Lander University Issues Marketing RFP

Lander University currently offers the following online programs: Bachelor of Science in Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Administration, Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Human Services, Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies, RN-BSN degree completion, M.Ed. in Montessori Education, M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Emergency Management, and Master of Science in Management. The primary focus of this marketing campaign will be the Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Administration, which is designed to help students with associate of applied science (AAS) degrees, or any variety of prior college credit, to earn a bachelor’s degree in the shortest possible timeframe—usually two years or less. 

This project is motivated by the changing student demographics in South Carolina, which project reduced numbers of high school graduates over the next ten years. We are diversifying our educational portfolio to serve the changing college student profile, particularly the nontraditional and adult learner segments, which are steadily growing. As such, we expect this campaign’s KPIs to include increased enrollment, increased website traffic, increased inquiries, increased applications to priority concentration areas, increased deposits, increased enrollments in the targeted programs, and a long-term approach to continued growth.

Our online programs are supported by articulation agreements with the South Carolina Technical College System. Our primary competitors are the other regional comprehensive universities in South Carolina and out-of-state institutions that advertise their online programs to South Carolina residents. In the last major recruitment cycle, we converted approximately 45% of applicants to enrolled students.

Our university is recognized as a quality educational institution in the five-county area we serve in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Our brand recognition outside of this area is less robust. We hope this campaign will be a first step in broadening our brand awareness. Since we are promoting online programs, we are especially interested in targeting residents in the 22-55 age range who are interested in finishing college degrees started in the past or initiating new studies with the purpose of advancing their careers. Beyond our local area, we want to focus on Charlotte, Atlanta, and Augusta.

For this marketing campaign, it will be imperative that the contractor visit our campus during the discovery phase of the project and that all work related to the project be performed in the United States. All work related to the project must be completed within twelve months, and work should begin in time to effect Spring 2021 enrollment. The project budget is still being developed. This campaign will be able to use some existing in-house images and related materials that have been developed for paid search and display advertising that has been carried out over the past year. The contracting firm will be able to work with an in-house webmaster who can build and modify landing pages and PR staff who can assist with other marketing-related tasks. Our in-house team utilizes Google Analytics and analytics from Lectronimo. Leads are followed up by admissions staff, and we use the Slate CRM to manage our communication with prospective students. 

 While the university has partnered with an outside firm during the past year to market online programs, its spending on advertising has historically been very minimal and will continue to be minimal for the foreseeable future. As such, the advertising carried out for this campaign will need to be highly strategic and very carefully targeted. The budget for this project is still in development and will depend upon state allocations that have not yet been announced.

Scope of Work:

Lander University is seeking to partner with a marketing firm to design, build, and execute a scalable, easy to manage, digital marketing strategy to support enrollment efforts for online programs. The overall marketing plan will need to deliver a sustainable strategy for long-term growth that will produce increased website traffic, increased inquiries, increased program applications, increased deposits, and increased enrollment in the programs.

1.       Suitable firms for this project will be able to provide a range of marketing services, including, but not limited to:

·         Research and strategic planning

·         Media planning, evaluation, negotiation and purchasing

·         Ad trafficking across digital media

·         Creative and production services for digital media

·         Interactive media

·         Digital marketing

·         Search Engine Optimization

·         Search Engine Marketing

·         Web tracking/reporting

·         Social media, analytics tracking and reporting

·         Social media advertising

·         Photography services and video production

·         Measurement/Tracking and Reporting

·         Other marketing services as identified

2.       The marketing firm must:

·         Conduct marketing research to assess competition and market conditions relevant to Lander’s online programs.

·         Develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that will emphasize quality, affordability, and convenience.

·         Design the comprehensive marketing strategy so that South Carolina residents are its primary target audience, with regional and national audiences as secondary and tertiary targets. 

·         Determine specific measurements that will be tracked for the campaign as well as the overall effectiveness and return on investment the marketing strategy will provide. Provide advanced analytics tracking, reporting, and ROI analysis.

·         Provide monthly budget updates and maintain overall strategy/plan budget. No budget shall be exceeded without prior written approval.

·         Deliver creative design for digital and social media programming, and other design features that provide maximum impact and return on investment.

·         Maintain timelines and deadlines, while keeping all appropriate staff informed of project status.

·         Maintain open communication to include but not limited to scheduled meetings and/or conference calls with Lander leadership, including but not limited to the Lander University provost; vice president for enrollment and access management, director of online and graduate programs; and associated deans and program directors.

·         Perform a complete handoff of the marketing campaign and all tools necessary for its continuance prior to the conclusion of the agreement.

3.       Eligible firms must meet these specifications:

·         Minimum of 4 years experience dedicated to the higher education marketing

·         Firm must be able to travel to our Greenwood Campus for meetings with the project lead.”  

4.       Eligible firms must provide the following:

·         A statement of understanding project goals

·         A description of the firm’s experience with and qualifications for higher education marketing

·         At least three samples of previous higher education marketing campaigns it has completed along with at least three references

·         A projected timeline

·         Qualitative/Quantitative research to support its proposed campaign

·         A comparative/competitive review

·         A marketing SWOT analysis

·         An enrollment marketing strategy to increase enrollment by 200 students within 12 months

·         A process overview

·         A project management overview

·         Plans for future marketing phases

Due Date:

10/20/2020 3:00 pm EST    

Address:

Lander University

320 Stanley Ave.

Procurement Services CPO 6023

Greenwood, S.C. 29649

Agencies worth considering include Makovsky PR and Peppercomm.

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