The State Fiscal Accountability Authority-Office of Procurement Services (SFAA-OPS) on behalf of Winthrop University is soliciting a Request for Proposal for a Marketing Contractor who will function as an extension of the Winthrop marketing team to provide a full range of marketing services in separate campaigns for (1) traditional undergraduate, (2) graduate and (3) adult/non-traditional undergraduate audiences but may also include other departments within the agency during the life of the contract.
Winthrop University (Winthrop) is a four-year public, comprehensive university currently serving approximately 6,000 students, located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a city of nearly 70,000 situated in the heart of the Carolinas. Winthrop is committed to becoming a national model for a student-centered university experience in public undergraduate, graduate and adult education.
In 2015, Winthrop announced the Winthrop Plan, a comprehensive, multi-year strategic plan to carry the institution forward through the next several years. Enrollment growth is paramount within this plan, and a clear marketing strategy is considered a key element in achieving this goal.
Winthrop strives to continuously improve operations, find new ways to serve our students, and share our story with the world in support of this goal. Winthrop recently completed a rebranding project in which Winthrop unveiled a new visual identity and refocused brand positioning and messaging. A complete redesign of the Winthrop website and migration to a new content management system is currently underway. Winthrop also recently launched its first 100% online graduate programs and will soon launch a new program geared towards adult students seeking to complete their undergraduate degree.
In service of the Winthrop Plan and these new initiatives, Winthrop seeks to establish an ongoing relationship with a reputable and qualified marketing agency partner (Contractor) to develop and execute a dynamic marketing strategy, primarily focused on digital marketing, to aid in raising the visibility of Winthrop and growing enrollment in three distinct areas: traditional undergraduate, graduate, and adult/non-traditional undergraduate. Winthrop seeks a partner with demonstrated success and at least five (5) years of experience with higher education institutions, preferably with institutions in South Carolina and/or the southeastern region of the United States.
Winthrop is seeking a marketing Contractor who will function as an extension of the Winthrop marketing team to provide marketing services; primarily digital, in separate campaigns for (1) traditional undergraduate, (2) graduate and (3) adult/non-traditional undergraduate audiences. Contractor may also be asked to work with other areas of the university on projects not specifically tied to growing enrollment.
Contractor is required to work with existing Winthrop contracts and Contractors who provide services related to the services identified herein in order to ensure consistent implementation of Winthrop’s brand and strategy.
The minimum services that the Contractor must provide include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Planning and placement of digital advertising, including, but not limited to:
o Search Engine Marketing (SEM): including, but not limited to, Google, Bing, and Yahoo;
o Digital Display Advertising: including, but not limited to, website retargeting, programmatic display/audience/behavioral targeting, mobile geofencing/IP targeting/rooftop targeting;
o Social Media Advertising: including, but not limited to, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn;
o Other services preferred but not required: Internet Radio (including but not limited to Pandora and Spotify); alternative digital platforms (i.e. Twitch/eSports & gaming); digital advertising with specific websites and apps with demonstrated success with higher education marketing; any other strategies recommended by agency partner.
B. Planning and placement of other non-digital advertising as needed
C. Campaign Management & Creative Services
o Work with Winthrop’s University Communications and Marketing staff, as well as Undergraduate, Graduate and Adult Student Admissions teams, and other departments on campus as needed, to build personas and unique digital campaigns based on individual goals for each audience;
o Routine monitoring and optimization of campaigns (including A/B testing);
o Ability to change creative as needed for certain objectives tied to special events or initiatives.
o Advanced analytics tracking, reporting and ROI analysis
· Minimum of monthly meetings/calls to review results and provide recommendations on adjustments to enhance campaign performance (such as keywords, long-tailed search terms, bids, etc.);
· Winthrop access to analytics dashboard/portal 24/7 and integration with Winthrop’s existing Google Analytics;
o Creative direction/art direction/layout/design services or creation of landing web pages as needed for digital campaigns;
o Ability to coordinate with Winthrop’s existing marketing partners & integration with CRM provider (currently Technolutions/Slate) and our website CMS (currently Ektron, currently in to transition to Omni Update OU Campus).
o Conduct marketing research (including but not limited to competitive analysis, market analysis and research on target markets (i.e. focus groups, surveys, etc.)) on Winthrop’s behalf to determine proper positioning and effective messaging for each of the identified campaigns.