Katya Popova

Katya Popova
Assistant Dean of Marketing & Strategy
American University Kogod School of Business
 

At a high level, what are your responsibilities?
I lead a team of marketers responsible for all marketing activities for the Kogod School of Business, including brand management, content creation, enrollment marketing, social media and events. In addition, I lead a data analytics and technology team, which includes programs that measure and predict enrollment, customer experience and satisfaction, retention, rankings and operational effectiveness. I also serve as the Dean’s chief of staff.

What excites you about marketing?
I truly love what I do. I get to constantly flex my creative thinking and solve challenges that emerge daily. Marketing is about genuine connection and the definition for that is ever-evolving, which makes our jobs fascinating and somewhat intimidating. And marketing offers a unique opportunity to layer human talent with technology advancements, which keeps me on my toes!

Is there a current trend or topic you'd recommend that other marketers look into?
I am fascinated by the possibilities of the cradle-to-grave approach to marketing where we understand that the relationships with your stakeholders don’t end with the purchase. Many B2C companies have long adopted this understanding, but I find this to be a somewhat nascent approach in higher education. That means that we get to be intentional and focused on every touchpoint we have with our customers and students. When your product is consumed over two to four years, there is an infinite number of touchpoints you can work on.

What's your favorite part about marketing?
I love it when I’m proven wrong, and we now have the technological capabilities to test our hypotheses. It’s invigorating when those hypotheses are proven wrong; it opens a world of possibilities for improvement.

What projects/accomplishments are you especially proud of?
In August of 2021, my team launched an award-winning website using the HubSpot CMS and powered by a HubSpot marketing automation platform and sales enablement platform. Since our launch, we have seen astonishing results—94% growth in started applications for the school! This project was the perfect example of how being intentional about designing and measuring every touchpoint of the customer journey can make a huge difference.

Who are you as a whole person (and not just a marketer)?
When not at work or trying to keep up with a very active three-year-old, I spend much of my energy on being mindful of my surroundings. Some call it interior design, but since I am not a designer, I call it making a home/office/space I want to spend time in. Inevitably, having a young kid at home means that this hobby is always put to the stress test, but it’s something that brings me an incredible amount of joy.   

What do you like to do for fun?
Exposure to nature in any capacity is something I crave in order to function. Thankfully, DC has so much to offer—especially when you’re trying to tire out our youngster on one of the hiking trails in the area.

What do you value?
Mindfulness, and the realization of how much credit we should give to luck. Sure, we have all had to work hard to get to where we are, but we should never discount the fact that luck helped get us here – well, at least I know that’s the case for me!).

What are you hoping to get out of your AMADC membership?
I am shocked it took me this long to join! I have lived in DC for the past four years (two of which were spent in a pandemic), and I never got to connect with fellow marketers in the city. I hope to be able to do so through AMADC. Let’s connect!