MARKETING RFP ISSUED BY EASTERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY
DUE DATE – November 9, 2023 at 2:00 pm
Scope of Work
General Background of Eastern Connecticut State University:
Eastern Connecticut State University is part of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) governed by the Board of Regents for Higher Education. CSCU consists of twelve (12) Community Colleges, four (4) comprehensive Universities and the state’s only public, on-line college. The Board of Regent’s Office is located on Woodland St. in Hartford, CT.
For more information concerning Eastern Connecticut State University please visit the University’s website athttps://www.easternct.edu/
ECSU is requesting proposals for an established agency in the digital marketing/advertising space to provide comprehensive services to support its brand awareness and admissions recruiting goals. Services should include strategy development, development and enforcement of brand guidelines and best practices, creative content, project management, campaign execution, ad placement and monitoring, SEO and UX/UI site optimization, and analytics/reporting.
The selected vendor will use its experience as a digital marketing contractor working with higher education clients to design and execute an annual digital marketing program for Eastern Connecticut State University.
Specific Proposal Requirements:
Deliverables to include strategy-based campaign plan, creative development/testing, execution of advertising buy/distribution, campaign adjustments (ability to change creative within 48 hours), campaign management, advising and guiding of Eastern staff regarding campaign strategies, and reporting of campaign analytics.
• Lead generation, i.e. inquiries and prospects
• Increase traffic to Eastern website
• Keep students engaged down the admissions funnel
• Increase yield rates (prospects applications, applications admits, admits deposits)
• Manage inquiry data
• Analyze campaign performance
• Increase number of male and “full pay” students
• Grow ECSU’s capacity/knowledge in the digital marketing space
• Connecticut high school students (ages 16-24) and their parents
• High school students (ages 16-24) and parents/influencers in Rhode Island/ Massachusetts Revised 02/07/2023
• High school students (ages 16-24) and parents/influencers in other New England states
• High school students (ages 16-24) and parents/influencers in New York and New Jersey
• High school students (ages 16-24) and parents/influencers in other states
• International students
• Transfer students, e.g. Connecticut community colleges
• Graduate students
Potential Digital Advertising/Marketing Strategies:
• Paid Search
• Online display ads
• Digital Radio/Streaming Music (Spotify, Pandora, You Tube)
• Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
• Digital platforms of traditional media (i.e. CNN; Courant.com)
• Streaming Video (i.e. Hulu, Roku, MAX)
• Google Search
• Third Party (i.e. Niche)
• Personalized Email
• Retargeting Eastern website
• IP Targeting
• Promote Eastern Admissions Events, e.g. Open House
• Targeted lists (using Eastern-supplied lists)
Timing of campaign:
• Retargeting: throughout the year
• Inquiries/prospects: August to December
• Admits: February-May
Possible Metrics: (which ones does respondent value most?)
• # of inquiries; # of prospects; # of applicants; # of enrollments
• Conversion/yield rates for each
• Cost per click (CPC)
• Click-through rate (CTR)
• Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM)
• Clicks per 1,000 impressions
• Actions on Eastern website, i.e. “inquiries per 1,000 visitors”; “applications per inquiries”)
• Cost per applicant; Cost per enrollee
In addition to the deliverables cited above, optional deliverables that can be quoted include:
• Analysis of overall advertising mix relative to digital advertising budget Revised 02/07/2023
• The respondent can also share capabilities and pricing for services not specified in this RFP
• If the respondent offers any value-added services at no cost to Eastern, please specify.
University Marketing Information Capabilities
1. In-house Graphic Design Team: Eastern has a dedicated team of graphic designers who can create visually appealing and professional marketing materials.
2. Website Development: In 2019-20, Eastern collaborated with an external consultant and its inhouse web development team to implement a new website using Cascade CMS. This ensures a userfriendly and visually appealing online presence.
3. Virtual Tour: Eastern provides a VR-enabled virtual tour to prospective students, offered through EAB Global, Inc. This cutting-edge technology helps create an immersive experience and showcases the university’s facilities.
4. Admissions Support: The Office of Admissions utilizes a fulfillment house and Slate to streamline the admissions process, ensuring efficient communication and document management.
5. Social Media Presence: Eastern University has a strong and extensive social media presence. This includes official university accounts as well as numerous department-level accounts on platforms such as Facebook, X, Instagram, Threads, TikTok, YouTube, and podcasts. The university aims to expand its social media team to effectively manage and engage with online audiences.
Performance and Minimum Qualifications:
• Describe your company, the team you would assign to Eastern’s account, and your capabilities (organizational structure, history/growth, media buying strategy/capabilities)
• The awarded contractor shall have at least three (3) years’ experience in digital marketingservices.
• At least three higher education client references, preferably public institutions. Provide case studies/metrics from client campaigns
• Google Premier Partner
• Ability to deliver real-time analytics and electronic reporting
• Client services: minimum of two conference calls with client each month
• Guiding and training, as necessary, to implement/evaluate campaigns
• Ability to work with website CMS (Cascade) and CRM (Slate and Raiser’s Edge)
• The University’s preference is that all work can be performed in-house by contractor