University of Colorado Colorado Springs Seeks Marketing Agency

University of Colorado Colorado Springs Seeks Marketing Agency

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) is seeking proposals from qualified marketing agencies for branding strategy and messaging, as well as ongoing services in support of the university’s marketing efforts to increase student enrollment, community awareness, and brand recognition.

UCCS is one of four campuses within the University of Colorado System. It has become the fastest growing university in the CU System and a burgeoning regional academic and research powerhouse. Established in 1965, UCCS has transformed from a small commuter-based campus of 1,670 students to a full-fledged collegiate hub with enrollment of approximately 12,000 undergraduate, graduate and online students. Located in Colorado Springs (the state’s second largest metropolitan area with more than 400,000 residents), UCCS offers 45 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and five doctoral degree programs through its six colleges. They are in search of a new visible, consistent, and communications presence in the market.

For the past eight years, UCCS has outsourced all of its marketing communications functions and therefore, relied on an external agency to provide all key marketing functions, including media buying brokerage services, project coordination, graphic design, creative, production, fulfillment, placement, marketing strategy and messaging.
To remain competitive in this environment and to increase enrollment, the university decided to take an objective look at its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities and hired an outside consulting firm to access its marketing and communications structure. It has been identified that assistance is needed to coordinate project requirements, including research, delivery, creation, design, placement, and management of marketing media and materials. The successful external agency will be required to ensure all UCCS marketing efforts and advertising projects stay aligned with the overall branding initiative of the University of Colorado


The University would like to engage an agency that is interested in building a long-term partnership that will support the institution’s planning and implementation of marketing and advertising activities including, but not limited to, the development of marketing and advertising strategy, brand and creative assets, and contract strategy and the tactical planning and brokering /placement of traditional and nontraditional media services.


The awarded agency will provide marketing and advertising services for the University of Colorado Colorado Springs throughout the life of the resulting contract. The goal of this project is to identify and communicate the brand of University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Through market research, strategy development, and communication planning, we will be able to articulate the relevant differentiators of our University and programs. In addition, we will increase enrollment, improve visibility and public perception, and attract the kind of students and faculty that will help us maintain a level of excellence in our University that ensures a strong reputation with the CU System and beyond.

Sample Project Timeline

  • Begin discovery phase: immediately upon completion of a fully executed contract.
  • Strategic planning and brand development to include Video Design, Web Design, and Print Design: months 0-6 ($250- 500k)
  • Design and Market Placement: months 6-12 ($700k)
  • Design and Market Placement: year 2 ($1.2M)
  • Design and Market Placement: year 3 ($1.2M)
  • Design and Market Placement: Option year 4 and 5 ($1.2M per year)

*The first project under the resulting contract will be a strategic planning and brand strategy review and build for UCCS. The result of which will be to increase overall awareness of UCCS with prospective and current students, alumni and community, increase student enrollment, and improve student retention for under graduate and graduate programs at UCCS.

General Requirements

UCCS has determined there is a significant need to rely on an external agency to provide various marketing functions, such as: media buying brokerage services, project coordination, graphic design, creative, production, fulfillment, placement, marketing strategy and messaging.

The successful agency will advise (based on quantifiable data) the appropriate marketing strategy, messaging and creative design and how much should be spent, at a competitive rate, to maximize exposure. The successful agency must have the best knowledge, experience, and research tools and capabilities to help UCCS spend its allocated marketing budget in an efficient and capable manner, thus attaining optimum buying power and reaching the agreed upon target audience in a successful and repeatable endeavor. The successful agency will also have first-hand experience with non-traditional marketing (social networking, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns, etc.).Upon agreement, the agency will implement approved media plan(s) including rate negotiations and placement of broadcast schedules, verification of costs, verification of broadcast contracts, verification of broadcast and print invoices, including monitoring of rotations and tear sheets, and negotiations of discrepancies.

Marketing and Advertising Services

Establish a long-term partnership with a full –service agency to support and enhance the institution’s planning and implementation of marketing and advertising activities and to further the presence, image and reputation of the institution as a whole.

Agency Services to Include

  • Overall marketing/advertising strategy;
  • Creative branding/messaging process or methodology;
  • Ideation/brainstorming of creative concepts and messages/copy;
  • Development of multidimensional creative that works effectively on several levels and formats;
  • Creative execution and production;
  • Development of communications plans and media strategy and plans, and the placement and trafficking of creative – the University requires interesting or distinct executions, placements or communication vehicles that bring recognition, excitement and energy to campaigns and marketing/communication efforts;
  • Senior/principle-level strategy, leadership and involvement and assignment of experienced personnel to handle overall and day-to-day account management, creative direction and execution, media services and billing/finance; and
  • Regular reporting on measurable outcomes and tracking of campaign/marketing effort progress and ROI

Brand Strategy and Messaging Refresh

The first project under this contract will be to review, refresh and develop an overall marketing strategic vision, brand strategy, messaging platform and creative template – one that compliments the CU brand and messaging.

Service Level Expectations

  • Possess understanding and experience with higher education institutions and their processes
  • Possess a thorough understanding of targeted populations.
  • Understand and comply with UCCS and CU System’s branding standards which includes campus logos, brand guidelines, and color schemes
  • Regular reporting on measurable outcomes and tracking of campaign/marketing effort progress and ROI
  • Participate in monthly Marketing Integration Team meetings.
  • Participate in evaluative processes. Recommend goals and strategies.
  • Focus efforts towards prospective students
  • Provide relevant data / trends, from other higher education institutions when necessary to evaluate and assess the impact of enrollment strategies.
  • Provide immediate support, work, design, and collaboration as additional marketing projects may arise.
  • Provide a media calendar for the fiscal year that includes all scheduled/planned advertising/marketing projects.
  • Provide billing information as requested.
  • Provide efficient and effective response to marketing initiatives, including on-campus meetings.

Key Deliverables must include:

  • Results of discovery and research for marketing strategic vision and branding
  • Comprehensive strategic plan and market analysis
  • Branding and messaging platforms
  • Graphic standards and creative campaign materials
  • Comprehensive communications and marketing plan
  • Methods/tools for tracking metrics
  • Video, Web, and Print Design
  • Video, Web, and Print Market Placement

Proposal due by 4/14/2017 to:
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Weber Shandwick and Global Strategy Group have a strong presence in Colorado.

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