The American Marketing Association defines marketing as:
"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. (Approved October 2007.)"
An expert in educational marketing, Larry Lauer puts it well:
“A holistic approach to organizational communications, integrated marketing combines the power of marketing, advertising and public relations and involves the entire organization in communicating a consistent message.”
When all institutional marketing efforts are co-ordinated and focused, their impact is greater.
Memorial University has ambitious goals for the recruitment of students nationally and internationally, for fundraising from alumni, donors and companies, and for attracting research funding from external organizations, among others.
Achievement of these goals requires that the university have a comprehensive and integrated marketing program designed to reach target audiences with a planned effort.
A consistent look-and-feel with consistent messages guiding the communications to all these audiences is essential to break through all the advertising and communication noise we all face daily. Consistency makes it easy for our audiences to recognize Memorial publications and other communications quickly and it improves message recall. People are more likely to recall what Memorial is all about. It also helps assure them they have arrived on an official Memorial University website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter feed or are reading an official report or brochure.
At its core, a brand is a promise, based on a set of values. It is a complex set of symbols, meanings and associations. Components such as logos, slogans, campaigns and promotional materials are manifestations of the promise – one that is true to who we are as an institution; unique when compared to other universities; and salient, such that our constituents will be engaged by our promise.
Our goal is to capture and express a singular, compelling idea about Memorial that will engage our audiences, enhance profile and reputation, and help advance the university’s goals within the province, nationally and internationally.
The notion of brand positioning represents how an organization wants its constituents to see them and talk about them – how the brand is ‘positioned’ in the hearts and minds of key audiences.
"Memorial provides the freedom to explore and experience your ingenuity."
Both accurate and aspirational – key requirements for brand positioning -- this statement will provide the focus for all institutional marketing efforts, though this exact wording will not appear in an ad or brochure.
What the positioning statement says about Memorial:
To be effective, our positioning must be translated into promotional materials and activities – advertising campaigns, brochures, websites, special events, etc – that tell our brand story in a singular and compelling way.
See examples at www.mun.ca/marcomm/work.
Marketing & Communications will be pleased to meet with university units to discuss their marketing needs and how our office can assist. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-6706.
A new web page has been developed to share information about this process – www.mun.ca/brand.