Agency presents MBA Summit case study alongside client, Michigan Ross, at Poets&Quants Partner Conference

marketing agencies

PITTSBURGH – July 2, 2018 – Gatesman, one of the fastest-growing, privately owned marketing communications agencies in the U.S., presented a case study on the first-of-its-kind MBA Summit alongside client, Michigan Ross School of Business, at the Poets&Quants Partner Conference in Boston.


Christy Kelly, VP, group account director of Gatesman, joined University of Michigan’s James Cleaver and Maria Karpiel to shed light on the strategic approach and success of the MBA Summit. The event-based marketing initiative was launched in partnership with Gatesman in May 2018. The conference was held at Harvard Business School on June 26, 2018, with representatives from top business schools in the nation attending.


“I was honored to have the opportunity to share this innovative activation with other institutions, which have likely encountered the same struggles reaching the right prospective students,” Kelly said. “It opens the door to even more possibilities for next year’s MBA Summit, and future events like it.”


Michigan Ross tasked the agency with developing a solution for reaching and converting prospective MBA students, beyond what traditional marketing efforts had yielded for the program. Kelly said the MBA Summit was the product of the agency’s Hacking Human Behavior™ process, which involves using advanced technologies to mine data from online conversations. The team listened for pain points – challenges assessing fit, uncertainties about admissions odds and how to beat them, questions of what to expect from the program itself – and developed a method of delivering the raw answers they sought through a real-time event that connected prospective students directly to admissions gatekeepers and executives from top employers.


“We went out on a limb to suggest Michigan Ross turn its competitors into partners,” Kelly said. “In order to truly paint a full picture of the MBA admissions process, we needed outside voices, and they understood that.”


Gatesman tapped Berkley, Haas and Yale to join Michigan Ross at the summit, as well as three of the most-desired MBA employers: Amazon, Google and McKinsey. Then, the agency partnered with influential business education publisher, Poets&Quants, to ensure flawless moderation and execution across channels. Held on May 1, 2018, the livestream event attracted more than 1,400 registrants from countries like India, Brazil, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, and earned 750,000 impressions and 6,500 video views.


“The MBA Summit demonstrates that the sky is the limit when we combine the Hacking Human Behavior™ approach with a fearless attitude and willingness to deliver beyond the ask,” said Shannon Baker, president, Gatesman. “I’m incredibly proud of this team, both for making the event such a success and earning this well-deserved recognition for the agency and Michigan Ross.”


To view the full case study presentation from the Poets&Quants Partner Conference, please visit the Gatesman Facebook page. For more information about the MBA Summit, visit


About Gatesman:


Gatesman is one of the fastest-growing, mid-sized, privately owned agencies in the U.S. With offices in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Springfield, Mo., Gatesman is a marketing communications agency with expertise in strategy/branding, advertising, digital, public relations, social media, media planning and buying, and insights/analytics. Gatesman is a partner in AMIN Worldwide, an alliance of over 50 independent marketing agencies, and IPREX, a global communications network. Gatesman acquired Quest Fore in 2014 and Noble Communications in 2017.