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Strategic Marketing & Communications Council (SMCC) 2022 Report

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Renea Morris

Renea Morris

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As a group, we made some progress in 2022 and appreciate all of the hard work despite the many other things on our plates along with working to fill gaps on our teams. Here are the highlights:

Enterprise-wide project management and email marketing systems

We've completed demos and at the end the feedback, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the top tool for email marketing, and an extension which includes a student success CRM. We've started the contract review process and hope to start implementation early this year. The implementation of Wrike, an enterprise-wide project management software, is underway with about 18 units across campus. The University engaged in a long process to decide on these tools and it has been very helpful to have so many partners from around campus join together in the search.


In June 2022, the team reached out via survey to more than 250 recipients who manage web content and/or work as site editors across the university and have spent several months working on a roadmap that supports the survey feedback. From solving issues surrounding faculty profiles for some units, to ensuring regular data flow updates and reusable custom content blocks, to restructuring content types and addressing issues with uploading image files in Drupal, the group has used the survey results to prioritize needs and develop an enhancement and optimization plan for the web ecosystem. That roadmap development is still underway while the most urgent issues on web are being addressed in real time.

Social media

We also created a social media policy in collaboration with the SMCC, released a social media training, and modernized the University’s social media directory as well as the strategy for the brand’s social media channels. With a new social media team, including a student intern, social media at DU has seen exponential growth. Through the team’s efforts, DU’s branded social media accounts saw a 26.5% increase in followers, 72% increase in impressions, and 85% increase in engagement—an extraordinary increase for the second year in a row. This year, look for a special MarComm Camp dedicated to social media.

Preferred vendors and tools

The group continues to work on understanding who's using what around campus, including software platforms, vendors, and individual freelancers. The MarComm tools and the preferred vendors work groups have been working closely together and have coordinated a survey to get a sense of the tools and technology we use, and how we can create efficiencies for the University. This survey draft has been through several draft iterations, and we want to make sure that the questions provide valuable answers for new solutions moving forward. The survey date is still TBD.

Advertising and paid media

The group met with representatives from Colorado Public Radio and Rocky Mountain Public Media to discuss audience segmentation opportunities, placement options and costs, value and ROI, and tracking and reporting. The group also discussed alignment opportunities in keyword buys to minimize redundancies and create strategic synergy as well as Facebook event pixel implementation. With several committee departures during the fall quarter and launch of active campaigns, the dialogues on each of the points will be reactivated via different channels and means over the coming year.

Lead generation

In order to really advance the productivity of our leads, sourcing our lead management, and our overall metrics around our lead productivity, we needed to standardize some definitions. The group coalesced on the idea of some standard terminology, which are, for the most part, symmetrical with Slate. Looking for ways to use that data to our advantage is going to be important. Some of the next steps are to adopt the terminology, build the business logic and data structure around it with our new email tool, and do enterprise level reporting so that for graduate marketing, we can look at efficiencies by having some consistency, whether it's prospect or inquiry data or vendor approaches.

Moving forward

We’ve gained quite a bit of momentum as a council alongside all of our other strategic work. As a group, we will take a pause for now as we work through staffing up across campus and managing other competing priorities in the new year. Launching and rolling out a new brand was our number one focus in 2022, which will continue. As discussed in MarComm’s blog highlighting the noteworthy accomplishments this year, in a word, it was extraordinary. I would like to give a big shout-out of extreme gratitude to the amazing the MarComm team and campus partners who helped make it so!

As a reminder, all the latest updates on what the MarComm team is working on and accomplishing can be found in the MarComm blog.