UMassOnline’s ‘One World Class’ Marketing and Branding Campaign Earns Silver Award Distinction for 2011 Strategic Marketing by the University Professional & Continuing Education Association
New Campaign is a Tribute to Online Commitment and Expertise Across UMass
SHREWSBURY, MA - May 31, 2011 – UMassOnline today announced that its newly launched ‘One World Class’ strategic marketing and branding campaign has been recognized to receive the silver award distinction in the 2011 Strategic Marketing category judged by the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). This year, the silver designation represents the top award in the category. According to the Association, the 2011 Strategic Marketing award category recognizes institutions that achieve successful strategic change through outstanding, results-oriented marketing, planning, and research.
A national association, UPCEA serves as an important resource for members who rely on the Association for timely, cross-disciplinary perspectives on pressing concerns as well as for strategies that can help them respond to the growing population of adults and non-traditional students seeking continuous learning opportunities. Through its programs, publications, conferences, institutes, seminars, and public advocacy, the Association seeks to advance university professional and continuing education. Its members include public and private accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities, international universities, and nonprofit organizations with a significant commitment to professional and continuing higher education. According to UPCEA, the overall consensus of the judges was that the UMassOnline “narrative was well written, easy to understand, and did an excellent job of scoping out the issues, utilizing market research and developing an excellent program. The final product was quite clever and the repositioning of the online service was well done.”
Jennifer Brady, UMassOnline Associate Vice President – Business Development, led campaign and creative development. Under her direction the new campaign was empowered by featuring actual students taking UMass online courses and programs. The featured tag line, ‘One World Class’ speaks to the global growth, reach, and diversity of online programs and the contemporary cultural breadth of UMass’ online learners since the founding of UMassOnline in 2001. This diversity is represented by graphic elements that evoke a harmonized mosaic of learners of many types.
Commenting on the award and speaking to the strategic marketing components of the ‘One World Class’ campaign, Brady said, “UMassOnline in 2010 knew it had a bigger, more expansive, story to tell. Drivers of the new story included the significantly expanded global interest in online higher education; a significantly expanded target market that today not only includes adult learners but traditional students who take online courses as well as on-campus courses to augment and accelerate their degree programs; and, in a way, a global story to tell of the evolving common higher educational interests and goals among an increasingly diverse target market. By highlighting these factors UMassOnline could communicate the message that UMass’ online programs serve as a common denominator of shared interest for all students of any demographic or cultural variety.
According to Brady, the new campaign is also a tribute to, and in recognition of, the major academic and programming contributions continuing to come in ever greater numbers and timely varieties from the University of Massachusetts campuses. The major efforts of UMass faculty members and staff across all the campuses has produced one of the largest, most reputable, and most highly-regarded portfolios of online learning opportunities available in the distance education market. “Dedicated UMass faculty and staff members,” she said, “are the reason why we're able today to offer 112, and counting, degree and certificate programs and more than 1,500 courses.” So while many think of UMassOnline as weaving together diverse populations of students, it also weaves together important and diverse groups internally who, through technology, collaboration and participation, are woven together in support of the advancement of online education.
“A key marketing objective, too, was to transcend what had been a more or less impersonal branding campaign that featured an institutional emphasis and look and feel with a new campaign that gave those who know the most about today’s online education value – namely a very diverse set of real students who have experienced the online programs and courses offered by UMass – a chance to tell the story. Again, our objective was to show by way of student diversity, the commonality of purpose and appeal of UMass’ online programs that unify a broad cross-section of national and international learners in all categories.”
Additionally, Brady notes that today UMassOnline receives inquiries about the world class UMass programs offered online from individuals in 175 countries. “The world has changed,” she said. “That old expression, 'We're worlds apart,' just isn't as applicable today as it once was. We are a diverse population that is woven together by common threads, in our case, a quality education. This is why elements of these threads are woven together throughout the new branding materials, creating unique and diverse fabrics and patterns which are at the core of this campaign.”
UMassOnline, the online learning consortium of the University of Massachusetts, provides global marketing and technology support for UMass’ online offerings that enable students, professionals, and lifelong learners to take courses anywhere, anytime. With 112 undergraduate and graduate degree, certificate and professional development programs and more than 1,500 courses available from UMass, UMassOnline’s marketing and technology services support one of the largest accredited online programs available. Programs span the disciplines for which the University is best known: liberal arts, education, management, nursing, public health, information technology, and other disciplines. For more about UMassOnline, go to www.umassonline.net or visit our blog at http://www.umassonline.net/blog.