Marketing Plan, Campaign, and Collateral for DSLCC

Aerial view of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, VA

Challenged to elevate the College’s brand and increase enrollment in an environment with declining enrollment, regional brain drain, and shrinking college resources, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (DSLCC) partnered with The Ivy Group on website development and marketing support. With a new research-based marketing plan and campaign collateral, DSLCC is ready to welcome a new class of students.

Strategy and Action Plan Streamlines Advertising Process

Pocket folder design for Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
The DSLCC presentation folder is used for community and economic development audiences

After years of random shots in the dark, DSLCC was looking for a solid marketing plan that they could stick to. They needed a consistent, comprehensive plan that outlined what to do and when to do it. To build a solid foundation for the marketing plan, we conducted a Nielsen market segmentation study of the College’s service area to:

  • Ad design for DSLCC's welding certificate programidentify distinct audiences;
  • place student audiences in the context of the overall community;
  • match programs to community need; and
  • determine lifestyle groups most likely to attract students.

Using the student segmentation data, we developed messaging and creative strategy that aligns messaging, visuals, and media placement with the needs and preferences of each specific audience.

Together with a comprehensive media plan detailing recommended media buys, schedules, and budget, the marketing plan decreases the burden on DSLCC’s internal marketing team by outlining a clear strategy and plan of action.

Campaign Connects Student Interests to Careers

Ad and mailer concept design for community college student recruitment campaign
The “We see/(s)he sees” campaign highlights students in careers that match their interests

Ad design for DSLCC's culinary arts management academic programWith a clear, research-based strategy in hand, the next step was to create custom visuals that reflect DSLCC’s community. To make the design really sing—not to mention accurately reflect the College’s campus and student body—The Ivy Group partnered with Charlottesville-based photographer Andrew Shurtleff.

The photoshoot—planned, directed, and even modeled in by Ivy Group—supplied custom imagery for the design of a series of ad concepts under the new campaign creative concept, “We see/(S)he sees.” The creative treatment reinforces the DSLCC brand of a local, accessible, affordable, and friendly community asset that provides engaging classroom experiences where each student’s needs and aspirations are directly addressed. Design showcases individuals who are occupied in gratifying and remunerative careers that grow out of their unique personalities and interests.

The photoshoot and campaign creative provided the groundwork for the College’s design system, student recruitment campaign, and new viewbook.

Viewbook Emphasizes Stories and Community

Viewbook graphic design for Clifton Forge community college
The DSLCC viewbook tells student stories through portraits and interviews

Ivy Group wrote and designed a viewbook to show, rather than tell, the value of a DSLCC education and the benefits of belonging to the community to prospective students. The 8-page viewbook emphasizes student stories and the College’s sense of place. The bold, modern design signals the quality of the College’s educational programming and positions the College as a key player in the higher-education field.

The viewbooks arrived and they look fabulous. Thank you for your efforts and work. We are very thrilled to have these!

Dr. Rainone, College President

Next up: the College is turning to The Ivy Group for digital content and social media management.