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Arkansas Tech Undergraduate Marketing

University’s long-term branding efforts help achieve significant enrollment growth.

In 2003, Arkansas Tech University implemented a 10-year strategic plan. One of the five major goals of that plan was to improve and expand the geographic appeal of its brand among high school students and their parents throughout the state. The expected results included enrollment growth, higher-quality applicants and students, and higher graduation and retention rates.

Marketing Goal:

In higher education marketing, the communications function’s primary goals are to increase brand awareness and consideration – in short, to get on the consideration list of more prospective students and their influencers. This provides a pipeline of leads (interested high school students) for the admissions office, which, at Arkansas Tech, does an outstanding job of converting prospects into applicants into enrolled students.


A complete multi-channel branding campaign was launched in the fall of 2003. Among high school students and their parents, research indicated a wide gap between perception and reality in terms of the school’s quality, facilities, programs and activities. And the further away from Russellville, the larger the gap became. The campaign has included TV, print, outdoor, a complete website overhaul, online display, search marketing, collateral and web video.


The perception of the Arkansas Tech brand among high school students and their parents has changed:

  • Top-of-mind awareness is up 31%
  • High school students with an "extremely positive view" is up to 10%
  • Parents of high school students with an "extremely positive view" is up 36%
  • Enrollment has grown 67% and Tech is now among the state's five largest universities
  • The average ACT score of incoming freshman is up
  • Tech now boasts the second highest six-year graduation rate in the state only behind the University of Arkansas.




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