Marketing Campaign Coordination

Throughout the year, MarCom receives requests from Colleges, programs and offices requesting assistance in developing marketing and communications plans and campaigns for various goals and objectives. MarCom is thrilled to partner with Detroit Mercy entities and help spread the word about this outstanding university. Based on a charge from senior leadership, colleges, departments, programs and other entities will want to coordinate marketing and communication activities with MarCom for several reasons that will yield positive benefits to these areas and the organization overall.

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    What are those benefits?

    1. Coordination ensures proper use and integrity of the Detroit Mercy brand. This safeguards against incorrect brand use, avoids confusion among audience targets and makes certain that marketing plans align with overall organization priorities as required by the board of trustees.
    2. Coordination ensures that senior leadership and board of trustee are aware of current marketing activities and are never surprised.
    3. Coordination allows MarCom to take advantage of established marketing discounts currently in place, identify new opportunities to extend the reach of your marketing efforts and thus impact greater numbers of your target audiences who may not be aware of your program or the University.

As Detroit Mercy’s official brand manager, MarCom looks forward to working with colleges, departments, programs and other institutional entities to promote their programs, services and offerings to audiences as effectively as possible.

Getting Started

What should I do before I call MarCom?

Before you contact MarCom to discuss how to best coordinate marketing efforts, please follow these initial steps:

    1. Review information that pertains to the assistance you need at
    2. List any questions you would like to address.
    3. Identify any specific and unique needs you have with regard to marketing.
    4. Contact MarCom by filling out the communication request form and we will schedule a meeting.
    5. At this meeting, we will discuss the specific area/program/service you wish to market, target audiences (primary and secondary), goals and objectives you have for your specific request and how your request may integrate with other opportunities related to the University’s three-year strategic marketing plan.
    6. If you have spoken with external agencies about marketing, be sure to bring all documentation, proposal and other related materials to the meeting. Do not to make any formal plans with agencies or marketing organizations until you meet with MarCom.

Developing Marketing Campaigns

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    General Guidelines

    Plan ahead

    Marketing of a program cannot be rushed! Only through careful consideration and planning do successful marketing efforts yield the results you desire. In general, a strong marketing campaign can take three to six weeks to plan, depending on complexity, goals and objectives that need to be achieved. As a result, plan well ahead and contact MarCom early.

    Working with agencies through MarCom yields discounts

    MarCom works with several dozen agencies and firms, and can assist departments in selecting those that meet their marketing and communications goals and objectives best. In many cases, we are able to obtain discounts for these additional marketing efforts.

    Do you know about every marketing option?

    MarCom focuses heavily on the following marketing tactics:

    • behavioral targeting
    • geo-fenced applications and resources
    • search engine marketing (SEM) opportunities through Google
    • subscription radio
    • FM radio
    • direct email marketing campaigns
    • premium video on demand through Comcast
    • subscription television programs
    • social media conquesting
    • integrated media relations programs
    • high school feeder marketing programs
    • and outdoor media programs with mobile applications tied to geographic locations, among others

    MarCom is actively studying the use of gaming station marketing opportunities as well.

    Our Goal

    The primary goal of all marketing is to ensure that Detroit Mercy is

    • targeting prospects based on their specific interests, characteristics, hobbies, positions, internet searches for programs/services that Detroit Mercy specializes in, and
    • the University is front and center in all communication, entertainment, information and recreation resources used by prospective undergraduate students, their parents, prospective graduate and professional students, corporations, alumni, donors and university friends.

    The Use of Outside Agencies

    Departments are free to investigate other firms and bring those to the attention of MarCom. Please adhere to guidelines established in the section titled Working with Outside Agencies and Creative Firms. However, with more than 30 years of combined marketing experience in marketing research, planning and media buying, it is best to discuss with MarCom your intentions before contacting outside firms.

    Disclosure: Entities that obtained proposals from firms should request a review of proposals by MarCom. Otherwise, MarCom is not held responsible for any financial or legal issues imposed by these agencies through contracted proposals that have not been examined by Marketing & Communications.


    MarCom's Process

    Understand your purpose

    Detroit Mercy entities should have

    • a clear understanding of the purpose for marketing their program/services/products
    • a clear understanding of their specific audience demographics (the “why” students wish to attend Detroit Mercy, for example)
    • survey data if applicable on their current students
    • awareness of job growth and future in the particular field as indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    • an understanding of competitor programs, including their marketing efforts

    MarCom is able to assist by offering survey instruments for current students and research data that will help identify specific demographic characteristics of your target audiences.


    When entities contract with MarCom agencies, please note that it is always best to plan ahead. It takes an average of 3-6 weeks of planning to implement a rich and effective marketing campaign. This timeline may not include any photographic or video shoots. The most effective campaigns are those that include adequate development and lead time.

    What happens next?

    In general, after the initial meeting, the Detroit Mercy entity and MarCom will engage in the following:

      1. Integrated draft plan. Establishment of formal marketing & communications integrated draft plan which will include media relations activities and a timeline for activities. Note that this plan may undergo change following the initial distribution for review.
      2. Establish a survey instrument for current students and if applicable, prospects to identify key program features and benefits and why they chose Detroit Mercy.
      3. Departments/programs/entities will administer the survey to their target audience and provide a deadline to complete survey. This may or may not include a small incentive for those to complete by deadline.
      4. Review of survey results and key selling points to help in establishing specific goals and objectives, as well as an agreement on desired results.
      5. Competitor and core message examination and analysis for other programs at other institutions to determine Detroit Mercy’s specific niche. This would include the assistance of an external firm as well, which can apply specific search criteria to uncover internet users currently searching for similar information online.
      6. Summarization of market intelligence gained through survey results.
      7. Identification of 3-4 key marketing messages based on survey information, the competitor analysis and other details known about the program’s appeal.
      8. Identification of imagery for use on marketing assets.
      9. Creation, review and approval of marketing assets (digital ads, social media ads, SEM products, print ads, etc.).
      10. Testing of marketing assets with key demographic audience members prior to implementation.
      11. Revisions to messages and marketing assets based on target audience input.
      12. Output of final assets.
      13. Agreement on what will constitute a conversion for the marketing effort. For example, MarCom currently tracks click-through-rates from digital ads to specific Detroit Mercy websites; clicks on Apply Now buttons; clicks on specific emails included in ads; clicks on form fills; and clicks on phone numbers. MarCom is unable to track filled applications in SLATE since SLATE is a third-party platform and MarCom is unable to place pixel codes on this site.
      14. Analysis of analytics during and after campaign. This will include periodic reports during the ongoing campaign in order to adjust messages based on data.

    MarCom Plans and Analytics

    The following examples of marketing plans have yielded tremendous success. 

    As of May 2019, the MBA Tuition Adjustment Plan helped increase applications for the MBA by 200% since it was deployed on Feb. 28, 2019, vs. this time last year. At this time last year, the MBA program received 33 applications. This year, the program received 108 applications.

    In addition, the School of Architecture reports that during the spring 2019 signing day, 33% of the students admitted to Architecture committed to Detroit Mercy. The average for the entire university is 15%. And during the Theatre Company’s promotion for Young Frankenstein, MarCom implemented an integrated marketing plan that lead to sellouts for every production of this play.

    Sample Plan

    The following is a marketing and communication plan established in partnership with this past academic year.

    Sample Analytics

    The following sample sets of analytics provide details regarding success. MarCom is happy to break down these reports with those who wish to learn more.

    When the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, Detroit Mercy quickly began making plans to help students stay on track with their education. This included an effort to market the University and its offering during the summer of 2020. As a result of efforts by all faculty and staff, and a comprehensive marketing and communications plan initiated in late spring, Detroit Mercy experienced a 4-5% increase in summer enrollment.


    Working with Outside Marketing and Creative Agencies

    Although MarCom prefers that departments, colleges and Detroit Mercy entities work with our staff when considering offers from outside agencies, we realize this may not always be possible. In this situation, it is important to request the following from all agencies:

    1. Detailed description of higher education experience with similar institutions.
    2. Level of knowledge of our key regions (SE Michigan, Michigan in general) and core messages.
    3. Ensure that agencies examine our current Fast Facts at
    4. Ensure that external agencies adhere to all institutional branding guidelines at
    5. Case studies from other universities with which they partnered and measurable results for all marketing efforts they conducted for schools.
    6. Names and contact information for higher education references who utilized these firms.
    7. Examples of marketing assets agency created for clients.
    8. Information that explains why this firm is uniquely capable of helping Detroit Mercy instead of other firms.
    9. Do not commit to a proposal. All proposed contracts for work must be submitted via the contract approval process.

    Detroit Mercy entities that wish to work with marketing agencies and creative firms that are unknown to MarCom should ideally coordinate with MarCom ahead of time. MarCom can help evaluate the appropriateness and capabilities of each agency and firm based on the specific goals and objectives that colleges, programs and entities have for their marketing efforts.

Take Advantage of our Research

Marketing Research

MarCom engages in the study of the latest marketing research on a weekly basis. EAB, Noel Levitz, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Cision Higher Education Media Study, and other reports, publications, conference proceedings undergo regular, in-depth review by MarCom staff weekly. If you have an interest in learning more, or wish to review this material, please contact MarCom and we will be happy to send you information.