April 1

The MacGyver Approach to Marketing Strategies for Higher Education


I have been reliving the 80’s with my kids. They have discovered the Netflix cache of MacGyver episodes and find them fascinating (keep in mind, these are the same boys who have watched every episode of Mythbusters).

While you might not be rocking the mullet, chances are Mac could teach us a thing or two about our approach to marketing strategies for higher education.

He was smart

  • MacGyver had an end goal…usually to escape a predicament. He worked that end goal through a plan.
  • While you may not be in the same life-and-death situation, knowing your end goal is critical. Once you know that goal, work your own plan through editorial and marketing calendars.

He knew his audience

  • Whether it was bad guys in Burma or dealing with the mob, Mac knew his audience and predicted how they would react. He used that information to his benefit by creating profiles in his mind on how his “audience” would react.
  • You can target your audience with personas to predict how they will react and how to best plan for conversion.

He was resourceful

  • Paperclips. table salt, convenient 50-gallon drums of the chemical he needed. He used what he had.
  • You already have resources in place: viewbooks, twitter accounts, websites. Learn how to best use them!

Mac was creative

  • MacGyver never gave up and always lived under his own challenge. “Think MacGyver, think!”
  • Look to approach your own challenges from different angles and gain different point of views. We often provide outside perspective for marketing plans and new initiatives. Get a creative point of view.

He usually did it with little budget

What does this have to do with Marketing Strategies for Higher Education?

It is my attempt to illustrate my point:

  • While I don’t claim to be as smart as MacGyver, I do appreciate thinking harder and learning all I can. As such, I am utilizing proven tactics and techniques for blogging and content marketing. You’ll see the phrase “marketing strategies for higher education” repeated several times in this post. That is my target keyword based upon research of my audience search habits.
  • I am also using several tools to help me write toward that in real-time, using the best practices from Google, Twitter, and Facebook….where my audience will find my content. I also have an end goal of establishing credibility and expertise with new schools. I am not one of the larger education marketing firms that everyone knows – I have to be smart and nimble to compete.
  • I know my audience are marketing professionals at private schools, colleges and universities. They are looking for marketing strategies to be more effective in their roles. They are searching for help on the internet and are interested in ideas to help them succeed. Many of them are children of the 80’s and appreciate a good chuckle. They want a break to be entertained, but also informed.
  • As a small, nimble agency, we have to think how to stretch our resources for our own marketing. We have a series of tools and techniques that basically allow one person to run all of the marketing in addition to their other full-time job. Our marketing has to be smart and efficient, both in time and money. We build strategies around that principle for ourselves and others.
  • By using MacGyver as the basis of our post, it is a creative way to highlight basics of enrollment marketing and encourage those who are working in enrollment marketing every day. Being different and entertaining gains attention. There is curiosity to open a post referencing MacGyver on LinkedIN, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • This post took no additional budget other than the time to write, but we anticipate it will have a viewership of several thousand over the course of its lifetime.

What Would MacGyver Do?

If you need help with any of your marketing strategies, feel free to reach out.

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Featured image courtesy of Charles Williams(CC Attribution)
What Would MacGyver Do image courtesy of letmehearyousaydeskomdeskom(CC ShareALike)

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