This Request for Proposal (RFP) is issued by the Office of Purchasing (Purchasing) at Marshall University (University). The purpose of this RFP is to acquire the services of a media buying and digital marketing firm who will develop and implement a highly targeted, cost-effective paid advertising plan inclusive of sophisticated digital marketing tactics as well as traditional channels such as out of home, print, radio, and television—all of which will extend the University brand within West Virginia and other targeted regional and national markets, drive inquiries and campus visits from qualified prospective undergraduate and graduate students, increase applications and raise the profile of the institution.
Founded in 1837, Marshall University is one of West Virginia’s first institutions of higher education and its second-largest. The university has more than 13,000 students and 1,900 faculty and staff. Our students attach high value to having faculty members actively instructing in the classroom, the availability of intensive advising, exceptional student success resources, modern facilities, a growing global community and robust extracurricular programming.
Marshall is known for its safe and beautiful campus, excellent educational value and successful graduates. To learn more about Marshall, visit www.marshall.edu.
Marshall expects to spend up to $500,000 annually for traditional, digital and out-of-home media placements. These services will serve to create brand awareness among desired constituencies; drive inquiries, campus visits and undergraduate and graduate admissions; and raise the profile in the minds of key influencers such as parents of prospective students.
Scope of Work:
The services required of the successful bidder are:
- To create and execute an integrated media plan in support of brand, enrollment, marketing and communications goals as determined by the University. These goals will be provided to the winning agency.
- Provide established media relationships and superior negotiating skills to secure competitive pricing for all advertising initiatives.
- Provide expertise in demographic targeting –with a deep understanding of the West Virginia, regional and national markets in order to increase campus visits, drive inquiries, drive applications and increase enrollment of undergraduate and graduate students.
- Provide counsel, strategy and implementation of a digital marketing plan that targets prospective undergraduate and graduate students and key influencers. The plan must be inclusive of search engine optimization and search engine marketing initiatives.
- Provide tools necessary for campaign measurement and analysis, and create regular monthly and annual reporting and visuals detailing performance metrics and ROI for internal University stakeholders. A final, comprehensive report of campaign performance will be required no later than 30 days after the campaign closes.
- Provide trackable metrics for regular reporting including (but not limited to):
o Impressions (e.g. views of digital banners, search ads, billboards or airport signs)
o Conversions (e.g. clicks to our websites)
o CTR (click-thru rates)
o CPC (cost-per-click)
o Performance against benchmarks and industry norms
- Work closely with the University staff on a regular strategic and tactical basis—centered around a mutual sharing of research, performance metrics and best practices.
- Participate in a weekly call with University staff to discuss the campaign’s progress and updates.
- Consistently meet established project deadlines.
- Conduct and provide, on an annual basis, research of the University’s competitors and the higher education category to understand the advertising strategies currently being leveraged in the marketplace.
- The awarded agency must be willing to travel to the University, at its own expense, when required. Anticipated frequency is 1-2x per year.
Tracey Brown-Dolinski, Director/Chief Procurement Officer
Marshall University Office of Purchasing
Old Main, Room 125
One John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755-4100
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