Marketing campaign drives double-digit enrollment growth

Mount St. Joseph University, an established institution with a lively campus environment, needed help communicating their value to prospective students. Our partnership created an innovative recruiting campaign – increasing applications, enrollment and generating excitement.

Challenge

As colleges and universities across the US compete for a smaller pool of students, Mount St. Joseph University, a small, private liberal arts college in Cincinnati, Ohio, needed to create a strategic advantage in recruiting new students and boosting enrollment numbers. The University was well-established with some audience segments, but completely new to many others; so, part of the challenge was to diversify the brand across audiences, creating awareness and engagement with new audiences while maintaining consistency with brand supporters.

Services:

Focus groups & stakeholder interviews Competitive & SWOT analysis Content strategy & development Brand positioning strategy Messaging & tagline development Print, digital & environmental design Radio advertising Photo & video art direction

Mount St. Joseph University, an established institution with a lively campus environment, needed help communicating their value to prospective students. Our partnership created an innovative recruiting campaign – increasing applications, enrollment and generating excitement.

Services:

Focus groups & stakeholder interviews Competitive & SWOT analysis Content strategy & development Brand positioning strategy Messaging & tagline development Print, digital & environmental design Radio advertising Photo & video art direction

Challenge

As colleges and universities across the US compete for a smaller pool of students, Mount St. Joseph University, a small, private liberal arts college in Cincinnati, Ohio, needed to create a strategic advantage in recruiting new students and boosting enrollment numbers. The University was well-established with some audience segments, but completely new to many others; so, part of the challenge was to diversify the brand across audiences, creating awareness and engagement with new audiences while maintaining consistency with brand supporters.

Crop of brochure highlighting custom photography of students and typography that reads Define yourself: Line No Other
Covers of travel, undergraduate degrees, viewbook and financial aid brochures
Close up of the inside of the travel brochure featuring bright colors, statistics and custom photography
Close up of the outside of the travel brochure featuring two students' travel journeys during their education
Crop of brochure highlighting custom photography of the campus chapel and typography that reads Define: Purpose

Strategy

Sanger & Eby conducted a series of focus groups with high school seniors to determine their motivators in deciding to learn more about a college or university, as well as their deciding factors for choosing a school. Key learnings from the focus groups centered around printed recruiting materials as a primary information source and driver in decision-making.

Sanger & Eby conducted a competitive survey of printed recruiting materials from a range of colleges and universities, including schools very different from and very similar to Mount St. Joseph University, identifying strengths and opportunities as well as market whitespace.

Sanger & Eby then developed strong, strategic messaging, reflecting a unique and engaging personality that could be carried throughout various touchpoints throughout the recruiting process.

A series of recruiting materials including an expanded viewbook, a travel brochure to provide a quick overview of the school at college fairs, a financial aid brochure and a degree program brochure: these pieces work together to provide a comprehensive overview of the college.

Crop of travel brochure cover featuring tagline: Give us your brain
Crop of travel brochure cover featuring tagline: Give us your brain
Crop of brochure highlighting custom photography of students and statue on campus
Crop of brochure highlighting custom photography of students and statue on campus

A bright, engaging design and custom photography art-directed by the Sanger & Eby team provide the foundation for the school’s communications platform. Voice was a key component of connecting with prospective students; development of fresh, new copy clearly and powerfully communicates the advantages of the University to its target audience and the pieces create a compelling reason to learn more about the institution. They also generate a strong sense of excitement and engagement, creating a competitive advantage.

Sanger & Eby expanded the campaign to include graduate degree programs and initiated development of a new advertising campaign including radio, digital and print billboards, and web banners.

Sanger & Eby provided concepting, development, and production of this work as well, including developing scripts, hiring talent, and recording and producing the final spots for both commercial radio and NPR stations. A motion video for YouTube rounded out the campaign across platforms for a cohesive message reaching the target audience when they were most receptive and engaged.

Mockup of billboard design skyline featuring iconic campus tower and Bring Us Your Brain headline

Results

Interest levels in Mount St. Joseph University skyrocketed, and applications increased the first year of using the new materials, dramatically exceeding expectations and helping the college chart a successful new path.

 

Let’s talk about how we can help drive results for your institution through effective, engaging education marketing.