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Sample graduate program content marketing plan

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Sample content marketing plan for an academic department launching a new graduate program to expand into a new market of students with a background in arts and entertainment.

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Sample graduate program content marketing plan

  1. 1. Page 1 of 12 Master of Arts in Creative & Innovative Education Marketing Plan INTRODUCTION Georgia State University’s Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education (ECEE) provides training, research and service in support of K-5 and post-secondary early childhood educators. The purpose of this marketing plan is to provide strategic guidance for building the brand awareness and growing the number of students applying to the new Master of Arts in Creative & Innovation Education (MACIE) program. As a new academic program, MACIE will be positioned as the only interdisciplinary graduate program in Georgia that offers courses to a growing market of mid-career professionals throughout metro Atlanta committed to inspiring children’s creative and innovative thinking. The primary objective of this marketing plan is to increase the number of qualified applicants who enroll in the program from 10 students in the first year (2017) to 40 in the fourth year (2020). EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Over the past few years, the ECEE faculty has developed strong partnerships with community organizations in Atlanta dedicated to the creative learning of children. After a series of conversations, the group recognized a gap in the education and preparation of professionals who work with children in creative fields identified as key to Georgia’s growing economy, including the arts, entertainment and media, and technology. To meet the growing need of mid-career professionals with backgrounds and expertise in creative education, faculty developed MACIE in collaboration with four of the university’s colleges and schools, and some of Atlanta’s premiere arts- and youth-based organizations (e.g., Boys and Girls Clubs of America, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, High Museum of Art and the Woodruff Arts Center). Approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in May 2015, MACIE is the only two-year graduate program of its kind in the state of Georgia. Its
  2. 2. Page 2 of 12 primary target audience represents mid-career professionals working throughout metro Atlanta (e.g., in-service K-12 teachers, community educators, teaching artists, non-profit professionals, business owners) seeking to create and improve in- and out-of-school educational opportunities that encourage creativity and innovation among children. The secondary target audience are graduating seniors, recent college graduates, and the university’s alumni holding degrees in fields related to the program (e.g., education, arts and sciences, business, and public policy) who currently work or aspire to work with children in creative spaces. MACIE is scheduled to launch its first cohort of 10 students in January 2017 and the deadline for registration is October 15, 2016. In order to enroll the minimum number of students, our marketing priorities are as follows: 1. Build brand awareness of MACIE among target audiences through digital marketing (i.e., new website, blog, and social media), distributing print collateral, and exhibiting at relevant events by fall 2016. 2. Grow the number of qualified applicants submitting applications to at least 20 by October 15, 2016 in order to enroll 10 students for the first cohort starting in January 2017. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS Part of the university’s mission is to blend the best of theoretical and applied inquiry, scholarly and professional pursuits, and scientific and artistic expression. The College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) aims to offer high quality instruction and high impact research to a student population that reflects the diverse composition of our state and nation. To meet the growing needs of the creative educator market in metro Atlanta, the MACIE program will primarily recruit mid-career professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries who want to create and improve educational opportunities that encourage creativity and innovation among children. There is currently no graduate program in the state that offers a similar program. This degree will involve collaboration across the following four colleges and schools within the: • Andrew Young School of Policy Studies • College of Arts & Sciences
  3. 3. Page 3 of 12 • College of Education & Human Development • J. Mack Robinson College of Business The unique combination of business, public policy, and early childhood education courses MACIE graduates will receive will position them as leaders in a growing international movement in creative and innovative education. As a new graduate program, ECEE intends to pursue a new market of creative professionals working with children throughout metro Atlanta, as opposed to its current market (i.e., non-certified pre-service teachers and in-service teachers). By expanding into this new market, ECEE will have the opportunity to increase its declining pool of Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Education applicants. SWOT ANALYSIS Strengths • Unique: Only program in Georgia offering a master’s degree targeting creative professionals who work with children in creative and innovative spaces. • Partnerships: Strong partnerships with Atlanta’s premiere arts- and youth- based organizations. • Audience: Primary target audience spans a variety of creative professionals (e.g., community educators, teaching artists, business owners, and teachers). • Curriculum: Interdisciplinary program offers four pathways to encourage students to personalize the program to meet their professional needs. • Reputation: Department’s excellent reputation for preparing K-12 and post- secondary educators. Weaknesses • Course availability: Not offering online/weekend courses may prevent primary target audience from applying. • Limited funding: Little to no additional funding to support students who can’t afford tuition. • Marketing: Limited funds to promote awareness of program to reach primary target audience via traditional channels (i.e., TV/print publication advertisement, exhibiting at trade-shows/conferences). Opportunities • Artist niche: Atlanta has a large and growing community of educators with a background and expertise in creative education.
  4. 4. Page 4 of 12 • Educator market: Educators are one of the fastest growing sectors of the state’s labor market. • Curriculum: Appeals to individuals seeking foundational knowledge to promote children’s creative learning, and opportunities to build business, organizational and content skills. • Government awareness: Promotion of initiatives and programs throughout the city, state and nation to support the growing need for creative and innovative education for children. Threats • History: New program with no track record of success. • Declining enrollment: National decline of adults enrolling in master’s degree programs. • Perception: Degree may not appeal to people who don’t believe it will increase their salary, or add value to existing skills/experiences. • Location: Downtown location may be perceived as unsafe and challenging to get to after work. MARKETING STRATEGY MISSION The mission of MACIE is to support creative professionals/educators in the design, development, and on-going implementation of creative and innovative educational programs for children. TARGET AUDIENCE The target audience MACIE plans to recruit fall in two categories: primary and secondary. Primary audiences represent the largest group of individuals who are most likely to apply to the program. Secondary audiences are individuals who are interested in the program and will strongly consider applying in the near future, or who can influence the primary audience. Primary audience: Mid-career creative professionals working with children in metro Atlanta. Because of their location, background and expertise working with children in creative
  5. 5. Page 5 of 12 and innovative spaces, this group represents the ‘low-hanging fruit’ most likely to apply to the program. • Certified and non-certified K-12 teachers (i.e., acting, music, theater, etc.) • Teaching artists • Community educators • Art- and youth-based non-profit professionals • Art- and youth-based organization business owners Secondary audiences 1. Graduating seniors and recent graduates in metro Atlanta with an interest or experience working with youth in creative spaces. This group represents the next generation of creative professionals with some experience working with children as volunteers or young employees of art- or youth- based organizations. Targeting individuals with a bachelor’s degree in education, business, public policy, or arts and sciences makes the most sense because it indicates an interest in the pathways and courses the program offers. • Public and private colleges throughout Georgia, but primarily in metro Atlanta • Employees and volunteers of local art- or youth-based organizations 2. Georgia State University alumni with applicable experience Alumni with experience working with children in creative spaces are an ideal market because they trust the university’s reputation for providing a high quality educational experience. They can also influence the primary target audience by sharing information about the program. 3. Georgia State college advisors Advisors in the four participating colleges and schools are influencers who can advocate for the program and help identify prospective applicants when they discuss career options with students considering a creative career working with youth. Their support will strengthen by keeping them involved and informed. 4. Partners Each partner is an influencer and should advocate and promote the program to their employees, board members, participants and/or customers through websites, social media, emails, newsletters, events, and meetings. • Boys & Girls Club of America • Children’s Museum of Atlanta • Community Guilds
  6. 6. Page 6 of 12 • CREATOMbuilder • High Museum of Arts • Little Shop of Stories • Woodruff Arts Center 5. Georgia State University participating colleges As a collaborative effort, each college and school participating in the program should advocate and promote MACIE to their respective faculty, staff, students, and alumni through newsletters, articles, emails, and advertisements. MARKET DEMOGRAPHICS The ideal MACIE student is a mid-career creative professional between the ages of 28 and 45. They could be a business owner, community educator, teaching artist, or K-12 educator working full-time or part-time, or as a consultant for a K-12 school, college or university, or arts- or youth-based organization in metro Atlanta. Since classes will be offered at the downtown Atlanta campus between 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., commuting to campus will be challenging; therefore, the majority of the target audience will most likely reside and work in Fulton and DeKalb counties. This group’s background and expertise represents individuals in the following two categories: • Performing artists (e.g., actors, choreographers, dancers, musicians, playwrights, poets, singers, songwriters, etc.) • Visual artists (e.g., filmmakers, graphic designers, illustrators, multimedia, painters, photographers, sculptors, videographers, etc.) As mid-career professionals working in the arts and/or education fields, their incomes will be over $40,000, and they could work in any of the following capacities: • Non-certified and certified K-12 art educators or paraprofessionals employed by Atlanta Public Schools, Fulton County School District or DeKalb County School District. • Teaching artists/artist-in-residence working within a K-12 school, college or university, or for an arts- or youth-based organization. • Non-profit professional or community educator working for a art- or youth-based organization with interest or experience with working with children in creative spaces. • Owner of an art- or youth-based organization with an interest in expanding their company’s services or products to better serve their customers.
  7. 7. Page 7 of 12 Because of this group’s reliance on grants and the demand for artistic services being dependent on consumers and organizations having disposable income, many creative professionals’ incomes fluctuate with the overall economy. It’s imperative that the messaging used to market MACIE focus on the benefits and potential outcomes the degree will afford them given the limited scholarships and loans and high cost of tuition. MARKET ANALYSIS Enrollment Projections Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 New students 10 15 25 40 The enrollment projections over the next four years are based on enrollment in similar programs in CEHD (i.e., M.S. Instructional Design and Technology and the M.S. in Educational Psychology), and enrollment of interdisciplinary Master of Arts programs across the university. GOAL Build brand awareness of MACIE as the only graduate program in Georgia designed for creative professionals in metro Atlanta who want to foster creative learning in elementary and middle school-aged children. OBJECTIVES In order to reach this goal, the following objectives will be prioritized: 1. Build brand awareness of MACIE among target audiences through digital marketing (i.e., new website, blog, and social media), distributing print collateral, and exhibiting at relevant events by fall 2016. 2. Grow the number of qualified applicants submitting applications to at least 20 by October 15, 2016 in order to enroll 10 students for the first cohort starting in January 2017. STRATEGIES & TACTICS
  8. 8. Page 8 of 12 The primary objective is to position MACIE as the only graduate program in Georgia for creative professionals seeking to inspire children’s creative and innovative thinking. The marketing strategy will seek to build prospective applicants awareness of MACIE’s: • interdisciplinary course offerings in early childhood education, business, public policy, and arts and sciences; • four educational pathways: 1) Educational Entrepreneurs and Business owners, 2) Educational Non-profit Leaders, 3) Arts/Digital Arts Integrated Curriculum Designers, and 4) Educational Creatives; and • apprenticeships in high-quality art- and youth-based organizations of various sizes, scopes, and models such as for-profit, non-profit, and governmental institutions. This message will be communicated through digital marketing, print collateral, exhibiting at art- and youth-based events, in-person and online information sessions, college advisor trainings, public relations and social media. Strategy 1: Design and promote digital marketing, including a branded website w/blog, department program page, webinars, podcasts, videos, Google ads, emails, newsletters, eBooks and digital signage on-campus. Tactics • Design custom MACIE website/blog w/contact form to generate leads • Design and publish program page w/contact form to generate leads • Publish one blog post a week that answers questions primary target audience has about professional development and educational opportunities • In collaboration with partners, promote and facilitate an online webinar once a week to educate target market about MACIE • Produce a series of podcasts interviewing MACIE faculty and key staff from partners (i.e., Woodruff Arts, High Museum, Boys & Girls Club) • Produce a promotional video highlighting benefits and anticipated outcomes • Send weekly email or newsletter to blog people who’ve signed up to receive contact information via blog and program page • Set-up a Google pay-per-click ad campaign to drive traffic to MACIE landing page with contact form to generate leads • Design and promote eBooks educating target audience about key topics in program (entrepreneurship, non-profit leadership, etc.)
  9. 9. Page 9 of 12 • Work with GSU Events Management to post digital signage in strategic campus locations Strategy 2: Design print collateral (e.g., flyers, postcards, and posters. Tactics • Design flyers, postcards, and posters and distribute in strategic locations on- campus, in Fulton County, Atlanta Public Schools, and DeKalb County K-12 schools; and art- and youth-based organizations in metro Atlanta. Strategy 3: Identify appropriate art- and youth-based events in metro Atlanta to exhibit and present. Tactics • Compile list of art- and youth-based conferences and workshops in metro Atlanta being held between May and December 2016 • Attend at least one event per month as an exhibitor and/or presenter to educate attendees about MACIE and/or creative and innovative methodologies for educators and entrepreneurs working with children Strategy 4: Hold in-person information sessions once a week with organization partners, college and school partners, and appropriate university student organizations. Tactics • Design MACIE information session presentation to educate specific target audiences • Host information sessions once a week with: o key organizational partners (i.e., Woodruff Arts, Boys and Girls Club, etc.); o college and school partners; and o appropriate collegiate student organizations (i.e., Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, National Association for Music Education). Strategy 5: Design online, interactive SlideShare information session that drives traffic to the MACIE website or program page. Tactics
  10. 10. Page 10 of 12 • Design information session presentation embedded with links to MACIE website and/or program page and admissions page and promote on SlideShare. Strategy 6: Implement traditional public relations tactics (i.e., press releases, articles, educational workshops, and volunteer events) and promote all activities through CEHD and MACIE social media Tactics • Collaborate with CEHD marketing unit to write and distribute a press release in summer 2016 to media outlets about MACIE and its link to Georgia’s growing creative workforce and arts economy. • Develop and facilitate one to two hour ‘Mini Creative & Innovative’ workshops, in collaboration with key partners, targeting specific target audiences (i.e., business owners, non-profit leaders, K-5 teachers, music teachers, etc.). Each workshop will be tailored to the four pathways and introduce attendees to concepts covered in courses. • Sponsor or host volunteer events between June and December 2016 re: creative and innovative activities for children in metro Atlanta. Strategy 7: Facilitate college advisor trainings to educate them about how to identify prospective Georgia State applicants. Tactics • Design training presentation to educate college advisors about MACIE and how to identify and discuss the program to the right undergraduate students. • Conduct quarterly trainings for each college and school partner’s college advising • Keep advisors updated and informed through newsletters and/or emails and invitations to on-campus events re: MACIE. KEY MESSAGES Two key messages have been developed to position MACIE as the premiere graduate program in Georgia for creative professionals working with children. Faculty, staff and organizational partners should be encouraged to weave these messages into all public
  11. 11. Page 11 of 12 communications (e.g., website, emails, marketing collateral, interviews, articles, presentations, newsletters).
  12. 12. Page 12 of 12 Message 1: MACIE is the only interdisciplinary graduate program in Georgia designed for creative professionals committed to inspiring children’s creative and innovative thinking. • Students will enroll in a unique combination of courses in child development, creative and innovative education, business and entrepreneurship, non-profit leadership and management, art/digital arts education, and music education. • Graduates will be positioned as leaders in a growing international movement in creative and innovative education. Message 2: MACIE provides student’s access to some of Atlanta’s most influential and recognized art- and youth-based organizations. • Students will engage in apprenticeships in high-quality educational organizations (e.g., High Museum of Art, Woodruff Arts, Boys and Girls Clubs of America). • Students will have practical experiences such as “pitching” business ideas, writing grants, developing marketing programs, and creating final products using a project-based approach. BUDGET A total of $5,000 has been allocated for this project.