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Marketing Planning Procedures

The Marketing Communications Department coordinates the strategic marketing and most of the individual marketing tactics used by the University. These tactics include, but are not limited to, the use of paid advertising, direct mail, e-marketing, and point-of-purchase displays.

The Marketing Department encourages departments or divisions who are developing a program or service to be marketed at any level to consult with marketing staff at the very beginning of the project.
It is critical to consider timeline, available non-monetary resources, expected results and overall marketing budget at the beginning of the project. The  project may have a direct impact on another marketing project, so those linkages must be explored at the very beginning.
Here are some other important questions:
Is there a market for your project/product? Why? To whom are you marketing and where are they? How can they be reached? What is the value to the target market? What is the value of theproject to the University?
For any project to be supported by the Marketing Department, it must have a direct relation to the University’s strategic plan or one of its operational plans. It must have the necessary funding, and the department developing the project must be willing to partner with the Marketing office to ensure the success of the effort. Remember, depending on the complexity of the project, it may take four to twelve weeks to completely plan and execute a marketing effort, depending on the complexity and goals of that effort.
Please contact a representative of the Marketing office to serve as a consultant to theproject. Contacts include Amy Bachman, marketing coordinator, at 570-674-3342, abachman@misericordia.edu, or Jim Roberts, director, at 570-674-6758, jroberts@misericordia.edu.
Target Audiences
For the purposes of simplification, the University’s target audiences for marketing can be divided into three primary groups:
1.      Prospective, full-time undergraduate students.
2.      Prospective adult and non-traditional learners (graduate and undergraduate).
3.      General public (includes internal stakeholders, alumni, community, government, etc.).
 
Of course, these broad categories must be divided into dozens of other subsets for effective communication. The department will, however, focus its overall message strategies on these three groups.
Timelines
Marketing projects vary widely in terms of complexity and goals. The key to successful marketing is the ability to plan for maximum effect. Most marketing efforts require various forms of graphic design, media relations, and/or online outreach and web content. Many of those sub-projects require time, talent and effort to accomplish. The University does not have the ability to expand those resources at will in order to accommodate short timelines. Therefore, one should plan for several weeks for each of the stages rather than several days.
Example: A direct mail postcard should be fully prepared and ready for graphic design five weeks before the date it is intended to be mailed. This allows two weeks for design, one week for proofing and two weeks at the printer.
This is only ONE example of a possible marketing tactic. Some require less time, others more. Consultation with marketing staff is important.
Budget
Marketing projects can incur significant expense to the University with the goal of greater return. The Marketing Department maintains budgets to support a fixed number of projects for Admissions and Adult and Continuing Education. Although possible, it can be challenging to reallocate funds during a budget cycle to launch a new project. Some projects may require approval of the appropriate Dean and or Vice President if the project falls far outside the planned projects and available funding for the year. University departments or entities planning a new effort that requires budget funds to be expended for marketing should consult with Marketing staff and plan for these new expenses as part of the budget cycle as far as a year in advance where possible.