What do you do to stand out from the peers? In the business world you have to either cut prices, create a superior product, or customize your product so that it meets the needs of your customers in a way no other product does.
College and Universities have the same opportunities, but few are taking advantage of them. Instead we see another small college invest in expensive equipment so they too can offer an engineering program, or a video-gaming program, or whatever the next trend will be.
But why would a student want to attend a mediocre video-gaming program stranded in an arts school with small opportunities to build off of and learn from like-minded peers and professors? And why do you spend so much time trying to keep up with other schools that you neglect those departments within your school that are flourishing and could probably be top programs in the country with just a little more attention?
Students have many choices. Why should they choose you?
Increased marketing efforts may give you a slight boost in the short term, but they'll do nothing in the long term. Instead colleges will thrive by building off of their strengths.
There are many colleges that have this opportunity, but instead of taking it they spread their resources too thin trying to be all things to all people.