As a University, you have to employ a diverse group of employees that specialize in a variety of different arenas. From fundraising to education, there are dozens of different programs that work together to make a school successful. Without proper messaging, you may lose out on thousands of high-quality students, hundreds of qualified employees, and millions of dollars of funding. Although your messaging will be tweaked based on the audience, it needs to have a compelling purpose that will capture attention and motivate the readers.
Unfortunately, many Universities struggle to determine if they should employ an in-house marketing department or hire an outside agency. Other schools are confident that they will see growth if they develop a relationship with a marketing agency partner. Nowadays, marketing efforts are extremely complex. If you decide to employ an in-house team, you must ensure that you have staff members that have expertise in every aspect of the marketing strategy. At RocketDog, we have seen Universities thrive after engaging with a high-quality agency partner. Because Branding agencies employ every type of specialist, you will have the ability to access robust talent and diverse skill sets. The team at RocketDog is passionate about helping Brands develop messaging strategies that lead to growth and development. If you choose to outsource your marketing team, it is important that you choose the perfect agency partner. There are a few factors to determine as you pick the right partner for your school.
1. Consider Experience and History
As you choose an agency partner, it is important that you find a company that has experience within your industry. All industries must employ different marketing techniques to see success. If you work with an agency that specializes in IT sales, they will not know how to effectively improve donor bases, applicant processes, and the pipeline for quality professors. Search for an agency partner that has experience developing Brands in the Higher Education industry. At RocketDog, we have worked with educational institutes, including the University of Washington. Because of this partnership, UW saw growth and success among qualified applicants.
After vetting the past experience of an agency partner, vet the length of their presence in the market. If the business has only been around for a few years, they likely do not employ the most robust and well-versed group of marketing experts. With companies that have decades of experience, you can trust that they are aware of the ins and outs of the industry. In addition, these agencies will be well-versed on shifts and trends in the higher education industry
Universities have many different marketing initiatives that must be developed. Between varying departments, campaigns, and programs, there are always new pieces of collateral in the queue. When choosing the right agency partner, you must determine a contestant that has an ample selection of team members. A small team may be less likely to complete projects in a timely fashion. A large team with a diverse group of skill sets will have the ability to strategize, create, and tailor messaging techniques that create quality touchpoints with your audience.
2. Clearly Communicate Expectations
When choosing the perfect agency partner, it is important that you clearly communicate expectations. The agency partner should be well aware of your budgets and timelines. In addition, they should give you an outline of what you can expect from their services. At the core, a University is a business. When developing a partnership, you must have clear and established expectations. If you experience a lull in communication or lack of transparency in conversations with a prospective partner, it is important that you begin looking elsewhere. The right agency partner will be committed to your business, no matter what. At RocketDog, we keep the needs of every client on the forefront of our minds. Over the last two decades, we have worked diligently to develop excellent collateral within a variety of different budget and time constraints. When it comes to educational Brands, there are constantly new initiatives and programs that must be showcased. Because initiatives are constantly starting and ending, it is critical that a strict timeline is maintained.
3. Look For Robust Techniques and Skill Sets
Unfortunately, many Universities have outgrown the Branding that they established decades ago. In reality, Universities need to have robust Branding in order to engage the piece of the population that they are trying to reach. Teenagers and young adults are some of the most savvy individuals on the planet. Growing up with access to technology and knowledge of devices, this generation can quickly assess their interest levels on a particular school based on the context that they gather on the internet. Because of this, you must work with an agency partner that has in-depth knowledge of social platforms and other media outlets. If a marketing agency markets social media expertise, make sure they are following consumer reports that indicate the most effective ways to reach the target age group.
At RocketDog, we know that different generations of individuals rely on different forms of marketing materials. When we work with Universities, we develop robust strategies including a TikTok presence that will attract students and a Linkedin portfolio that will impress parents and guardians.
4. Prioritize Storytelling Abilities
For many people, going to college is a lifelong dream and a life changing accomplishment. Because of this, the University you choose to attend is a huge decision. Students want to know how their University of choice will help them grow, thrive, and develop their skills. Parents want to know their children will be taught and cared for. Donors want to know that their money is being used to effectively develop the next generation. Employees want to know their expertise will be valued. All of these individuals are looking to hear stories of success. They want to hear about the people that have come before them and had amazing experiences. Work with an agency that has storytelling capabilities that can change the game. The agencies have the ability to identify, create, and showcase stories in a way that demands an emotional reaction from the target audience.
For Universities, Branding greatly affects that relationship you have with donors, applicants, and employees. Without quality Branding, many Universities struggle to create strategies that are actually effective. In addition, many schools have budget constraints that hinder their in-house marketing team. With constraints, you cannot employ individuals within every line of expertise.
When you work with RocketDog, you don't have to be stressed out about upcoming deadlines and budgets. RocketDog has years of expertise working within tight timeframes and restricted budgets. With each of our clients, we have created a lasting partnership that has driven results and improved business.
If you are looking to renovate the way that people experience your Brand, contact RocketDog today.