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An integrated marketing revolution at Ithaca College


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Paper presentation for the American Marketing Association's Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, November 12, 2012

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An integrated marketing revolution at Ithaca College

  1. 1. An Integrated Marketing Revolution atRachel ReubenAssociate Vice President, Marketing Communications
  2. 2. OverviewThe plan …and the revolutionWhy did we develop a new brand identity?Project timelineMarket researchAchieving buy-in
  3. 3. OverviewBrand awareness advertising campaignLicensing & trademark enforcement programExpanding and restructuring the Office ofMarketing CommunicationsGoals and measuring results
  4. 4. The plan …and the revolutionOriginal mantra:“Evolution, not revolution”
  5. 5. The plan …and the revolutionOriginal game plan (my charge upon arrival)– Address problematic logo– Review internally developed positioning statement & identify steps to solidify in the marketplace– Establish integrated graphic standards– Create a tagline– Conduct market research to test positioning and brand standards– Restructure MarcomOriginal implementation plan– 3 phases over ~2 years
  6. 6. And then I hireda team of superheros
  7. 7. And then we had such strong buy-inand such a strong platform to tellour story, we wanted to findadditional vehicles for getting themessage out. Ready?
  8. 8. Why did we seek a new brand identity? Academic strategic plan: IC 20/20 Projected declining demographics in the Northeast Net price calculator
  9. 9. Why did we seek a new brand identity? Lacked consistency – no integrated marketing Organizational challenges Previous logo challenges
  10. 10. Timeline overview2009–10 academic year: Internal development ofpositioning statement and RFPAugust 2010: Project kickoff with Mindpower andSimpsonScarboroughFall 2010: Focus groups, market research perceptionstudies, dozens of campus presentations on why we’regoing through this process, and the initial brand identitypitch
  11. 11. Timeline overviewFebruary 2011: Reorganization of the Office of MarketingCommunications (OMC) and realignment of web designresponsibilities from Information Technology Services toOMCMarch 2011: Creative concept testsApril–July 2011: In-house refinement of visual executionand messaging; Creative Services group begins to formAugust 31, 2011: Reskinned site and site-wide template launched; advertising campaign and newIdentity Standards system launched
  12. 12. Timeline overview (cont.)Fall 2011: Campus-wide presentations of “before andafter”; implementation phase one completed and phasetwo well under waySpring 2012: Implementation phase two nearlycompleted and phase three well under way, which includedredesigning our prospective student magazine, changingthe logos on our fleet of 150 campus vehicles, creatingcompletely new display systems for college fairs and on-campus programs, and more
  13. 13. Market researchFall 2010 – focus groups & perception study– FG: Current students, faculty, staff, administrators, regional alumni– 15,000 prospective students– 10,000 higher ed peers– 2009 alumni attitude study resultsMarch 2011 – creative concept test– All audiencesJune-July 2011 – focus groupsJune 2012 – perception study & advertisingeffectiveness– Parents of admitted students
  14. 14. Achieving buy-inCMACTraveling road show part 1:– Where we’re going, where we are now, how we’ll get thereKey stakeholders preview – research findingsand brand identityTraveling road show part 2:– Before and afterIdentity and campaign reflected research,not internal preferencesA good “problem” to have…
  15. 15. Brand awareness advertising campaign To achieve greater visibility and strengthen public’s perception about IC Influencers were primary market highly targeted by demographics and geography Prospective undergrads were secondary target Worked with media agency for planning, buying and trafficking
  16. 16. Brand awareness advertising campaign Placements included: – New York Times FSIs in select drop zones – NPR underwriting spots – SEM – Banner ads – retargeting and marquee buys – Select magazines – Acela train – Pandora – YouTube – Facebook
  17. 17. Licensing & trademark enforcement program Ithaca College ® Licensing partner: Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA) Licensing program at a glance – Applying for 7 more trademarks – Logos, seal, nickname, Ready expressions Cortaca®
  18. 18. Expanding & restructuring theOffice of Marketing Communications Silos No in-house design services to support integrated marketing effort Not enough project managers to support all of the schools and administrative units Used open positions and reallocated existing operational budget resources to redefine and create new positions Received one new position through budget request process
  19. 19. Before
  20. 20. AfterCommunication Creative Services Client Marketing Recruitment Services Marketing• Media relations • Cross platform visual • School-based MCMs • Undergraduate and• Social media designers/developers • Project management graduate• Web communication • Print production and • Strategic marketing • Undergrad• Alumni magazine project management planning & execution recruitment magazine• Writers/editors • Photography • Sports information • Private social network• Crisis communication • Video• Marketing analyst • Licensing & trademark enforcement Integrated marketing brand management content development
  21. 21. Goals & measurementIs it working?
  22. 22. Goals & measurementInstitutional Strategic Marketing Plan– Situational analysis– Guiding questions market research assisted with– Goals tied to baseline perception study research– Strategies, tactics, budgetFour goals based on answers to questionsasked in fall 2010 & June 2012 perceptionstudies & where we’d like those answers tobe in fall 2014 re-test.Brand awareness – long arc to measureresults
  23. 23. Goals & measurementSecondary indicators – positive impacts to:– Donations and Development outcomes– Application numbers– Retention– Employee searches– Web analytics– Email analytics– Inquirers– Visitors to campus
  24. 24. Goals & measurementAdditional metrics:– Social media engagement– Ads – number of impressions (CTRs, CPC to an extent)– Web analytics– Tracking manifesto – all vanity URLs, all online campaigns
  25. 25. Next stepsTaking the campaign to new audiences– Prospective graduate students– Prospective faculty and administratorsCampus signageIntegrating the institutional brand identitywith the upcoming capital campaign
  26. 26. Questions ? Rachel ReubenAssociate Vice President, Marketing Communications@rachelreuben