Neustadt Creative Marketing (NCM) is a Baltimore-based brand agency with a national clientele that ranges from major research universities to liberal arts colleges to independent schools. What began as a one-man shop with a single client has grown over more than 17 years into a team of nine, and NCM’s list of past and present clients now comprises more than 50 institutions.
NCM offers expertise in every aspect of brand work – from research to strategy to creative – exclusively for educational institutions. We field surveys, run focus groups, and craft positioning statements. We consult on strategic implementation, including everything from staffing to marketing to program development. We design logos and produce identity systems, which we can help you implement. We write, design, and manage production of admissions and advancement publications, all in-house. In addition, we offer a range of interactive design services – including production of institution-wide websites, microsites, and virtual tours – through partnerships with industry-leading Web and interactive design firms. Some clients hire us to work start-to-finish on comprehensive branding projects; others choose services à la carte.
Our home base is Baltimore, a city we love as much for its charm as for its airport. Our work takes us to campuses around the country. When not traveling, we can be found in our two-story office building in Baltimore’s historic Fells Point neighborhood, grooving to the rhythm of the tortilla machine next door and contemplating the next change to our hold music (despite the rarity with which we place our clients on hold).
Mark Neustadt is founder and principal of Neustadt Creative Marketing (NCM). Motivated by the endless challenges of marketing educational institutions, Mark’s goal is to give exemplary institutions exemplary marketing. That is, marketing based in rigorous research and guided by an intelligent brand strategy.
Mark has developed expertise in marketing for higher education and independent schools through years of experience, first as an administrator at Johns Hopkins University and Maryland Institute College of Art, and later as an account manager and Vice President of North Charles Street Design Organization in Baltimore. He first articulated his strategy-based vision for marketing education in an issue of The Journal of College Admission (Number 142, Winter 1994). In his article, “Is Marketing Good for Higher Education?,” Mark argued that educational institutions' growing interest in marketing was inevitable and that the rise of marketing would have deleterious effects if those who cared about the academy did not maintain a focus on underlying values.
Three years after articulating his thoughts on the value of marketing to educational institutions, Mark founded Neustadt Creative Marketing. The accumulated knowledge he has gained through years of marketing practice have led him to refine his approach. But his fundamental philosophy still guides the staff to do work that reveals the truth of an institution.