University strives for brand awareness
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
University administrators are trying to increase the university’s brand awareness in various ways, including YouDee’s participation in the Capital One Mascot Challenge, according to Andrea Boyle, senior editor at the Office of Communication and Marketing.
Boyle said the competition, during which college mascots face off each week in a voting contest, gives the university the media attention it needs to boost brand awareness. The university is the only non-Bowl College Series school in the competition, which is made up of schools in the Southeastern Conference, Big Ten Conference and those that get a lot of football coverage, she said.
“It’s an even slightly bigger bonus because we don’t get that sort of coverage in the same way that they do,” Boyle said.
She said it is difficult to measure the impact of the television, Facebook and YouTube advertisements from Capital One featuring YouDee, but the exposure is important.
Besides the Capital One Mascot Challenge, Boyle said two separate types of marketing exist at the university—marketing by the Office of Communications and Marketing and by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She said OCM focuses on public perception of the university, while the admissions office concentrates their efforts on how the school appeals to prospective students.
Amy Foley, associate director of admissions, said the responsibilities of her department are to communicate the university’s brand and opportunities to prospective students, encourage them to apply to and attend the university.
Foley said her department purchases 200,000 names of high school sophomores and juniors, mainly from a standardized testing company called College Board. The names are chosen based on characteristics including standardized test scores and high school and neighborhood characteristics.
She said once the profiles are purchased, her department begins a communication process with prospective students that involves traditional mail and email. Foley said she creates all of the materials in-house.
“I work with some younger staff members, as well as student assistants, so that the material is fresh and it’s being produced in a medium that I think is going to be most effective with our market,” Foley said.
Freshman Jessi Gerowitz said she applied to the university after her guidance counselor recommended her to. She said the university is up-and-coming and has become a popular choice for many graduates from her high school.
She said instead of focusing their efforts on the Capital One Mascot Challenge, she said the university should concentrate on alumni relations and word-of-mouth to promote the school. According to Gerowitz, the university is currently outshining similar schools and thinks marketing administrators should take advantage of that.
“When I looked at a lot of other schools, they weren’t able to mention a lot of the things they’re putting their money into right now,” Gerowitz said. “Since I’ve been walking around campus and since I’ve been here, I’ve been able to see the progress that Delaware’s making and the effort they’re putting into committing themselves to becoming a better school.”
Foley said it is important for the university to have an active alumni base and her department tries to take advantage of its alumni as much as possible.
She said the university mainly recruits from the northeast region. In smaller communities, it is helpful to have an alumnus contact that is identifiable among prospective students, she said.