Xavier University of Louisiana Issues Marketing RFP

2021-06-03 by Jim Crickell
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Being America’s only Historically Black and Catholic University is just the first of the distinctions that have set Xavier University of Louisiana apart for more than eight decades. Despite its relatively small size (3,300 students), Xavier is a nationally recognized leader in the STEM and health sciences fields, producing more African American students who graduate from medical school each year than any other university in the United States. Its College of Pharmacy is also among the top producers of African American pharmacists.

Xavier’s liberal arts-based programs in areas such as art, business, education, psychology, and political science – as well as recent additions of bioinformatics, data science, neuroscience, crime and social justice and jazz studies – offer students an unbeatable combination of traditional classroom study, hands- on research, service-learning opportunities, and life experiences. The winning Xavier formula? Provide students with a well-balanced curriculum and an environment that nurtures their intellect and feeds their souls.

Today, Xavier remains committed to its founding mission of serving the underrepresented Black population and the “the promotion of a more just and humane society.” Xavier maintains its reputation as one of the most effective teaching institutions anywhere. The College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Pharmacy offers preparation in varied fields on the undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree levels.

Background

Rebranding

In the fall of 2017, Xavier established its’ first independent Marketing and Communications department to raise visibility and expand its recognition locally, regionally and nationally. Over the course of the past 3 years, we’ve developed a new website, deployed advertising in the digital, print, TV, and radio arenas, brand guidelines and design templates, and developed out new Slate CRM and email communications.

In House Team

Xavier’s Marketing and Communications team is talented, driven, dedicated—and small. We are small yet function as a full-service agency and consist of 11 members including a Director of Marketing and Communications, Brand Manager, Communications and Media Relations Manager, Sr. Digital, Analytics, Website Manager, Social and Digital Content Specialist and a host of talented Marketing and Communications Specialist. This team can design, code, write, and more. This team reports to the Vice President of Administration and Chief of Staff and works closely to achieve the goals set forth by President Reynold Verret and the Board of Trustees of the institution.

Scope of Work

Brand Recognition and Elevation

We are ready to push into the next phase of our expansion of brand recognition. Xavier’s brand is strong and bold, and we want to share it with more people. Xavier ranks in the top 3-5 of every ranking list for its quality of education, commitment to addressing social justice issues and is unique in its role as the only Black and Catholic institution of Higher education. The right partner will develop strategies that place us top of mind as the premier HBCU in America, builds upon the uniqueness of our founding, and history of civic engagement and academic rigor and excellence.

We are seeking proposals from qualified, full-service agencies who can offer us a comprehensive integrated marketing and communications strategy and implementation. The chosen firm will be charged with achieving these deliverables through an inclusive process that incorporates ideas and feedback from stakeholders at Xavier.

The successful firm will demonstrate its’ ability to achieve the following:

1.) Increases name recognition and brand elevation nationally

2.) Ensures that Xavier Louisiana is visible and recognizable on a national scale while dispelling name confusion with similar institutions

3.) Achieve National media placements for our leaders and faculty

  • Position Xavier as top choice of prospective students
  • Promotes the placement of Xavier in the top 2-3 spots on national rankings
  • Demonstrates prior experience working with institutions of Higher Ed on national campaigns and specifically ability to meet the unique market demands of HBCU’s and catholic institutions.

Proposal & Agency Requirements

Please format proposals to standard 8.5” x 11” paper size and adhere to the following format:

SECTION 1: Company Information

Name, address, phone, email, fax, and website URL Federal ID number

Contact person for the purpose of your proposal Date of incorporation/how long in business State where licensed

Number of employees

SECTION 2: Company Narrative

Provide a 1- to 4-page narrative describing your experience developing, executing, and managing projects of this size and scope as well as your experience with advertising campaigns and strategy, developing printed publications and communications flows for higher education, your philosophy/approach to marketing strategy and implementation, and how that philosophy/approach relates to the project outlined in this RFP.

SECTION 3: Personnel

Provide a list of key personnel who will work on this project along with an overview of their professional background/experience and the role they would play in this project.

SECTION 4: Scope of Work, Timeline, and Pricing

Describe the scope of work as you see it and how you will approach the project. Provide an estimated time schedule and costs associated with all phases and deliverable.

Note any additional parameters affecting the cost of this project, including travel, optional services, and contingencies.

Provide a list of options and costs for carrying out the project as outlined above, as well as for maintenance and support beyond the parameters of this project. As we develop the statement of work with the vendor, we will determine which pieces are within budget based.

SECTION 5: References and Work Samples

Provide three to five references (including at least two higher education clients) with case studies and links to URLs for projects involving a similar scope of work as outlined in this RFP.

Agency Requirements:

  • A proven record of deploying successful national integrated marketing campaigns.
  • References from three (3) clients for work completed within the last five (5) years that is of a similar scope. Must include a brief narrative of the work completed for each client. Preference is for clients of a similar institution type.
  • Agency must have expertise in multi-channel marketing optimization strategy to reach niche audience segments.
  • Agency must have expertise executing communication campaigns for educational promotion.
  • Supplier must have expertise in evaluating and adapting marketing and media placement strategies using multiple sources of digital and media analytics.
  • Prepare media buy plans for review and input by research team, which must include a targeted social media campaign.
  • Execute the media buy, which can include but is not limited to the following:
    • Negotiating placements/rates
    • Securing added value
    • Trafficking of creative materials
    • Invoicing/payment for media placements
    • Reconciling placements to invoices
    • Monitoring outlets for accurate placements
    • Adjusting placements as needed based on media metrics
  • Provide monthly evaluation reports of media placements to determine accuracy in reaching target audience(s).
  • Adjust media placements, as necessary, based on outcomes of digital analytics and feedback from the Office of the President and Marketing and Communications Department.
  • Provide customized reports, evaluation and other campaign reports and presentations to the Office of the President and Marketing and Communications Department throughout the project, as requested. The University has not scheduled regular cadenced meetings, but those meetings could be held up to two (2) times per month in which the University would seek the agency to attend. This cadence is subject to change throughout life of the project dependent upon University need.

Due Date

June 18, 2021

Submission Requirements

Submit proposals via email, in PDF or Word format only, to: pbell2@xula.edu. The deadline for receipt is 5 p.m. June 18, 2021.