CMO of GMAC
“Enhancing Relationships & Building Futures”
Maite Salazar, Chief Marketing Officer at the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), has been fortunate to work in companies operating on a global scale which has elevated her career to a great extent and other important factors. “The variety of experiences gained by me has shaped my operating model as a CMO to focusing on value creation and value extraction,” she explains. “I try to use a scientific approach as a marketeer and believe in measuring, finding patterns, assessing relationships, and building tests and experiments.” She has led several digital transformations. These affected the marketing planning and product design, innovation, operating processes, customer understanding, and organizational culture. “The digital ecosystem offers an infinite number of opportunities, along with more flexibility and velocity than any other channel. However, it also has its traps and requires detailed planning and consideration,” says Salazar.
“The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMACTM), a global, non-profit organization, founded by and serving the leading business schools worldwide, is actively committed to advancing the art and science of admissions.”
According to Salazar, graduate management education has been in the past surprisingly slow in adopting technical and digital solutions. While some of the brightest minds in business teach at business schools how to read the market and take advantage of the opportunities (and changes), these business schools have been operating with a more traditional approach. As online educational programs expand, the speed of change accelerates and the need to gain new skills rises, and the new regions emerging with improved education industry and reputation, business schools have experienced the need to differentiate between recruiting the right candidates and between attracting them to their programs. “COVID-19 has certainly accelerated the pace of change and added more fuel to the change itself. At GMAC, our vision is that in this world, every candidate can benefit from the best business education for him or her,” she adds. “GMAC is well positioned to help business schools with their need to build and engage with a diverse pipeline of candidates, to assist business schools with creating awareness and advocacy towards graduate management education, and to help candidates and schools to discover and evaluate each other.”
On the candidate side, GMAC has provided a set of experiences, tools, and information that help them start, continue and complete their business education journey. This has made them extremely attractive in capturing and influencing the candidate audience. “During their interactions with us, we capture a lot of information insights that help guide candidates in the right direction (e.g., programs or schools that would be a better fit to match their goals, experience or motivations); find more meaningful opportunities to engage with business schools to compare (e.g. events, tours, webinars); and better prepare for their business school experience (e.g. personalized readiness materials, admission test portfolio).”
For schools, in addition to the assessment and testing solutions, GMAC delivers best-in-class industry research that helps them make strategic decisions about their current and future programs. They have access to one of the best and broadest data for business education candidates, which helps keep their finger on the industry's pulse and make projections about the future. “We also provide them with multiple convening and professional development programs centered around current challenges for professionals and by professionals,” says Salazar. “We work closely with our regional schools to adapt our products and marketing services to their needs and even to their specific requirements as a business school.”
One of GMAC’s current, large projects is related to maximizing their unique competitive advantage as a self-funded association that serves the business school community. Every company has one asset or capability that sets them apart from the rest. Understanding what it is and how to make the most out of it is a very wise choice since you already have credibility in the market. Whether it be cost, technology, customer service, or speed, use it and leverage it. “At the GMAC, we have learnt that our key asset is our relationships with candidates and business schools,” adds Salazar. “This positions us as a key partner as those two groups want to engage with each other. This realization has taught us a new way to think about our products, our non-commercial solutions, and even our technology partnerships.”IE
GMAC® believes that a world where talent matched with aspiration can benefit from the best business school education possible. Our mission is to provide the solutions necessary for schools and candidates to discover and evaluate each other, ensuring that talent never goes undiscovered.