North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Issues SEO RFP
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is seeking to identify a contractor that will create student and nurture search campaigns to engage approximately 110,000 families of prospective students (particularly high- achieving, transfer, and out-of-state prospects). The campaigns should be high energy and provide a means for the office to gain research data, in turn, a means to improve all future communication efforts. The search campaigns should employ one-to-one, data driven, personalized communications. It should also include marketing messages, print media, nurture follow-up messages, Personalized URL (“PURL”) landing pages, Quick Response (“QR”) codes, data analysis, and data scoring and measurement. The vendor should also create a companion publication, suitable for admissions representatives to distribute at college fairs and other recruitment programs.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is an 1890 land-grant institution, classified as a “doctoral university with higher research activity” in the Carnegie Foundation system, dedicated to learning, discovery and community engagement.
Founded as The Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race, North Carolina A&T was established by an act of the N.C. General Assembly ratified on March 9, 1891. Originally operating in Raleigh as an annex to Shaw University, the college made a permanent home in Greensboro with the help of local citizens such as DeWitt Clinton Benbow and Charles H. Moore.
In 1915, state legislators changed the college’s name to the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina, and in 1967, they elevated it to university status. N.C. A&T became a constituent university of the University of North Carolina in 1972, and today is one of 17 institutions in the UNC System. It is also the nation’s largest historically black university, with an enrollment of 11,877 in Fall 2017.
The university provides a wide range of educational opportunities from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees in both traditional and online environments. With an emphasis on preeminence in STEM and a commitment to excellence in all its educational, research, and outreach programs, North Carolina A&T fosters a climate of economic competitiveness that prepares students for the global society.
Scope of Work:
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions of North Carolina A & T State University intends to conduct a campaign to identify prospective students during the Fall 2018 and beyond. NC A&T has purchased student names from ACT, College Board and College Fish. The students identified will be sent material (i.e. print, social media) by the Contractor with the desired result of motivating students to respond, apply and enroll at A&T. The various project types involved in this direct marketing campaign include various communications, thus connecting prospective student to high energy postcards, high impact photo rich emails, Personalized URL’s (“PURL”), Quick Response Codes (“QR codes”), and other approved websites and marketing materials.
The Contractor shall design, develop and implement direct marketing campaigns for the admission and enrollment of prospective undergraduate students, specific to each student type, for A&T. The Contractor will develop a comprehensive integrated marketing and strategic communications (IMSC) strategy that identifies and provides “real-time” outcomes from the student campaign. The Contractor shall provide, at a minimum, the following services:
- Targeting recommendations to support A&T’s goals and priorities. Providers/contractors must provide recommendations as a typical part of the “search” services.
- Full data hygiene, including removal of duplicates, programming and maintenance. Follow-up on responder files must be preapproved in formats which are developed to accommodate A&T specifications to allow for ease of load. Files must be provided on a schedule specified by the A&T SU Office of Admissions, including but not limited to daily, weekly, bi-weekly and/or monthly.
- Strategic direction of full campaigns. The campaign strategies must be fully integrated across all media and response channels. Provide photography and written content for campaigns.
- Full creative development, which is based on A&T’s current graphic and verbal identity and using demonstrated methods. Methodology testing results should be provided. Creative development will apply to the entire campaign, including a personalized high impact photo rich email marketing campaign, high energy postcards, a personalized letter with reply and web response sites which are personalized with each student’s individual information.
- In-market campaign monitoring by professional market analysts which is designed to maximize campaign performance while still in-market. The dedicated A&T project team must include a professional market analyst which is designed to maximize campaign performance while still in-market. The dedicated A&T project team must include a professional analyst who will monitor results and make recommendations for improvements.
- Provision of routine response reports which describe the results of the campaign by list resource, ethnicity, geographic origin (as detailed as zip + 4) and etcetera. A&T must also receive a detailed report which includes recommendations for improvements in the subsequent cycle.
- Full online production and deployment including, but not limited to, personalized email production, transmission and tracking (overall and by each top ISP to maximize deliverability) as well as development and hosting of A&T specific Web response sites which are personalized with each student’s individual information. Online development should include deliverability maximization and professional feedback by a recognized national provider/contractor of this service.
- Full production including, but not limited to, laser personalization, mailing for maximum USPS discounts, CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) certification and proprietary quality control checks at every stage of the process.
- Ongoing analysis and recommendations for continuous improvement based on A&T’s results, as well as, national research findings developed by the service provider/contractor.