CUPB to hear enrollment, marketing updates

Analicia Haynes, Senior Reporter

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Josh Norman, the associate vice president for enrollment management, will highlight Eastern’s marketing plan during the Council on University Planning and Budget meeting Friday.

The meeting will be at 2 p.m. in Room 4440 at Booth Library.

Norman said he will provide an overview of enrollment management, discuss the strategic enrollment plan and focus in on marketing, which he said was specifically identified of interest by CUPB.

“I will specifically be highlighting some of the allocation changes across marketing channels for this year,” Norman said.

In 2017 Eastern started its rebranding efforts with the Thorburn Group, a marketing firm out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

But about a year ago, Norman said Eastern switched marketing firms and now uses Central States Media, a marketing firm out of Peoria, Illinois.

This is what he means when he said there are changes across marketing channels for this year.

He said the Thorburn Group’s strength was in the rebranding process, but the university was able to diversify channels in other media markets such as social media by switching to Central States Media.

Norman said he is going to tell the CUPB what the allocation is for marketing and how the university plans on spending it.

When the marketing campaign started in 2017, it was a way to fulfill recommendations from the Vitalization Project and overall improve marketing and promote Eastern’s brand.

It consisted of advertisements across social media, on music streaming platforms like Spotify and placing ads in movie theater previews and on billboards.

Now, Norman said the university went from advertising on two billboards to over 100 in addition to having Spotify ads, social media ads and ads before movies in theaters.

He also said for the first time this year the university ran two commercials during the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers game.

Norman said the marketing efforts are diverse and as a result are able to reach more students and influencers.

“There’s just a lot of different marketing efforts happening while working with Central States Media,” Norman said.

He said they are always looking at new ways to reach students, and even though there is a plan, his team (and the marketing firm) is evaluating the results they receive from their marketing efforts and adapting their methodology based on those results.

For example, Norman said they look at how many impressions they receive online or how many inquiries for the university are generated. Also, he said they look at the things that result in applications to the university.

Norman said for the strategic enrollment plan and where the university stands in terms of progress, there were 92 action plans for this enrollment cycle.

Currently, 93 percent of the plans are in progress or completely finished (26 percent is completely finished), he said.

Norman said since they are only three months into the cycle, they are right on target, something that makes him “very happy.”

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].