Northeastern Illinois University

Northeastern Illinois University

The Challenge.

Northeastern Illinois University’s messaging was not effectively communicating its unique characteristics with target audiences. To maximize communications resources and stand out in a highly competitive market, the University needed a strategic partner to build a marketing strategy rooted in its authentic personality.


Northeastern Illinois University Case Study

The Strategy.

Carnegie engaged hundreds of NEIU stakeholders through live and online workshops to build consensus around the University’s personality and how to express it. Focused consumer perception research in key DMAs and an audit of the University’s competitive landscape revealed additional opportunities to create a brand platform and messaging strategy authentic to NEIU and distinct from its competition. Several traits and differentiators emerged clearly through our research, revealing a blend of compassion and creativity that was important to the University community and unique among NEIU’s peer set. We leveraged this opportunity and incorporated a bolder expression of NEIU’s personality into digital marketing including landing pages and social and search ads, resulting in messaging that resonated powerfully with prospective students and drove impressive results.

Northeastern Illinois University Case Study

The Results.

Since adjusting digital messaging to convey NEIU’s authentic personality, the University has seen a dramatic year-over-year increase in audience engagement and conversion volume across undergraduate, graduate, and transfer student campaigns. From annual media strategy to collateral development and psychographic audience segmentation, we continue to work closely with NEIU as we empower the University to tell its distinct story and engage its audiences.


Year-over-year increase in paid search conversion volume


Increase in overall conversion volume


Less annual campaign spend

“Northeastern partnered with Carnegie to strengthen our brand strategy, and to ensure that our core messaging was strongly aligned with the University’s unique persona. Through a series of research initiatives–including personality work, a perception study and a competitive audit, we were better positioned to differentiate our institution from the rest of the competition in the Chicagoland market. Throughout this process the team at Carnegie was highly collaborative and supportive.” J. Matt Byerly
Creative Director
Northeastern Illinois University

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