Education marketing

We understand higher education. We know how complex and increasingly competitive the sector is, and how much it changes. Luckily, we also know how to help institutions stand out.

From research and strategic advice to creative branding and campaign delivery, we can shape your message and get it out to the inspired students you want to engage with – wherever in the world they are.

Our work

Here's a quick snapshot of some of our favourite projects. Some are creative. Some are more strategic. Quite a few of them have won awards. And they’re all here because they worked.

Birkbeck University of London

Birkbeck University of London

Birkbeck University of London plus icon
University of Reading

University of Reading

University of Reading plus icon
Northumbria University

Northumbria University

Northumbria University plus icon
Bishop Grosseteste University

Bishop Grosseteste University

Bishop Grosseteste University plus icon
University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow plus icon
University of Reading Malaysia

University of Reading Malaysia

University of Reading Malaysia plus icon

Having engaged with a number of different agencies over the years, I can honestly say that they are by far the best agency I have worked with


Key people

Our experts come from a mix of agency and education sector backgrounds, and they'd all be happy to talk to you. Here’s who to contact.


Dan Beynon

Head of Education

Cricketing titan and education know-it-all, Dan is one of the most connected people in this sector. He’s worked with universities all around the world, and provides his considerable expertise to all our education clients.

Ed Layt

Education Marketing Strategist

What Ed doesn’t know about education isn’t worth knowing. He spent ten years as Head of Marketing at a university before he joined us, and draws on this sector experience to tackle our clients’ most challenging problems.

People first

And experts a close second

What we are doing

Planning strategies or writing research reports. Coming up with creative or running workshops. Or simply getting out there and mixing. We’re always up to something in the education sector.

Why marketing to gen Z is exactly the same as marketing to your grandma

By Ed Layt

15th January 2018

So how do you do this?


A shaky start for the Office for Students

By Dan Beynon

11th January 2018

A week is a (very) long time in politics, the Department for Education and the Office for Students…


We need to talk (more) about UK Higher Education

By Dan Beynon

15th December 2017

There’s a missing part of the sector’s response and it’s the defence of HE by the people who have experienced the benefits.


Branding in Higher Education: an inside view - 2017

By Ed Layt

10th November 2017

Once again well over 100 HE leaders and marketing professionals took part in the survey and here are some of the key findings for 2017.


What do Taylor Swift, guns and the English accent have in common?

By Ed Layt

22nd September 2017

​A: They’ve all shaped the views of international students studying at UK universities.


Happy Clients

We're proud of the work we do. But we’re prouder of what our clients think of it.

  • “Our brand project was a key element of our growth strategy, so we really had to get it right. SMRS have given us a professional brand that not only contains all the necessary foundations and building blocks, but also captures our spirit. It feels absolutely right for who we are and where we’re heading, and it’s giving us the confidence to achieve our goals in a competitive marketplace. Working with SMRS has been, and continues to be, a very positive experience.”

    Leonora Clement, Head of Marketing and Digital, Southampton Solent University

  • “We had a clear objective to better understand our audiences. SMRS’s Insight tools enabled us to understand where our audiences are, who they are, and how best to communicate with them. The insight was fantastic – it has increased our knowledge of our audiences, focused our recruitment activity, and assisted with our future strategic focus.”

    Karen Richardson, Head of Student Recruitment and Admissions, Bishop Grosseteste University

  • "I have followed with interest the Revisions & Decisions research project delivered by SMRS for a number of years. It has been a great resource to illustrate the views and behaviours of students on the applicant journey to senior staff within the University."

    Bob Cozens, Director of Marketing, Admissions, Recruitment and Communications, University of Bedfordshire

  • "The rapidly changing and increasingly competitive nature of the young UK undergraduate market presents new challenges to marketing and recruitment teams on a weekly basis. SMRS has provided valuable insight which has enabled a better targeted, more effective approach to our activity."

    Chris Watts, Director of Marketing, York St John University

  • "SMRS act as an informal sounding board and critical friend to the team at all times. They are an incredibly professional and passionate agency who have helped to revolutionise the University's media buying and have significantly enhanced our ability to manage, monitor and evaluate campaigns effectively. Having engaged with a number of different agencies over the years, I can honestly say that they are by far the best agency I have worked with."

    Rachel Sandison, Director, Marketing, Recruitment & International Office, University of Glasgow

  • "Birkbeck have worked with SMRS for over ten years. Their understanding of Birkbeck, of the sector and of the fast changing advertising and media buying environment means that they are a crucial part of the our success in student recruitment."

    Jonah Duffin, Director of External Relations, Birkbeck, University of London

Let's talk

Anything you want to know more about? Got a question? Just ask it here, and Dan or Ed will get back to you as soon as they can.

where to find us


  • Express networks 2
  • 3 george leigh street
  • manchester m4 6bd
  • 0161 200 1444


  • 5th Floor
  • 6 - 7 St Cross Street
  • London EC1N 8UA
  • 020 7421 3350

drop us a line