Marketing Plan

Every quarter, MarCom produces a data-driven report on all MarCom activities conducted through the department for the board of trustees. If you are interested in reviewing the latest edition of this quarterly report, please email  

In 2017, Marketing & Communications engaged in an analysis that focused on the University’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). Over the course of several months, MarCom interviewed key faculty, staff, students and senior leaders, as well as alumni and community members regarding their perception of Detroit Mercy. Combined with research data derived during the 2015 marketing research study undertaken by an external firm, MarCom was able to craft a three-year strategic marketing and communications plan. Upon completion of this plan in 2020, MarCom utilized the finding and results to craft a permanent strategic framework that is used today to guide the development and implementation of all marketing and communication efforts for the University. 

Marketing & Communications Strategic Framework


Detroit Mercy’s Marketing & Communications Strategic Framework is comprised of a multipoint plan that helps position the institution in new ways as a preeminent Catholic institution of higher education grounded in the principals of the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Society of Jesus.  This framework supports the mission and vision of the University using MarCom’s multi-channel marketing and communication platforms in addition to those platforms available through Alumni Relations, individual departments and colleges to promote efforts in providing student-centered undergraduate and graduate education in an urban context.

This framework also provides a comprehensive, integrated approach for overall marketing and promotion efforts that impact internal and external audiences. As a result, MarCom is better positioned to assist enrollment recruitment, fundraising, Alumni Relations/development, undergraduate and graduate programs in developing program-specific strategic marketing and communication plans in concert with the overall MarCom framework. Decisions for marketing and communication efforts are also driven by analytical results and measurement techniques to ensure requisite return-on-investment and to help MarCom make necessary adjustments to reach prospective students, their parents and university constituents effectively.   

Individuals interested in learning more about the specific plan elements may contact the Marketing & Communications Department at 313-993-1254, or email

Core Marketing Messages

The four core marketing messages for Detroit Mercy are Excellent AcademicsPositive OutcomesVibrant American City and Service-based Values. The MarCom Strategic Framework works to support and enhance the University’s Build a Boundless Future brand to drive prospective students to enrollment events in support of recruitment strategy.

  • Primary audiences: Traditional, full-time undergraduates and influencers; and
  • Secondary audiences: Graduate and transfer students, as well as community members.

Integrated Approach

The plan utilizes a number of integrated marketing platforms that reach prospective undergraduate and graduate students, as well as parents, via communication and entertainment platforms and communications resources they use each day. These platforms comprise the following elements and characteristics:

  • Digital ads;
  • Banner ads;
  • Geo-fencing capabilities;
  • Retargeting efforts based on internet behaviors and college intentions;
  • Over-the-top (OTT) and streaming television apps; 
  • Billboards geo-fenced near Detroit Mercy’s top feeder high schools with mobile web marketing capabilities;
  • Television commercials during peak viewing times for students and on multiple platforms, such as Netflix, sports and news networks;
  • SEO/SEM and other Google Ad Words campaigns focused on specific Detroit Mercy educational products;
  • An in-depth social media strategy and campaign via Instagram, Snap Chat, Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube;
  • Subscription and free music services such as Pandora;
  • Sponsorships and major media buys, such as Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Homecoming Event;
  • Working with individual departments, colleges, and program leads to develop integrated marketing and communication plans to help spur additional enrollment; and
  • Other activities and platforms.

Detroit Mercy deploys marketing efforts through the entire 12-month year, but places specific emphasis on strategic marketing message deployment around three flight periods that encompass visit days and between the months of August and March. Flight dates are August-October; November – January; and January – March. At the end of each flight, MarCom receives all analytics from marketing vendors for in-depth review and to make adjustments to the campaign for subsequent flights.

Website Development

In March of 2017, the University launched a new website, which has helped increase the number of web site visits during the past year and a half. Then in 2021, MarCom, working in concert with Beacon Technologies, engaged in a new header navigation redesign to increase website accessibility, improve navigation and provide an improved website experience to prospects. Over the next few years, MarCom, in partnership with other Colleges and departments on campus, will make refinements to the web site in terms of aesthetics and content delivery to further enhance the user experience.

For More Information

Individuals who would like to know more about the Marketing & Communications Strategic Framework may contact Gary Erwin, associate vice president of Marketing & Communications, at 313-578-0339 or via email at