Brand Repositioning and Digital Marketing Strategy in Higher Ed / Healthcare

In a Nutshell


The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry is a worldwide leader in oral health education, clinical care and research that is patient-centered and evidence-based, with a foundation in preventive and public health sciences. As part of UIC and the UI Health system, UIC College of Dentistry is the largest dental school and dental care provider in the state of IL, as well as a top 20 oral science research institution. The college serves over 35 thousand patients annually and graduates over 230 DMD and post-graduate students each year.


In 2015, the college’s outdated brand identity and poor digital and physical experiences limited potential to attract and engage with target students and patients.

There was little awareness of the college’s strengths in research driven advanced oral disease care, and the community impacts. This was made worse by low online reputation ratings driven by negative reviews.

A clear value proposition and student, patient focused content was needed to compete in a changing market for top dental students and  high growth services such as dental implants, advanced oral disease care and clear aligner orthodontics.

In the fall of 2015, I began building a strategy and team of cross-functional stakeholders and vendors to refresh and reposition the brand to expand awareness and gain share in new segments.

We introduced an ‘outside-in’ and ‘rapid design thinking’ approach to quickly synthesize a wide range of stakeholder priorities into a coherent strategy aligned with the mission. The inclusive approach harnessed the collective wisdom of the team while fostering collaboration.

The digital-first roadmap included a complete redesign of brand assets, website, social media and email marketing, leveraging persona-driven multi-media content and local SEO traffic building. 

The team focused traffic building efforts first on organic and brand experience improvements that highlighted new value proposition messaging. We produced a library of new SEO tuned articles designed to engage students, alumni and patients at key moments in their journey.

Our content marketing approach also included in-depth guides for high value segments such as implants.  Video was used extensively and distributed via website, YouTube, email and social to amplify brand impact.


Bevelroom Consulting

A customer-centric approach. A key to our success was switching organizational thinking from ‘inside-out’ to ‘outside-in’ to be more customer focused. I led a highly inclusive approach including hands-on persona and content development workshops, usability testing, video production and analytics story telling to drive change while communicating marketing priorities.

New brand slogan. To rally the entire organization around a new brand slogan “changing the future of oral health”, I worked closely with executive leadership and peers to embed marketing best practices into a wide range of business activities from student admissions and clinical care, to administrative functions such as HR and finance.

A newly deployed CRM and marketing automation system was used to generate leads and drive conversion through digital content (video, blog articles, infographics, ebook) matched to the customer journey.

Precision targeted paid media in search and social using new brand assets and storytelling was deployed to boost brand awareness while attracting target audiences to specific programs and offers.

A new reputation management strategy boosted online review ranking and improve business listings.



Digital Conversion Growth

Optimized conversion path through improved value proposition and persona-matched content.

$350k / yr

Digital Channels Revenue

Grew target patient acquisition 12X over 4 years (MQL)



CRM / email performance. Focused digital-first investment, test and learn approach.

Do you like these results?

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