaking down those silos for the greater good of your institution.

Not sure where to start? Partner with an agency that understands how to break down barriers and collaborate with your different departments to drive enrollment.