Names like lions, tigers, owls and eagles may bring to mind a visit to the zoo. On the flipside names such as the Gators, Wildcats, Longhorns and Wolverines connect with a university—colors, mascot and all.
When branding and marketing, state and local government agencies have put a lot of resources into their higher education institutions, according to data from Onvia’s Project Center data and other research.
“Many universities have hired marketing professionals from the corporate world, including CMOs [chief marketing officers], and have invested significant time and money to create strong institutional brands,” Hannover Research, a global information services firm, wrote in a 2014 report.
Marketing and Advertising for Higher Education Institutions
Onvia’s data has similar findings. In recent years, the majority of solicitations and awards in the marketing and advertising industry have been geared toward “higher education.” Last year, state and local government agencies released 4,691 bids & RFPs for marketing and advertising services overall, 611 of those in support of higher education, or 13%. Of the 478 awards made for higher education in 2014, 46% were for marketing, 37% were for advertising and 10% for public relations. The smallest portion—7%—were for graphic design services.
In the first five months of 2015, state agencies have released 265 solicitations for marketing, advertising, public relations and graphic design services related to “higher education” and awarded 172 contracts.
Top 5 States Issuing Marketing & Advertising Solicitations for Higher Education
Marketing and Advertising for Transit, Aviation and Port Agencies
Beyond education, public officials want support in marketing their public mass transit systems. From January to May of this year, state and local government transportation agencies have issued 71 solicitations and awarded 35 contracts.
In 2014, 37% of 483 transportation-related bids and RFPs went for public mass transit systems and 19% were related to airports.
When analyzing 2014 contract awards, transportation agencies made 28% awards for mass transit systems and 20% for sea and inland port facilities. Airports came in third with 17% of the awards.
Among 2014’s transportation-related contract awards, 27% ranged between $25,000 and $100,000 in contract value, 25% were 100 to 500K and 23% were lower than 25K. 24% of awarded contracts were greater that 500K in value.
Promoting Local Natural Resources
State agencies also want to tout their natural resources—from sweet strawberries to sea turtles—and spread the news about issues that may impact their citizens.
Takeaways for Marketing and Advertising Firms Selling into State and Local Governments
State agencies have many resources from locally grown foods to nationally recognized universities and they are actively publishing opportunities to help in marketing and advertising these resources.
Because it’s good for boosting their local economies, state and local officials want to share the good news. They are looking for support in getting the word out about state programs, services and resources in creative ways as they develop campaigns and also measure results from it. They want to use the traditional mediums, such as TV and radio. They even recognize the need to enter the social media world.