University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) Issues RFP For Full Service Advertising and Marketing Agency

University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) Issues RFP For Full Service Advertising and Marketing Agency

Purpose:

Strategic Relations and Communications seeks to engage a proven outside media agency, experienced in higher education, to provide annual media buying strategy, consulting and support within the context of an integrated paid, earned, owned and social media content model. The successful agency will provide strategic consulting and recommendations for annual planning and implementation of major university marketing and advertising activities, including:

  • Consulting on integrated marketing/media strategies
  • Buying and placing media for advertising campaigns
  • Quantifying and interpreting analytics and metrics
  • Providing collaborative team support to optimize results

We have developed effective creative marketing campaigns that have achieved desired results. Now, we’re in search of an innovative partner with the knowledge, experience and proven track record to help us achieve ambitious recruitment and reputational goals with a diverse array of target audiences (e.g., prospective undergraduate and graduate students and employees; diverse/underrepresented applicants; alumni; donors; peer institutions; potential business partners; etc.)

  1. GOAL(S) FOR THIS PROJECT:

  • Increase undergraduate and graduate leads, applicants and confirmed students (in alignment with identified enrollment priorities and established goals).
  • Continue to improve CU Boulder’s reputation as one of the world’s leading public research universities by effectively promoting our leadership, innovation and impact in Colorado and beyond (in alignment with identified audience targets and strategic priorities).
  • Increase brand awareness, consideration and participation in our campuswide academic, innovation and outreach/engagement opportunities (in alignment with identified markets and goals).
  • Increase recruitment effectiveness for new faculty and staff (in alignment with identified priorities and established goals).

Background:

Located on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, CU Boulder is distinguished by an entrepreneurial mindset that shapes our teaching, research and industry activities. We are a leading research university, one of 34 U.S. public research institutions belonging to the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU)—and the only member in the Rocky Mountain region. In all our actions, we are committed to inclusive excellence, a quality that defines our passion to be on the forefront of change for a more sustainable and understanding world. Our vision is to be a leader in addressing the humanitarian, social and technological challenges of the 21st century. Our strategic imperatives are to 1) shape tomorrow’s leaders, 2) be the top university for innovation and 3) positively impact humanity.

About Strategic Relations and Communications

Strategic Relations and Communications works with partners throughout campus to provide a comprehensive approach to CU Boulder’s communications and to help unify the university’s voice through strategic and creative services. We collaborate with our partners to establish mutual support and clear communications that engage our audiences and advance CU Boulder’s mission. Our integrated content model allows us to support the CU Boulder community while complementing the CU Boulder branding and the Be Boulder. platforms.

For reference, here is the URL to our branding site: https://www.colorado.edu/brand/

In addition, the BeBoulder Visual Strategy guide has been included under the Buyer Attachment Tab.

Our team in Strategic Relations and Communications brings expertise in marketing and content strategy, project management, art direction, design, print, photography, videography, web development, copywriting, editing, market research, social media, public relations, issues management and media relations.

About the Be Boulder. platform

Launched in 2014, the Be Boulder. platform is a fully integrated brand and messaging platform that CU Boulder uses for its integrated marketing campaigns. The platform allows university communicators to:

  • Align CU Boulder’s communications with our strategic direction and organizational mission
  • Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our communications
  • Build stronger relationships with our stakeholders
  • Enhance our reputation in Colorado, throughout the U.S and internationally
  • Positively impact the communities we serve
  • Promote CU Boulder’s long-term strategic goals

Since initiating the Be Boulder. rollout in 2014, we have seen the following results:

  • +46 percentage points net positivity in our statewide perception survey
  • 61 percent increase in admission applications
  • More talented and diverse incoming classes
  • 32 percent increase in our professional master’s program applications

Scope of Work:

Integrated media/marketing strategy

Working collaboratively with the in-house team and university colleagues:

  • Provide consultation on CU Boulder media/marketing strategies (including SWOT analyses, competitive research and regular “checkups” on performance across all channels) and share recommendations in support of desired outcomes.
  • Provide periodic content audits and evaluations of content strategy to ensure consistent messaging on brand, voice and tone.
  • Present forward-thinking and cutting-edge ideas around evolving technology, communication channels and up-and- coming trends in industry per each campaigns targeted audiences.
  • Provide point-of-view evaluations of new opportunities, including new media channels and new markets, as they arise.
  • Understand and comply with the Be Boulder. platform and the CU Boulder and CU System’s branding standards, which include campus logos, brand guidelines, messaging guidelines and color schemes.

Media buying and placement

Based on identified campaign priorities, target markets and conversions:

  • Plan, execute and refine PPC/Google AdWords, media buying and placement, including day-to-day execution and coordination with media vendors.
  • Assist internal teams with content and SEO strategies in connection with paid media campaigns.
  • Provide a media calendar for the fiscal year that includes all scheduled/planned campaigns with advertising/paid media components.
  • Provide billing information as requested.

Analytics and reporting

Working collaboratively with the in-house team and university colleagues:

  • Provide expert analytical reporting and actionable conclusions via real-time data visualizations to refine strategy, execution and measurement of tactics.
  • Provide regular reports on campaign/marketing progress and ROI.
  • Participate and advise in strategic decision making and mid campaign adjustments based on analytics and reporting results.
  • Provide relevant data/trends from other higher education institutions when necessary to evaluate the impact of media/marketing strategies.
  • Conduct competitive spending analysis and provide annual reports.

Consulting with in-house team

Serve as an extension of the in-house team by providing:

  • Efficient and consistent responsiveness to media/marketing requests, including on-campus meetings.
  • Ongoing campaign support, including weekly status calls and reporting documents.
  • Regular reporting for paid media campaigns and supplemental reporting on social media, web analytics and other metrics upon request.
  • Collaborative planning and development of overarching strategies and KPIs for recruitment, retention and reputational campaigns
  • Participation in regular roundtable discussions with key campus partners and channel owners to share new developments, best practices and industry trends.
  • Provide POV for one-off advertising buys
  • Collaborate with the internal web team on efficiently placing and managing pixel tracking codes on various webpages for multiple campaigns.
  • Participate in quarterly social media marketing roundtable discussions.

* Joint meeting with key campus partners & channel owners to discuss & update on social media/digital engagement shifts, tools & new offerings.

Deliverables

Media buying/planning

  • Coordinate the day-to-day execution of all paid advertising, PPC/Google AdWords, and coordinate with media vendors.

Integrated media/marketing strategy:

  • Provide support for an always-on reputation and brand awareness marketing strategy, and provide weekly status calls and reporting documents.
  • Conduct a competitive analysis of other universities’ main websites and provide an audit of the content strategy within colorado.edu.

◦              Timeline: August

  • Collaborate in the planning and development of the perception campaign marketing strategy, flexible evaluation periods and tactics that include: story arc, media, metrics, KPIs.

◦              Timeline: September

  • Collaborate in the planning and development of the overarching undergraduate marketing strategy and tactics including: story arc, media, metrics, KPIs.

◦              Timeline: September

  • Collaborate in the planning and development of the overarching graduate marketing strategy and tactics including: story arc, media, metrics, KPIs.

◦              Timeline: October

  • Collaborate in the planning and development of the overarching national research and innovation marketing strategy, evaluation periods and tactics that include: story arc, media, metrics, KPIs.

◦              Timeline: November

  • Collaborate in the planning and development of the overarching faculty and staff marketing strategy and tactics including: story arc, media, metrics, KPIs.

◦              Timeline: December

  • Conduct an annual SWOT analysis of the main campus channels including a competitive analysis of other universities’.

◦              Timeline: January

Reporting

  • Provide evaluation reports regularly and upon request.

◦              Timeline: Throughout the year and weekly for all campaigns

  • Provide performance reporting documents throughout and at the end of each undergraduate campaign.
  • Provide performance reporting documents throughout and at the end of each graduate campaign.
  • Provide performance reporting documents throughout and at the end of each perception campaign.
  • Provide performance reporting documents throughout and at the end of each national research and innovation campaign.
  • Conduct competitive spending analysis and provide annual reports.
  • Provide performance reporting documents throughout and at the end of each new faculty and staff campaign.

Consulting

  • Facilitate and participate in quarterly social media roundtable discussions for

◦              Joint meeting with key campus partners and channel owners to discuss and update on social media/digital engagement shifts, tools and new offerings.

Billing

  • Provide a billing tracking document that captures spending each month and provide billing reports as requested.

Budget

  • $1.5 million annual budget

Due Date:

March 23rd

Address:

wendy.scheidegger@cu.edu

Among those who may be considered is 5WPR, which was founded by Ronn Torossian, and has a Colorado office.

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