New CU paid marketing campaign to aim at Colorado residents

Oct. 5, 2015

Rachel Librach
[email protected]

In a September newsletter, CU President Bruce Benson announced the start of a Colorado marketing campaign for this fall.

Expansion and advancement has occurred between the universities of CU-Boulder, UCCS, CU-Denver and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. The campaign is design to increase awareness of the CU system in Colorado.

To keep the public up-to-date on accomplishments across the institutions, Benson took measures to provide additional marketing campaigns in the state of Colorado.

“While each school has its own setup for marketing strategies, the focus with this campaign is to tie together all four campuses and raise awareness on that front,” Benson said.

“We just really want to make sure that potential students, donors and legislators understand what we are doing, that there is no grey area when it comes to the education and advancement of our students.”

For the first time, CU is switching to paid marketing in media.

“We have been doing what’s known as ‘earned marketing’ for some time; we marshal our advocates around the state, we tie together programs, but really we haven’t done on a system wide basis paid advertising in marketing,” said CU vice president for Communication, Ken McConnellogue.

“The main reason for this change is that we are in a competition for the best students, the best faculty, the best staff, for donations, for research funding, all of those things,” McConnellogue said.

Not many people know how crucial a role the CU institutions play in the state of Colorado’s business and economy, according to Benson and McConnellogue.

“Just the other day, I thought we had about 30 or 40 programs in the state, but as it turn out, we have over 280 programs and still counting.” Benson said. “We do $878 million in research, we’ve raised our fundraising from $205 million a year to $375 million.”

“We turn out this highly educated work force that attracts businesses to come to Colorado or expand here in Colorado, and that’s what’s really important,” he said.

Much of the budget for the campaign will be geared toward TV ads, digital banners, online videos, some print ads and billboards. The money to fund this marketing is from CU’s investments and will not be taken out of students’ tuition or donations.

“We get this money for marketing from initiative funds which are interest on CU’s investments,” McConnellogue said. “No tuition money, no state money and no donor money is going towards this project.”

Benson wants to maintain the focus of this campaign to be informative and encompassing what CU plans to do in the future.

“We have a $3.55 billion budget, we are a huge economic force, 29,000 employees, 70,000 students across all campuses and from all different backgrounds. What we care about now is what we are doing or are planning on putting out for the future,” he said.