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Integrated Marketing–NC State Achieve! Marketing Plan

It is amazing what happens when things all work together in harmony.  integrating your brand into all your communication seems simple, but with lots of moving parts and people, sometimes that task can be a bear.

» Situation:

North Carolina State University was trying to raise $1 billion dollars in private funding.  State government budgets were shrinking and in order for the university to maintain competitive in science and technology more funds were needed.  NC State is a land grant institution and was the first ever of its type to try to raise a billion.  It had more than 10 colleges and 50+ programs all with their unique brands and communication budgets.

» Action:

Simple solution was to create an almost generic fundraising campaign brand everyone could use. Most marketers would cringe at a “generic” brand, marketing is about differentiation, right? But if you are trying to convince independent communication directors to all be consistent, you have to find something everyone could agree on.  Hence the “NC State :Achieve!” brand and marketing campaign.

NC State Achieve! Collateral

We created a simple logo and inspired everyone that had a communication vehicle to integrate it.  It could be as simple as slapping it on a newsletter in any corner or developing an editorial theme on great achievements. This was total integration at its bests–statewide billboards, newspaper and magazine articles, websites, T-shirts, recruiting games, half-time video, stickers, beverage cozies, stadium cups, brochures and my personal favorite–a postmark on all outgoing university mail.

NC State Achieve! Postage Mark

» Result:

All outgoing communication by the university during the 7-year campaign was stamped with the logo in some way.  All independent communication directors hopped on board the integrated marketing trail with little oversight.  Within the first year of the campaign, private giving rose by 18% and later NC State was the first land grant university to raise a billion dollars.

About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,