Columbia College faculty and staff newsletter
Select an issue:
Connections faculty and staff newsletter
 October 2013

Marketing department is all about Going for Greater

Learn how the college reaches target audiences.

Go for Greater® are the words by which the Columbia College marketing department lives.

“Go for Greater was born as a way of saying we are real and we are serious about education,” Lana Poole, executive director of marketing, said. “It is the mantra and a trademarked tagline we use far and wide.”

Marketing, whose primary goal is to drive business to the college, was centralized in 2009 when Dr. Brouder separated the marketing and public relations departments. Since then, the team has grown from two people to 14 in three areas: marketing intelligence, marketing strategy and business development.

The Go for Greater® concept was created by BVK, an agency contracted by the department to provide creative and placement services for all the college’s campuses.

“My guiding principle has been to keep our staff focused on the things that we can do well, and then if we need to outsource tasks, like the placement of media, then we do,” Poole said. “We knew part of increasing the overall standards of the department was getting a professional agency that could come in and do the creative for campaigns.”

The marketing department has four main components of the workflow process: planning marketing strategies, placing the advertisements and other strategies, executing the campaign and then evaluating. Evaluation is an important part of the process because the department is able to tell how effective a campaign was — including how many student prospect applications it generated. The department then uses that data to guide strategy decisions.

As a college, there are different strategies in place for the various markets — new degree plans, campus plans, military plans, overall Missouri plans.

The marketing department moved to have standardized advertising across all campuses a few years ago as a way to create a consistent look and raise the standards. But to keep localized messaging within the overall format, campuses can choose from a variety of taglines, such as a local phone number or “Online, on campus or both.” The announcer will read that line at the end of the “spot,” a term used for radio or television advertisements.

Sometimes, if you’re not seeing ads in your area, it might mean the department is using a digital strategy rather than traditional media, which is an industry trend most colleges are moving toward. For those curious about marketing in their area, the department has a website called Go4Greater.org, where the department posts videos, advertisements and articles about their strategies that are written by staff members.