Southern Methodist University — Senior Director, Digital Marketing

Salary Range:
Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU
SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 90 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Department:
Development and External Affairs (DEA) supports SMU by securing funding for University priorities; by promoting meaningful involvement in the life and work of the University; by heightening international, national, state and local awareness of SMU; and by supporting the enrollment of a diverse and able student body.

DEA comprises the offices of Office of the Vice President, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, Development Services, Program Services and Donor Relations, Marketing and Communications, Principal and Major Gifts, and School and Project Development.

SMU continues to leverage the benefits from the largest fund-raising campaign in its history to achieve dramatic increases in academic quality and impact.

About the Position:
SMU’s Marketing and Communications team seeks a Senior Director of Digital Marketing to oversee the campus-wide strategy and implementation of web, social, and email campaigns and strengthen online engagement with prospective and current students, alumni, donors, and other audiences. The candidate will help define the University’s audience targeting strategy, content creation, testing methodology, and measurement of digital marketing effectiveness. This individual leverages the unique strengths of online efforts to advance the SMU brand and also takes advantage of opportunities for online and offline marketing to reinforce each other.

Essential Functions:
Lead the digital marketing team, currently composed of eight full-time positions, to increase follower engagement. Work with Development and External Affairs leaders and marketing directors across SMU to oversee scalable digital campaigns that incorporate email, web, SEM, affiliate advertising, and social media (both paid and organic).

Supervise ongoing social media strategy, best practices, and cross-campus collaboration. Oversee the continuing website refresh and SEO and personalization projects to further develop and meet the marketing goals for the university. Key SMU websites include the home page, fundraising, alumni engagement and undergraduate admission websites.

Lead a cross-functional team in creating and managing an email strategy and standards for SMU, that avoids duplication of efforts and recipient fatigue to optimize email communications and grow subscribers and engagement

Collaborate with Office of Information Technology and Development and External Affairs’ CTO to deliver strategic solutions addressing stakeholders’ needs. Understand business objectives, audiences and challenges; communicate those clearly to Marketing colleagues; obtain estimates, build budgets, create production schedules and coordinate design and production

Promote consistent use of SMU brand and use of shared technology platforms and other resources in order to reinforce University’s brand and messaging across campus. Steer overall digital marketing KPIs to assess effectiveness while promoting continuous improvement. Continually research and stay current on digital trends. Assess nascent digital products in the marketplace for possible organizational adoption to accomplish communication objectives.

Direct team to consistently use administrative tools that support accurate record-keeping and billing for services. Create and update records in project management systems. Approve and submit vendor invoices. Submit files to be archived. Work with assistant to AVP to charge for digital marketing projects appropriately. Perform other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s is required. Master’s preferred. Degree in digital marketing/ecommerce, business administration, communications or related field is desirable.

A minimum of seven years of professional work experience, with at least five years of online marketing experience, is required.

Experience managing and coaching full-time employees is also required. Experience leading or participating on multi-departmental marketing projects required. Work experience in a higher education or nonprofit environment preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills.

The ideal candidate will have assumed progressive digital marketing roles leading a team, including working with leadership to set goals, develop a plan of action and supervise implementation of that omnichannel plan which could include web, social, email, paid advertising,etc.

Strong leadership and management skills required. Thorough knowledge of digital marketing best practices is required for email, social and web. Thorough knowledge of web best practices for accessibility, cross-platform usability, navigation and content required, including issues related to mobile devices and responsive design.

Proficiency with Microsoft Office software and experience consistently using project tracking systems (such as Asana) preferred.

Experience or working knowledge is preferred:

  • Content management systems — Sitecore, WordPress, or other
  • Analytics—Google Analytics, search engine optimization, online survey tools
  • Registration and e-commerce systems—especially in Blackbaud (BBIS/BBEC) context
  • Email systems – Marketing Cloud, Emma
  • Social media—Facebook, Insta, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok
  • Front/back-end development—HTML5, CSS3, Javascript,etc.
  • Advertising management
  • Mobile apps

Physical and Environmental Demands:
Sit for long periods of time

Deadline to Apply:
The position is open until filled.

EEO Statement:
SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU’s retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn’t just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.