St. Ambrose University Case Study

St. Ambrose University Case Study

The Challenge.

St. Ambrose University was seeking a partner to better understand who it was as an institution and to define brand messaging, in order to ensure clear and consistent communications across departments. Marketing assets were out of date, and the institution was unhappy with the efforts of previous creative vendors. It was time to revitalize its strategy and tell a better story.

HERE'S HOW.

St. Ambrose University Case Study

The Strategy.

Carnegie Dartlet conducted live and online personality workshops, a competitive audit, and perception study to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of St Ambrose’s authentic personality and strategic positioning in the higher ed market. A collateral and enrollment communications analysis, new market analysis, and student persona identification (Darts) further identified opportunities for strategic and targeted marketing. Now armed with a clearly defined brand story, Carnegie Dartlet helped bring it to life through a comprehensive set of campaign-integrated, Dart-targeted marketing collateral—print, photography, videos, and digital ads.

RESEARCH & STRATEGY
Personality Research
Psychographic Student Profiles (Darts)
New Market Analysis
Enrollment and Communications Analysis
Geospatial Analysis
Collateral Audit
CREATIVE
Creative Blitz
Campaign Development
Custom Videography
Custom Photography
Print Collateral
Digital Content
DIGITAL
Undergraduate and Graduate Campaigns
Dart Segmentation
Personality-based Market Strategy
Social Media
Landing Pages
Google Analytics Consulting
St. Ambrose University Case Study

The Results.

After five consecutive years of enrollment decline, St. Ambrose University experienced significant enrollment growth in Year 1 of implementation. St. Ambrose continues to partner with Carnegie Dartlet in the ongoing execution of personified, highly-targeted digital strategies in key market areas and leveraging Darted student lists. Across the board, St. Ambrose’s campaigns have outperformed industry benchmarks and led to significant increases in website traffic. This solid increase is proof positive that having the right message in front of the right people is key to increased engagement.

0%

MELT

20%

FIRST YEAR ENROLLMENT GROWTH

26%

INCREASE WEBSITE IN TRAFFIC

61%

INCREASE WEBSITE IN TRAFFIC FROM OPPORTUNITY MARKETS

CREATIVE BLITZ

What is right or wrong for St. Ambrose University? An interactive, in-person training with the University’s marketing and communications staff explored the breadth of St. Ambrose’s personality expression, arriving at key design and messaging insights. Imagery, video, and wireframing exercises revealed a resonance with first person narratives, personal student stories, and an emotive tone and style that capitalize on intimate moments and meaningful crescendos.

CREATIVE BLITZ

“I cannot overstate the value of the creative blitz. I Consider it an indispensable phase of Carnegie Dartlet’s process. The direct impact on the resulting creative work and the world-class professional development for my team was well worth the price of admission many times over.”
Adam Bickle
Director of Marketing
St. Ambrose University

CAMPAIGN CONCEPTS

With a well-defined message platform in hand, Carnegie Dartlet developed personality and Dart-integrated campaign concepts which would serve as a strategic bridge into a robust and effective multi-channel marketing effort. Carnegie Dartlet presented to the client two deeply personality-driven concept directions, each telling St. Ambrose’s brand story in deep and memorable ways. The chosen concept, “Believe In,” captured the institution’s inquisitive and exploratory qualities, inviting students on a bold and courageous journey through university, life, and career.

HERE’S HOW WE CREATED FOR A GREEN PERSONALITY:

CAMPAIGN CONCEPTS
CAMPAIGN CONCEPTS
  • 1
    Interplay between design and photography inspires questions and intrigue.
  • 2
    White space leaves “breathing room,” allowing the spread to come alive.
  • 3
    Handwritten, textured typography implies confidence for the adventure ahead.
  • 4
    An unexpected perspective invites curiosity and wonder. A mid-action shot demonstrates unique experiential learning.
  • 5
    Headline uses intriguing, action-oriented language to invite the reader into the story.
  • 6
    Body copy presents a university story that invites inquiry and exploration, and offers an experience that excites and inspires.
  • 7
    The campaign theme as a whole generates confidence and curiosity, allowing the reader to imagine their own adventure.

VIDEO + PHOTO SHOOT

Harnessing the power of videos to engage audiences, St. Ambrose extended their personality into a video campaign, drawing upon the insights learned at the blitz. Carnegie fashioned a storyboard that leaned heavily into the supportive and caretaking aspects of the St. Ambrose narrative to depict a realistic student experience, inclusive of the lows and the highs, the stresses and the wins, of higher education. Carnegie captured the footage over three days on campus, at the same time capturing photography to build out SAU’s creative resources library to include deeply personified assets. What resulted was a 60 and 30-second story-rich video and robust photo library that struck all the right notes and armed cross-campus communicators with powerful marketing assets for months to come.

DART-BASED SOCIAL VIDEOS

To put more fire behind this video marketing effort, Carnegie Dartlet created a series of social media videos—each targeted to reach St. Ambrose University’s primary prospective student groups. These videos continued to extend the “Believe In” campaign language, depicting an unbelievable university journey, shown at a rapid, exciting pace.

  • 1

    Dart 1 | Bees on the Grind
  • 2

    Dart 2 | Buzzing Braniacs
  • 3

    Dart 3 | Busy Bees
  • 4

    Dart 4 | Galvin Bees
  • 1

    Dart 1 | Bees on the Grind
  • 2

    Dart 2 | Buzzing Braniacs
  • 3

    Dart 3 | Busy Bees
  • 4

    Dart 4 | Galvin Bees

Print Collateral

In parallel to the video marketing campaigns, Carnegie Dartlet integrated the “Believe In” campaign into key print collateral, beginning with St. Ambrose’s annual viewbook. Carnegie Dartlet’s content and design strategists wireframed then produced 32 pages, depicting through design and narrative the various dimensions of St. Ambrose University’s brand story. This anchoring print marketing piece gave a prospective student an honest and inspiring first look at the character of the University and the compelling experience offered on its campus.

St. Ambrose Believe In Campaign Viewbook cover Viewbook - Powerful Bonds page Viewbook - Best New Dance Marathon page Viewbook - Living Faith page
St. Ambrose Believe In Campaign Viewbook cover
Viewbook - Powerful Bonds page
Viewbook - Best New Dance Marathon page
Viewbook - Living Faith page

DIGITAL + WEB

With a solid verbal and visual campaign direction, Carnegie Dartlet launched digital marketing campaigns to both prospective undergraduate and graduate students, targeting a Darted list of inquiries, as well as current and opportunity markets as identified by the New Market Analysis. Digital campaigns included paid search, paid social media, display outreach and retargeting, along with development of display ads and landing pages, and Dart-targeted Snap videos.

DIGITAL + WEB

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