Colorado Mountain College Issues Digital Advertising RFP
CMC is seeking a digital marketing partner that will help increase leads and applicants for fall semester 2019 by at least 15% YOY for targeted programs through strategic placement and active management of online display ads, paid search and other paid online advertising/promotions. This goal is a combined goal across all selected academic/program focus areas. A secondary goal is to continue to strengthen CMC’s brand message and awareness. This 15% increase would have equated to 1155 additional leads and applicants for all programs in 2017 fall semester (7700). 2018 applicants are projected to be 20% higher than in 2017.
Campaigns will run 6-7 months during the prime recruiting period. During this period, the partner will provide real-time or monthly reporting via a client-accessible dashboard, monthly meetings, or a combination of both. CMC seeks strategic insights and short and long term ROI analysis through such reporting. Media budget is $170,000-$190,000, excluding management and placement fees. Primary target audience: 17-25, primarily in-state, concentrating on Front Range. Parents and other influencers can also be included when advisable. CMC also plans to target some out-of-state geo targets with specific interest and lifestyle targeting, based on historical enrollment trends and identified new market opportunities. Some paid search terms are national. No emphasis will be placed on recruiting online students, except for the BSN (nursing) program.
Colorado Mountain College (“CMC”) is a statutory local college district established in 1965. The district and service area cover 12,000 square miles in all or part of nine counties. CMC offers 77 certificates, 54 associate degrees and 5 bachelor’s degrees. The long-standing investment from our communities allows us to keep our quality high, our tuition affordable and our access wide open. Eleven world-class mountain locations in central Colorado enable big-school opportunities in small, personal settings. Our unusually strong local partnerships create rich experiences for real-world learning and careers. The result? Proven student success that makes Colorado Mountain College a choice that’s uniquely smart.
Scope of Work:
Specific requirements include:
– Advise on best media mix for CMC’s strategic marketing goals (e.g., web banner ads, online radio, YouTube, social media, etc.).
– Advise on best conversion strategy, including: messaging, general creative direction, landing pages, calls to action, etc.
– Provide a flexible solution that can be adjusted according to seasonal needs and identified opportunities. Ex: adding or adjusting campaign mid-year for a program with lagging applicant numbers.
– Display advertising:
o Brand awareness: Determine optimal geographic targeting to create awareness of CMC primary messaging within Colorado and possibly specific out-of-state markets.
o Program-specific: 8-10 general academic program areas. Using CMC and external data, determine optimal geographic targeting for in-state and out-of-state markets.
o Optimize for both mobile and desktop
– Paid Search: CMC is primarily seeking results for non-branded terms; may include:
o Industry-related Terms
o Academic Program Terms
o Lifestyle & Personal Interest Terms
o Branded Terms as part of an advised strategy to boost Google rankings or pair with display advertising. (Branded search is not considered a major contributor to the overall goal of 15% increase in inquiries and applicants since it usually replaces or augments organic branded search.)
– Offline media: identify additional opportunities to support online efforts in-state and recommend allocations based on budget and creative
o Monthly or real-time dashboard campaign performance reporting, including insights to optimize for emerging opportunities.
o Monthly contractor/client meetings (online or in person) to review performance and opportunities.
o ROI reporting, including tracking leads to completion (attending students), leveraging tools and data available from the college’s Microsoft Dynamics-based CRM.
o CMC uses the Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Click Dimensions marketing automation
o Lead info can be imported and exported from CMC’s CRM to enhance campaign performance as allowed by confidentiality laws.
o CRM and marketing automation static dashboard reports can be shared with the selected contractor.
o CMC would seek the selected partner’s expertise to develop ways to effectively track leads from digital advertising into the CRM.