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Recruiting the Next Generation of Business Leaders

Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education, market research, and entrepreneurship.

Numerous notable business innovators can be found listed among the school’s 60,000+ worldwide alumni.

"LMD has been an engaged and committed creative partner to the Smith School. Their work is inventive and beautiful, and the team has been an invaluable source of strategic advice, thoughtfully informed by market data."

Rebecca Winner, Executive Director, Marketing Communications

 

Project Mission

Smith partnered with LMD to elevate its brand and position itself among the nation’s most competitive and elite business schools. The primary goal was to increase its visibility in the marketplace to attract the best and brightest students for its graduate MBA and MS programs.

What We Did

As Smith’s agency of record for over ten years (2005-2016), LMD developed and executed strategic marketing programs that increased inquiries, leads, applications, and enrollments for Smith’s master’s-level programs.

Activities & Deliverables

  • Research with market trends
  • Audience segmentation
  • Branding
  • Marketing and campaign strategy
  • Creative campaign development
  • Paid media
  • Web design and development
  • Campaign metrics
 

Beginning by Listening

Leading business programs empower students to keep tabs on trends, listen closely to the market, and develop innovative solutions with the customer in mind. It was our job to approach marketing and creative development in the same fashion. To inform our media and creative strategies, we conducted multiple research efforts to expand our understanding of Smith’s audiences, continually map the changing business landscape, and develop effective campaigns that speak to the aspirations and ambition of prospective students. Efforts included student and alumni focus groups, stakeholder surveys, interviews, and development of audience personas.

 

Making Impressions with the Right Audiences

Smith needed a way to spark a relationship with prospective students in the right place, and at the right time in their career journeys. Over our decade-long engagement, LMD developed iterative campaign strategies that aligned with Smith’s recruitment cycles and worked cohesively to target prospective students across digital, social, print, transit, and out-of-home media. For when it came time to convert, LMD designed captivating and responsive online landing pages for each program or event.

LMD also introduced Smith to marketing automation technology, which helped facilitate lead generation and event signups. All marketing activity could now be tracked through a single shared campaign dashboard, allowing Smith to quickly identify what was working, and what was not. Through continuous, evidence-based optimizations to creative and media placements, we helped Smith build a smarter marketing strategy—prioritizing the tactics that were generating qualified leads, not just clicks.

Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
 
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland

Arming Recruiters with Data for a Streamlined Process

The introduction of marketing automation helped Smith bridge the gaps between its marketing and recruitment functions. First we integrated our marketing automation tool with Smith’s CRM platform—creating a seamless synchronization of prospective student data. Then we collaborated with Smith to develop custom scoring criteria that would automatically prioritize new leads for recruiters based on the information they provided and their behavior on the Smith website—their fit and engagement.

We backed this up with real-time notifications and automated delivery of personalized follow-up emails to new leads. Recruiters were now able to spend less time sending introductory messages to casual inquirers, and more time building real relationships with qualified prospective students who were engaged and ready to take the next step.

 

Marking a New Era for the Smith Brand

Smith arms students with the knowledge, entrepreneurial spirit, and collaborative mentality to lead the next generation of global business. We understood the equity and recognition of the University’s well-established “Fearless Ideas” educational brand and “Fear the Turtle” sports brand—so we worked with Smith to place a business lens on this concept and create a seamless, inspiring brand extension. Soon after, the “Lead Fearlessly” campaign was born. This message lives on today throughout the school’s marketing initiatives and as a centerpiece of student culture.

 

42M

impressions (average/campaign)

86%

decrease in cost per lead

149%

of lead gen target achieved for EMBA program

 
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
 
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
 
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
 
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland