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Media RFP Issued By University of Colorado System

2021-09-07 by JamesD

The purpose of this request is to solicit proposals to provide specialized media buying; the creation of paid social media assets; data-driven research to evaluate the campaign; and other materials deemed relevant to the campaign. As the world becomes more digital, ODE is ramping up to increase the number of online students by 20,000 net new students by the Fall of 2026. In order to reach this goal, the CU Online program will need to generate upwards of 200,000 leads per year. To support this volume of incoming prospective students, we will require the support of additional resources to handle our SEM, pay-per-click (PPC), analytics, and other paid online digital marketing efforts.

The Office of Digital Education (ODE) for the University of Colorado System was created to improve access

to education and connect learners of all types with high-quality online degree programs and professional

development opportunities.

ODE works with CU campuses and schools to support:

• Online Design and Program Development

• Marketing

ODE’s goals are:

• High Quality: to continuously pursue and implement high-quality digital education and practices

• Access: to broaden access and increase student learning and success in higher education

• Partnership: to collaborate with our faculty, schools, and college leadership to create and apply

quality online programs that help us advance inclusive 21st –

century digital education

• Model in Education: to enable our campuses to be widely recognized as leaders in providing

innovative online education pathways and an exceptional student experience

Scope of Work:

ODE is looking for a partner that can provide strategic guidance and expertise in developing a public

awareness and student enrollment digital media marketing campaign, and support executing the


Desired components of this campaign include but is not limited to:

• Paid search and social advertising copy.

• Paid search keywords.

• Content creation.

• Daily management of multiple campaigns.

o Provide ongoing campaign support.

o Provide recommendations on best practices and integrations.

o Troubleshooting lead data.

o Campaign Budget Optimization.

• Tracking data analytics.

o Develop a lead data dashboard with visualizations.

o Collaborate with the ODE Marketing team to discuss data.

o Provide forecasting data.

o Track spend and leads on a course level

• Channel mix recommendations.

• Lead forecasting and research

The FY 2021-22 budget for this campaign is $2.6 million. The budget will be increased or decreased

accordingly each year to meet lead and enrollment goals. The FY 2021-22 budget starts in July so this

amount would be partially spent and reset with the January Campaign material must be produced in

segments through December 31, 2026. Implementation of campaign components such as paid media buys

and post-campaign evaluation could extend past this deadline.

Currently CU Online offers 70+ fully online Grad/Undergrad/Certificate programs and has plans for

growing the number of programs offered over the next 5 years

The successful vendor will work closely with ODE to develop a strategic plan for the campaign focusing on

three key performance indicators:

1. General campaign metrics such as conversion rates, cost per click, cost per lead etc.

2. Meeting financial pro forma projections.

3. Providing real-time campaign optimizations to ensure top lead volume and quality.

Search Engine Marketing: Work for this specific area should be inclusive of media placement,

management, reporting and analysis with insight.

Research: Research based around opportunities and specific keyword sets that can exist across multiple

channels including Google properties, Facebook, retargeting. Research of Demographic, Psychographic,

Geographic, and Behavioral segmentation and setting industry standard baselines for all targeted


Planning: Information and data such as keyword research forecasting, segmentation forecasting,

demographic, geographic etc. data gathered to formulate a digital media mix, centered around the sole

objective of hitting previously identified key performance indicators.

Account set-up: This request includes setting up of any account based on the digital mix, including but not

limited to Google, Facebook, BING, Yahoo, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tock, video streaming services, digital

radio, and outside vendors. In addition to including best practice execution from trusted partners. The

university is looking to the agency for their expertise for recommended target channels.

Creative: Develop visual assets such as animations, videos, static, carousels as needed in addition to ad

copy writing for specific channels i.e.: Google Search vs. Facebook. Provide insight and best practices and

direction based on trends and competition in the market.

Projects: Agency to provide planning, negotiation, buying, placement and posting of the media buys.

Example campaign components (depending on final recommendations and agreements) may or may not


• Strategic Recommendation: Approach on how to best increase awareness and enrollment

• Recommended media spend to achieve this; allocation of budget across media/tactic.

• Paid Search/PPC

• Digital Display/Retargeting

• Organizing concept/campaign concepts

• Reporting

• Development, set-up, and back-end management of landing pages and campaign tracking.

• Assist in the development of ad creativity as needed. Creative in alignment with CU Online brand


The timeline will vary depending on the campaign and the launch dates.

Due Date: 9/10/2021 12:00 PM MDT


All responses must be submitted via CU solicitation portal at by date and time noted above. All questions or proposals must be submitted using the solicitation portal. Questions or proposals that are emailed to the Purchasing Agent will not be accepted.

Relevant agencies to consider for this include Bevel PR and Finn Partners.

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