Institute of International Education Issues Global Marketing RFP

The Institute of International Education (IIE) invites qualified firms and organizations (“Offerors”) to submit a best‐value proposal for the requested services. The Contract resulting from this award will be a USGFunded Subcontractor Agreement serving the below mentioned program. The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to invite qualified organizations to submit a proposal for developing an initial global marketing strategy to maintain and promote the United States as the top study destination for international students, in the face of growing global competition, while increasing brand awareness of EducationUSA.


The Institute of International Education (“IIE” or the “Institute”) is a not‐for‐profit corporation headquartered in New York, that is among the world’s largest and most experienced international education and training organizations. Founded in 1919, IIE promotes educational exchange around the world through a wealth of programs and services including Fellowship and Scholarship Management, Higher Education Institutional Development, Emergency Student and Scholar Assistance, and Leadership Development.

For more than 90 years, IIE has promoted educational exchange around the world. The Institute currently implements more than 200 programs benefiting 40,000 participants from 183 countries. Foremost among these programs is the world renowned Fulbright Program, which IIE has had the honor to administer on behalf of the U.S. Department of State since the program’s inception in 1946. In addition to the U.S. Department of State, program sponsors include: the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); World Bank; major philanthropic foundations; private and public corporations; foreign governments; and individuals.

With IIE’s global headquarters in New York City, IIE has offices around the world, including offices in the United States (Washington DC, Chicago, Denver, Houston and San Francisco) and in other countries (China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam). For more information about IIE, please visit


IIE administers the Global EducationUSA Services through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). EducationUSA is the premier State Department‐sponsored program promoting U.S. higher education abroad with a global network of international advising centers that work to promote U.S. higher education to international students by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about educational opportunities in the United States. In addition, EducationUSA also assists the U.S. higher education community with campus internationalization and international student recruitment. IIE will manage this project, with a significant amount of influence and participation from our colleagues at the U.S. State Department. For more information about EducationUSA, visit

Scope of Work:

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is looking to hire a marketing/creative agency to develop a global marketing strategy to promote the United States as the top study destination for international students and to enhance the global recognition of the EducationUSA brand. In addition to developing an overall marketing outreach strategy, the agency will create and develop a variety of deliverables/assets that will enhance the marketing and promotion efforts already in place through the EducationUSA internal teams and processes.


This project is being funded through a special agreement with the U.S. State Department through March 2020. While it is initially projected to be a short‐term project, there is a possibility for project extension and expansion of scope.


The primary target audience includes potential international students (high school aged, 15‐18 years old, Generation Z) and parents of these students. However, given the condensed timeframe of this project, we may focus on the students initially.


1. Promote the United States as the top study destination for international students by showcasing the strengths and advantages of studying in the United States, particularly in the face of increasing global competition, with the ultimate goal of increasing international student enrollment.

2. Educate target audience about the diversity of U.S. colleges and universities (currently about 80% of international students study at only 300 of the 4,700+ accredited higher education institutions in the United States).

3. Address concerns and misconceptions international students have about studying in the United States (e.g. visa issues and high costs), while simultaneously promoting the benefits of studying in the United States (e.g. quality, value, etc.)

4. Improve and enhance global awareness of the EducationUSA brand.

DELIVERABLES & OUTPUTS (Please address the items below in your proposal)

Given the timeframe of this project and budgetary considerations, we are seeking recommendations regarding where and how resources should be allocated. We are looking to implement new strategies, deliverables, and outputs that will have the greatest impact and best position us to meet our project goals. Below is a list of key deliverables and outputs we have identified. Additionally, we are looking for deliverables/outputs that can be utilized by existing EducationUSA internal teams and partners (including U.S. embassies and higher education institutions). We will work with the selected organization to narrow the scope of work, determine which items are of highest priority, and identify deliverables that can be achieved within the condensed timeframe. In your proposal, please describe your experience with each deliverable/output below.

1. Global Marketing Strategy

Create and develop a detailed marketing plan and integrated communications strategy outlining how your organization will meet the goals of this project within the budgetary and compressed time constraints. We are looking for your expertise to develop the strategic framework and a detailed plan of action for how we can achieve our project goals and best reach our target audience. Once hired, we will have a kickoff meeting that will help shape the strategic framework for this project.

2. Global Distribution Plan

Create a detailed distribution plan for how information, materials, messaging, advertisements, etc. can be disseminated to our target audience, addressing the unique characteristics of Generation Z students. We have limited distribution channels in place currently and need your expertise to identify additional channels/methods both globally and specifically for individual key target countries.

3. Market Research on Specific Countries/Regions and Audiences

Conduct market research on key regions/countries and audiences (e.g. students, parents, schools, guidance counselors, etc.) to ensure that we are utilizing the best channels to reach our target audience.

4. Increase EducationUSA Brand Awareness

Assist with enhancing the EducationUSA brand awareness. Increase global recognition, reinforce brand trustworthiness, and encourage active engagement with EducationUSA.

5. Develop New Messaging

Create and craft new messaging that focuses on project goals, appeals to our target audience specifically, and enhances the EducationUSA brand. New messaging could be used for website and social media content, advertisements, videos, printed materials, presentations, events, speeches, etc.

6. Video and Photography Production

Create, produce, and distribute high-quality promotional videos (e.g. commercials, YouTube videos, videos for social media channels and website, testimonial videos, etc.). Create and produce high-quality, high-resolution photographs to enhance our existing image libraries.

7. Materials and Assets

Create, develop, and produce a variety of professional, high-quality advertisements and materials (including but not limited to the items listed in #6 above, digital ads, mobile banners, event marketing materials, presentation and brochure templates, etc.).

8. Pilot Campaigns in Selected Countries

Towards the end of this project, test the new marketing strategy, messaging, and assets in selected countries to test their effectiveness and response from our target audience. We would like to run test campaigns in 2‐4 countries, including a mix of established markets and emerging markets.

Due Date:

October 23, 2019


Julia Turner, Senior Global Communications Manager

Institute of International Education, Inc.

1400 K Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005

Relevant agencies include Hunter PR and W2O Group. 

You may also like...