Marketing Campaign 2024
UCCS Marketing Campaign
UCCS Marketing continually works to refine the key messaging, images and stories we use to communicate our unique experience to prospective students. Starting in late 2022, working with our agency partner, we surveyed stakeholder groups and conducted focus group and listening sessions with current students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and prospective students. Several key elements emerged from this research:
- Our location is an inspiring and central element of our personality and uniqueness.
- The people who thrive at UCCS combine an entrepreneurial spirit with an eagerness to make change to improve their lives and the lives of others.
- UCCS is a place where relationships and connections define the experience – people develop their community through these connections which fosters their belonging and success.
- UCCS is a place of possibilities where people can define their trajectory and, through the support and encouragement they find here, achieve it.
From these findings, we developed an evolution of our marketing campaign and messaging pillars that tell the story of UCCS through the real voices of our students, alumni, faculty and staff. These stories of UCCS people and possibility, conveyed through video, form the foundation of how UCCS will communicate its uniqueness and connect with prospective students for whom these values and qualities resonate.
These stories will be told and amplified on media platforms that include social media, streaming television, video, search engines and native advertising. Additionally, these stories of possibility and key messaging pillars will be woven throughout the university’s other channels of communication and marketing, including the UCCS website, social media, newsletters and communications.
Additional details about the evolved marketing campaign follow.
The landscape for prospective college students is not what it used to be, and is ever-evolving. Students now have more options than ever and are carefully evaluating the value of investing in higher education and how the experience will benefit their future. Additionally, many are pursuing non-traditional pathways to advancing their education and future earning potential.
People who pursue the traditional higher education path are asking more from their institutions. They expect an environment with a true sense of belonging, where they can achieve a world-class education with career connections, and where flexible scheduling and learning suits their lifestyles.
UCCS is not the same institution that many people in Colorado came to know in its past. Innovative new programs, new facilities, and an entrepreneurial spirit have created an entirely new experience that will change the perception of the current prospective students, their families, and the entire state.
To address the changing dynamics within these elements, we’ll utilize a marketing campaign that matches the highly-optimistic feeling you get when you step onto campus and interact with the UCCS community. By speaking authentically about UCCS and how it fits into the marketplace and consumer’s lives, we will be able to differentiate from the crowd of competitors and resonate with our audience.
The personality should define the look, tone and feel of our marketing campaign creative. Our campaign personality is:
A change-maker who is:
Sincere, authentic, caring, and true
Welcoming, friendly, accessible, and open
Uplifting, encouraging, positive, and willing to make change
Energetic, motivated, persistent, and want to succeed
Arriving at the point where you realize that dreams aren’t just dreams, but wholly achievable realities, is to hold true power. The power of possibility. This power allows you to disregard limits and push aside preconceived notions of what you can be, or where you can take your life.
UCCS has created a curriculum and an environment that cultivates the mindset of possibility, empowering students to change the trajectory of their lives and ultimately allowing them the freedom to walk confidently down whatever path leads to their dreams.
Campaign Creative Concept
Not If. When.
Thinking in terms of “if” can only take you so far. By embracing the strength and certainty of “when”, you can empower yourself to change your world and begin your journey to more. At UCCS, you’ll be surrounded by “when” people, dedicated to working alongside you as you chase the possibilities ahead and discover what makes you tick, what makes you great, and ultimately, what makes you...you. Whether it’s students, faculty, staff, or the community of Colorado Springs, the relationships you’ll find at UCCS will champion your individuality and put you on the path to success. Because to us, we know it’s not a matter of if you’ll change your world, it’s just a matter of when.
Generally speaking, messaging pillars are there to focus our marketing and advertising and ensure that our message is not too broad. They create consistency and keep our communications on brand strategy and serve as a guide for writing or speaking on the brand’s behalf. For this campaign, we have curated five pillars that separate UCCS from our competition and allow us to tell an authentic and engaging story. Those pillars are as follows:
This pillar is meant to explain how UCCS brings to life the power of possibility. It’s about empowering the target audience to realize they have the power to achieve. And, that UCCS is there to provide the needed support, guidance and encouragement to succeed. This pillar should inspire our target audiences and be told through real stories of possibility from students, faculty, staff and alumni.
The Location pillar will also be a story of possibility. UCCS’s location is more than just a story about a beautiful campus, it’s about possibilities that are opened for our target audiences because of where we are located. Messaging will focus on the beautiful campus, the proximity to the mountains, a city that ranks as one of the best places to live in the country, and a thriving economy and diverse industries that make pursuing your dreams easier.
This pillar is foundational and focuses on the type of education you can expect to get at UCCS. As each individual school has its own marketing efforts, the campus-wide marketing will focus on those programs where UCCS stands out and can tell a differentiating story. This pillar is meant to have a bolder tone and celebrate the entrepreneurial nature of the university.
Connections is about the relationships that are cultivated while at UCCS. The lasting connections that make you feel like you belong, are supported and driven to achieve your dreams. Connections are those that occur on the campus and those that are cultivated with the surrounding community. It’s about meeting life-long friends, the teacher who spends that extra time, the pipeline to local industry and a lasting relationship with Colorado Springs.
This pillar focuses on what drives success at UCCS. Individuals driven to achieve, willing to work hard and figure it out. It’s about being willing to say yes where others are more comfortable saying no. It’s about not giving into traditional conventions and instead seeing the possibility in a willingness to try. It’s about being open-minded, optimistic and taking calculated risks.