Placing Your Drury Fusion on a Competitive National Stage

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By Wendy Flanagan, Executive Vice President for Marketing & Communications

A great marketing campaign in support of a bad product will fail. Likewise, the best product in the world will fail if no one knows about it or connects with it in an authentic, inspiring way. Fortunately for us, we have the winning combination of an innovative, like-no-other academic program and a comprehensive, integrated marketing communication plan to drive national visibility.

What's in a name?

Creating not just a name, but the right name for Drury University’s new academic program was priority number one. Naming and packaging the program makes it tangible, signaling the intentionality of it while giving the Drury community an easy way to communicate the program in a consistent, universal way that relays positive associations to prospective students and parents.

Your Drury Fusion airport wrapYour Drury Fusion, the name for Drury University’s new academic program, was born out of empirical data on student wants and needs, as well as faculty’s creative work in reconceiving Drury’s educational experience. While there were several names considered and tested, Your Drury Fusion emerged as the clear frontrunner, particularly among prospective students, who thought the name was “fresh” and “forward-thinking.” More important, students could easily connect Fusion with the idea of blending career and life credentials – a core differentiator.

By branding all aspects of the program under the Your Drury Fusion banner, we reinforce the substantive nature of the program while communicating its distinctive attributes. Your Drury Fusion is now the centerpiece for all we do in our undergraduate program and, as such, is being applied to all elements of our communications.

Quickly. Boldly. Visibly.

Given the competitive landscape, gaining recognition and understanding of Your Drury Fusion requires bold versus incremental moves. While faculty work on finalizing the curriculum, we must communicate the program now, well in advance of fall 2019 when students will first participate in Your Drury Fusion.

We officially launched Your Drury Fusion to the world on October 8, 2018 with a comprehensive marketing communications campaign that includes:

  • New, high-impact imagery that reflects the personalized, highly-experiential nature of Your Drury Fusion

  • Newly designed Fusion brochures and recruitment materials, including a new viewbook, which can be viewed at www.drury.edu/viewbook

  • A refreshed, mobile-centric website that acts as an interactive resource for parents and students to engage with, and learn more about, Your Drury Fusion

  • A sweeping digital marketing campaign that includes paid video ads, paid search, and paid ads on virtually every social platform and website frequented by 16- to 18-year-olds or parents in our target markets

  • An aggressive media outreach campaign to get articles placed in local newspapers across our core markets as well as in national newspapers and education-focused trade journals

  • Refreshed signage such as banners and billboards

  • An extensive word-of-mouth campaign led by students, and eventually alumni - via social media and other outlets

Every piece of communications touches on the three core components of Your Drury Fusion: 

  1. Career + life credentials
  2. Real-world, hands-on experiences
  3. Life-changing mentorship

Harnessing the power of your voice

It would be a missed opportunity to think that the marketing team is solely responsible for educating audiences about Your Drury Fusion. We have an essential role to play, but to be successful, we must embrace the idea that marketing is everyone’s job. From our facilities team to our grounds crew, faculty, administration, trustees and alumni, engagement with prospective students can and does happen virtually anywhere. Every touch point and every outreach has the potential to spur interest and participation.

You are Drury University’s marketing team. Imagine the power in being able to provide the same, consistent message about the value of Your Drury Fusion:

A program that blends career and life credentials into a highly experiential learning environment that challenges students to apply what they learn to real-world problems.

 

Imagine having a unified community of more than 50,000 voices (alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents) talking about Your Drury Fusion. That is powerful. Together, we can break through the clutter to reinforce what differentiates Your Drury Fusion from other programs, making it understood from an outsider’s perspective.

We must strike out quickly, boldly, and visibly to make Your Drury Fusion fully known among prospective students as well as other key constituents. Timing is of the essence – the opportunity exists now to leapfrog competitors who might, in turn, strengthen their appeals. To be visibly noticeable from a distance, Drury will need to make its position widely known and understood as the defining characteristic of the Drury experience.

Raising perceptions of Your Drury Fusion will ultimately improve Drury competitive position, placing us on the national stage of higher education and ensuring our enduring mission lives on in this newly envisioned program that builds on our legacy of preparing students for leadership in the 21st century.

Since launching Your Drury Fusion in early October, we have already seen a double-digit increase in traffic to the Drury website. While early signs suggest our message is resonating and we are off to a good start, the reality is marketing’s job – our job – is never done. It’s about perpetual motion, and we must continue to find new ways to communicate every day.