Northwood University

Northwood University is a small, private university concentrated on business curriculum and related career paths. In its early years, Northwood developed a niche in the automotive industry helping dealers successfully develop sound business strategies and professional leadership practices.

Northwood University Client Profile

Over time, new degree programs were developed for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in a variety of areas within Northwood’s business-focused model with added emphasis on entrepreneurship, innovation and organizational leadership. Today, Northwood University offers 22 concentrations at its main campus in Midland, Michigan as well as satellite campus locations across the country.

Due in part to changing demographics, as well as inconsistent messaging and poor media placement, Northwood University had experienced ongoing enrollment decline. In many cases, potential business-minded students were either unaware of Northwood or uncertain whether the school met their professional interests.


ddm developed a strategy that more clearly positioned Northwood as a unique business academic environment taught by industry experts in an intimate setting. In addition, Northwood could offer a complete ‘college experience’ - including NCAA sports, business clubs and Greek life. Reaching a particular group of potential students needed to be adapted as well. Reflective of a clarified target market, ddm audited advertising efforts and reallocated resources toward environments with the greatest potential to engage prospective students.

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