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10 Higher Education Marketing Agencies to Boost Your Brand Equity

By Adrienne Bosch Last updated: 21 minute read By Industry or SectorMarketing Agencies

Do you need a great marketing agency for your college or university? Tertiary education holds a unique position in digital marketing.

Marketing for tertiary education institutions presents some specific nuances and demands that a specialized higher education marketing agency can masterfully navigate to bolster enrollment numbers and build excellent brand reputations.

So, why is marketing for tertiary education different from other sectors? What do college education advertising agencies bring to the table? And which are the best agencies to work with?

This in-depth review of the best marketing agencies specializing in tertiary education also delves into some of the nuances of tertiary education marketing, examining its significance, the unique strategies employed by top agencies, and the transformative effect it has on educational institutions worldwide.

10 Best Higher Education Marketing Agencies

1. Vital

Vital higher education marketing agency Logo


Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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Founded: 2001

Locations: Boston, Massachusetts; San Francisco, California; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA

Number of Employees: 51-200


  • Website Design and Development
  • Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Paid Advertising Management
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Brand Strategy
  • Social Media Strategy


  • The University of San Diego
  • The University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • The University of Cincinnati
  • The University of New Hampshire
  • College for America
  • University of Connecticut


Vital is a well-established digital agency renowned for its metrics-driven approach and innovative strategies in the realm of tertiary education marketing.

With roots dating back to 2001, the agency brings with it two decades of experience, particularly standing out with its deep understanding of online degree programs and how to market them effectively.

Vital’s distinct blend of comprehensive digital expertise and a keen understanding of the tertiary education sector positions them as a formidable ally for institutions.

Their aptitude for converting website traffic into tangible results makes them a standout choice in college education marketing.

Vital higher education marketing agency
Source: Vital

2. Sixth City Marketing

Sixth City Marketing higher education marketing agency Logo

Sixth City Marketing

Westlake, Ohio, USA

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Founded: 2010

Locations: Westlake (Headquarters), Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; and Chicago, Illinois, USA

Number of Employees: 11-50


  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
  • Website Design and Development
  • Content Writing tailored to branding and niche
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Conversion Rate Optimization


  • Kent State University
  • Ohio University
  • Columbus College of Art & Design
  • North American Trade Schools
  • West Virginia Junior College


Since its inception in 2010, Sixth City Marketing has firmly established itself as a dedicated digital marketing agency emphasizing higher education.

Situated in Cleveland’s heartland and with a footprint across the Midwest, this agency understands the unique marketing challenges educational institutions face.

Sixth City Marketing is distinguished by its commitment to creating unique, result-oriented strategies without taking shortcuts.

By offering bespoke services such as SEO, PPC, and website design, they’ve helped boost the online presence of many colleges, universities, trade schools, and junior colleges.

Notably, their tailored approach to Kent State’s Executive MBA program yielded a substantial 135% increase in leads, exemplifying their commitment to tangible results.

Sixth City Marketing, a higher education marketing agency, homepage
Source: Sixth City Marketing

3. OHO Interactive

OHO Interactive higher education marketing agency Logo

OHO Interactive

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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Founded: 1998

Locations: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Number of Employees: 11-50


  • Website and CMS
  • Content Strategy
  • Digital Marketing
  • Full Funnel Digital Marketing
  • Capital Campaign Websites
  • User Research


  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Columbia Law School
  • University of Oklahoma College of Law
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Samuel Merrit University
  • Babson College
  • Virginia Tech


OHO Interactive has been at the forefront of tertiary education marketing for over two decades, having collaborated with over 100 institutions.

Hailing from Boston, MA, they have a rich history of understanding prospective student journeys, ensuring universities secure leads and achieve actual enrollments.

OHO Interactive stands apart with its unique approach to understanding student journeys and ensuring genuine enrollments, not just leads.

OHO Interactive’s prowess goes beyond the ordinary; they are an award-winning digital agency known for their expertise in digital strategy, research, website design, content strategy, and digital marketing.

Their impressive portfolio boasts collaborations with prestigious institutions such as Dartmouth and Holy Cross.

OHO Interactive higher education marketing agency Homepage
Source: OHO Interactive

4. Carnegie

Carnegie higher education marketing agency Logo


Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Founded: 1985

Locations: Chicago, Illinois; and Westford, Massachusetts, USA

Number of Employees: 201-500


  • Website Redesign
  • Content Strategy and Writing
  • Digital Marketing Strategy
  • User Research
  • User Testing
  • CMS and Website Development


  • The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
  • Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
  • Northeastern College of Engineering
  • Park University
  • Elmhurst University
  • University of North Dakota


Previously known as mStoner and rebranded as Carnegie, this college education marketing powerhouse has been a trailblazer in the domain since its inception.

The Chicago-based agency that Michael Stoner founded has worked with over 300 colleges, universities, and educational institutions across the US since its founding in 2001.

Carnegie is renowned for creating genuine connections in the world of tertiary education marketing. By harnessing the principles of human psychology and blending them with innovative marketing and enrollment strategies, they craft unique narratives that resonate deeply with students.

Recognized for its commitment to delivering full-scale website redesigns, authentic storytelling, content creation, and strategic digital communications, Carnegie’s portfolio speaks volumes about its expertise.

Carnegie higher education marketing agency Homepage
Source: Carnegie

5. The Kor Group

The kor group higher education marketing agency Logo

The Kor Group

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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Founded: 1993

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Number of Employees: 1-10


  • Web Services
  • Integrated Communications Plans
  • Brand Positioning and Messaging
  • Brand Identity Program
  • Online Marketing Programs
  • User Experience Design


  • Emerson College
  • UPenn School of Social Policy & Practice
  • Bancroft School
  • The Rivers Schools
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Union College


The Kor Group is more than just an agency; it is a creative powerhouse that understands tertiary education institutions’ unique nuances and needs.

Their women-led team brings a fresh perspective, merging creativity with strategy to deliver results that matter.

Based in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, the Kor Group has cemented its reputation as a pioneering force in the realm of tertiary education marketing.

The creative team of brand strategists, designers, and developers at this women-owned agency stands out for having a single goal: to create effective integrated admissions and advancement communication programs specifically for colleges, universities, and independent schools.

Over the years, their dedication has resulted in transformative results, with a prime example being their seven-year collaboration with Emerson College.

This partnership witnessed substantial growth in admissions, amplifying Emerson’s stature as a formidable liberal arts institution.

With expertise spanning from brand strategy to environmental graphics, Kor has an impressive track record of helping institutions find their voice and resonate with their audience.

The kor group higher education marketing agency Homepage
Source: The Kor Group

6. Paskill Stapleton & Lord

Paskill Stapleton & Lord higher education marketing agency Logo

Paskill Stapleton & Lord

Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA

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Founded: 1986

Location: Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA

Number of Employees: 51-200


  • Digital & Traditional Advertising
  • Brand & Creative Strategy
  • Market Research
  • Staff Development & Training
  • Multimedia Marketing
  • Enrollment Marketing
  • Visual Identity


  • Manor College
  • Wayland Baptist University
  • Mitchell College
  • Marywood University
  • Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
  • Texas A&M University
  • United States Coast Guard Academy
  • Point Park University
  • Neumann University


Paskill Stapleton & Lord (PS&L), based in Glenside, Pennsylvania, has specialized in “Enrollment Marketing for Higher Education” since 1986. Over the years, they have fostered relationships with a multitude of colleges and universities, offering services tailored to the specific needs of the college education sector.

PS&L’s legacy, spanning over thirty years, is built on the cornerstone of innovative enrollment success. Their team, comprising seasoned professionals, is committed to understanding each institution’s unique challenges and aspirations.

Notably, PS&L was instrumental in guiding Neumann University’s transition from a college to a university, which positively impacted enrollment rates.

Their approach integrates strategy and creativity, ensuring clients receive comprehensive solutions to their marketing needs.

Paskill Stapleton & Lord higher education marketing agency Homepage
Source: Paskill Stapleton & Lord

7. Up&Up

Up&Up higher education marketing agency Logo


Greenville, South Carolina, USA

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Founded: 2002

Location: Greenville, South Carolina, USA

Number of Employees: 11-50


  • Brand Platforms
  • Creative Communications
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Digital Experiences
  • Web Design & Development
  • Digital Media Buying
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Content Strategy and Development
  • Analytics & Campaign Measurement


  • Auburn University
  • Campbell University
  • Clemson University
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Kentucky
  • Miami University
  • Florida State University
  • George Mason University


Up&Up takes pride in being a part of Greenville, Carolina’s thriving West End community. Their focused approach to helping institutions attract and retain the right-fit students and their specialized marketing services make them a notable contender in the tertiary education marketing sphere.

The Up&Up team’s motivation comes from the conviction that “education is the surest path to meaningful change” and that their marketing initiatives can direct potential students to their ideal institution.

Over the years, they have worked with numerous tertiary education establishments, offering tailored marketing services and leveraging brand platforms, digital experiences, and creative communication strategies to achieve their clients’ goals.

Up&Up higher education marketing agency Homepage
Source: Up&Up

8. Electric Kite

Electric Kite Logo

Electric Kite

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Founded: 1999

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Number of Employees: 11-50


  • Digital Strategy
  • UX Research & Testing
  • Content Creation
  • Web & App Design and Development
  • Digital Marketing
  • SEO
  • Social Media Marketing


  • University of Georgia
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Rutgers University
  • George Washington University
  • Cornell University
  • Fordi University


Electric Kite, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is renowned for its immersive approach to brand engagement.

Electric Kite Interactive stands out for its commitment to design thinking and a client-centric approach. They believe in building strong, enduring relationships between clients and their audiences, laying the foundation for sustained digital success.

With a foundation laid in 1999, Electric Kite’s specialty lies in website design, user research, and storytelling, crafting digital narratives that resonate deeply with target audiences. Their exceptional focus on inbound marketing and content sets them apart in the tertiary education sector.

Institutions looking to bolster recruitment or philanthropic initiatives can benefit from their unique expertise and innovative strategies.

Over the years, prestigious institutions such as George Washington University, UPenn, Rutgers, and more have partnered with Electric Kite to develop standout digital campaigns.

eCity Interactive higher education marketing agency Homepage
Source: Electric Kite

9. Creative Communication Associates

Creative Communication Associates higher education marketing agency Logo

Creative Communication Associates

Troy, New York, USA

Our Score




Founded: 1983

Location: Troy, New York, USA

Number of Employees: 11-50


  • Brand Development & Positioning
  • Institutional & Athletic Identity
  • Design & Creative Services
  • Media Planning & Buying
  • Web Design & Development
  • Content Marketing
  • Enrollment Marketing


  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • Wheaton College (IL)
  • Siena College
  • The New York School of Interior Design
  • Moore College of Art & Design
  • Alfred University
  • Elizabethtown College
  • St. Mary’s College of Maryland


Creative Communication Associates (CCA), established in 1983 and based in Troy, NY, is a distinguished marketing agency singularly focused on higher education.

Their broad exposure, ranging from Ivy League schools to specialized institutions, has armed them with a unique vantage point, making them a sought-after partner in higher ed marketing.

An integral part of Noodle, CCA boasts an illustrious history of collaborating with diverse academic institutions, from private colleges to grand public universities, HBCUs, Ivy League establishments, and specialized schools.

A dedicated core team of seasoned strategists and a network of highly strategic and creative associates nationwide support their national reputation for customized creative and marketing solutions.

At CCA, the emphasis on a bespoke, consultative approach ensures that each solution is tailored and uniquely reflects the institution’s brand.

Creative Communication Associates higher education marketing agency Homepage
Source: Creative Communication Associates

10. Edufficient

Edufficient higher education marketing agency Logo


Paramus, New Jersey, USA

Our Score




Founded: 2008

Location: Paramus, New Jersey; and Rochester, New York, USA

Number of Employees: 11-50


  • Digital Media Management
  • Paid Search Management
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Email Marketing Automation
  • Compliance Monitoring Services
  • Third-Party Inquiry Management
  • Social Media Marketing


  • Not Listed


Founded in 2008 by David Flack and Tom Ferarra, Edufficient is a performance-driven marketing agency that specializes in higher education.

With its headquarters in Paramus, New Jersey, the agency has consistently been at the forefront of evolving advanced higher education marketing strategies.

Edufficient’s unique selling proposition lies in their innovative mix of data-driven strategies, creativity, and in-depth experience in higher education.

Their commitment to yielding tangible results is further highlighted by their acquisition by PX in 2022, which is known for bringing together the creme de la creme of lead buyers and sellers in a unified marketplace.

Their modus operandi revolves around fostering partnerships with educational institutions and inquiry providers to push the boundaries of what marketing can achieve in the education sector.

Edufficient higher education marketing agency Homepage
Source: Edufficient

Why Use Higher Education Marketing Agencies?

The vast expanse of the educational system, with its myriad of institutions, programs, and student demographics, is a tapestry of challenges and opportunities.

Unlike K–12 schools, which primarily focus on a more localized, regional audience, find a marketing agency specializing in college education often stretches its reach nationwide and, in many cases, globally.

Online learning, from full degrees to short courses on specific skills, has increased dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic, which shifted the world more online than ever before.

The competition is fierce, and tertiary education digital marketing services institutions face more challenges and complexities than ever before, both online and on campus.

Let’s take a look at some of the main challenges and how a good marketing agency can help you overcome them:

Unique Marketing Challenges Faced by Higher Education Institutions

  • Diverse Target Audiences: A K-12 education marketing agency generally focuses on parents or guardians within specific districts or regions. In contrast, tertiary education aims to resonate with a vast spectrum—fresh high school graduates, international students, working adults venturing back into education, or even professionals contemplating advanced degrees.
  • Competitive Landscape: The educational marketplace is saturated. Institutions grapple not just with traditional universities and colleges but also with online platforms, each offering unique courses, benefits, and experiences. This creates a heightened need for distinct branding and value propositions.
  • Regulatory and Accreditation Hurdles: Marketing for tertiary education isn’t just about being innovative; it’s about compliance. Institutions must navigate a web of regulations governing claims, program outcomes, and student testimonials. Any misstep could have dire repercussions, from reputational harm to legal ramifications.
  • Rapid Technological Advancements: Modern students operate in a digital-first environment. They seek virtual tours, online course previews, and digital campus experiences. Hence, a college education digital marketing strategies agency must stay ahead of tech trends and understand how to harness newer platforms like virtual or augmented reality for immersive experiences.
  • Budgetary Constraints: This is especially relevant for public universities and colleges. There’s a delicate balance to strike between crafting compelling campaigns and adhering to often tight budgetary confines. This calls for ingenious marketing solutions that optimize every dollar.

The Role of Higher Education Marketing Agencies

Recognizing these unique hurdles, higher education marketing agencies equip themselves to offer nuanced expertise and sector-specific strategies.

Here’s a deeper dive into their transformative role:

  • Specialized Expertise: General marketing firms might cast a wide net, but an enrollment marketing agency fine-tunes its approach. By understanding student psychographics, evolving career trends, and academic aspirations, they craft campaigns that deeply resonate.
  • Data-Driven Insights: The world of digital marketing thrives on data. Agencies harness sophisticated analytical tools to track campaign performance, measure return on investment, and adapt in real time, ensuring strategies are continually optimized for the target demographic.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Many agencies form collaborations with the tertiary education marketing association they’ve chosen to work with, assimilating industry best practices, staying updated on regulatory changes, and ensuring their marketing strategies are groundbreaking and compliant.
  • Holistic Marketing Strategies: It’s not just about glossy brochures or catchy ads. These agencies delve into every facet of marketing, from enhancing SEO rankings and digital footprints to orchestrating campus events and alumni outreach programs and harnessing the power of influencer partnerships.

To see what Cornell University has to say about marketing a tertiary education institution, check out this video by Mongoose.

How to Work With a Higher Education Marketing Agency

Navigating the complexities of tertiary education marketing is no small feat. This becomes increasingly evident when institutions in the USA, with their distinct ethos and aspirations, seek to partner with a marketing agency effectively.

Whether you’re an Ivy League university, a community college, or a niche institution, aligning with the right agency can significantly elevate your branding and outreach. But how does one establish and nurture this partnership?

Here’s a roadmap for institutions looking to collaborate with an agency in the USA:

Identify Your Needs

Before diving into the vast ocean of agencies, reflect on your institution’s needs. Are you looking to boost domestic enrollments, tap into international markets, or revamp your digital presence? The more precise your objectives are, the better you can align with the marketing company best suited to your requirements.

Research and Shortlist

Once you’ve pinpointed your needs, embark on research. Look for agencies with a proven track record in the education sector. Check their portfolios, case studies, and client testimonials. Your goal is to find an agency that understands the nuances of academic marketing.

Digital Proficiency

Given our digital age, ensure your chosen agency has a robust online marketing strategy. A tertiary education digital marketing agency should be well-versed in leveraging SEO, PPC campaigns, social media, and even emerging platforms like virtual campus tours or AI-driven chatbots.

PPC helps SEO infographic
Source: Data Box

Communication is Key

Marketing is an ongoing process, not a one-off project. Choose an agency with whom you can establish clear communication channels. Regular check-ins, transparent feedback loops, and a willingness to adapt are essential for long-term success.

Budgeting and ROI

Every institution has budgetary constraints. The enrollment marketing agency you partner with should be transparent about costs and potential additional expenses and provide a precise forecast of the return on investment. Ensure that every dollar spent translates into tangible results, be it increased enrollments, better brand visibility, or improved student engagement.

Collaborative Approach

A fruitful partnership thrives on collaboration. Your institution brings domain expertise and a unique ethos, while the agency has marketing prowess. Foster an environment where both parties actively collaborate, share insights, and work cohesively towards common objectives.

Review and Adapt

The world of marketing is ever-evolving. What worked last semester might be less effective now. Regularly review campaign performance with your agency, seeking data-driven insights and being open to strategy shifts when required.

Final Thoughts on Selecting the Best Higher Education Marketing Agency

In the multifaceted world of higher education, the right marketing approach isn’t just beneficial—it’s essential.

With unique challenges at every turn, institutions greatly benefit from the specialized touch of tertiary education marketing firms. Combined with an institution’s vision, their expertise can craft campaigns that truly resonate.

If you want to elevate your institution’s outreach and enrollment, there’s no better time than now.

Dive into the realm of specialized marketing, collaborate with agencies adept at navigating this sector, and watch as your institution’s narrative reaches new heights. The pathway to your institution’s next big achievement starts with that crucial connection. Why wait?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is online marketing important for your student enrolment strategy?

Online marketing is crucial for an effective student enrollment strategy in today's digital age. The internet has become the primary source for prospective students to research and evaluate different educational institutions.

A strong online presence through websites, social media, digital advertising, and other online channels allows colleges and universities to reach a wider audience of potential applicants. Online marketing enables institutions to showcase their academic programs, campus life, and unique offerings in an engaging and interactive way.

Do you need to market a college?

By implementing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, institutions can effectively increase their online visibility and stand out in a competitive tertiary education landscape.

To get more attention online, educational institutions should focus on optimizing their website for search engines, maintaining an active social media presence across popular platforms, and investing in targeted digital advertising campaigns.

Creating high-quality, informative content such as blog posts, videos, and downloadable resources can help attract prospective students and improve website visibility. The assistance of specialized marketing agency can assist with managing all the strategic areas necessary to reach your target audience.

Engaging with current students and alumni on social media, responding promptly to inquiries, and leveraging influencer marketing can also increase online exposure. Additionally, universities and colleges should ensure their online listings and profiles on relevant directories and review sites are accurate and up-to-date.

What makes tertiary education marketing firms different from general marketing agencies?

These agencies differ from general marketing agencies in their specialized understanding of the unique challenges and nuances involved in promoting colleges, universities, and academic programs. 

They have in-depth knowledge of the tertiary education landscape, admission cycles, and prospective students' and parents' decision-making processes, as well as the specific marketing channels and tactics that resonate most effectively with this audience.


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