Marketing Plan

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Strategic Three-Year Marketing Plan, 2017-2020


Detroit Mercy’s Strategic Three-Year Marketing Plan is a 14-point plan focuses on positioning the institution in new ways as a preeminent Catholic institution of higher education grounded in the principals of the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Society of Jesus.  This plan supports the mission and vision of the University using MC multi-channel marketing and communication platforms in addition to those platforms available through Alumni Relations, individual departments and colleges to promote efforts in providing student-centered undergraduate and graduate education in an urban context.

In addition, this plan provides a comprehensive, integrated approach for overall marketing and promotion efforts that impact internal and external audiences. Through this integrated Marketing and Communications Strategic Plan, Marketing & Communications (MarCom) will be better positioned to assist fundraising, Alumni Relations/development offices, undergraduate and graduate programs in developing program-specific strategic marketing and communication plans in concert with the overall MC plan. All decisions for marketing and communication efforts will also be driven by analytical results and measurement techniques to ensure requisite return-on-investment and to help MC make necessary adjustments to reach prospective students, their parents and university constituents effectively.   

Individuals interested in learning more about the specific plan elements may contact the Marketing & Communications Department at 313-993-1254, or email

Core Marketing Messages

The four core marketing messages for Detroit Mercy are Excellent AcademicsPositive OutcomesVibrant American City and Service-based Values. The Three-Year Strategic Marketing Plan works to support and enhance the University’s Build a Boundless Future brand to drive prospective students to enrollment events in support of recruitment strategy.

  • Primary audiences: Traditional, full-time undergraduates and influencers; and
  • Secondary audiences: Graduate and transfer students.

Integrated Marketing Approach

The plan utilizes a number of integrated marketing platforms that reach prospective undergraduate and graduate students, as well as parents, via communication and entertainment platforms and communications resources they use each day. These platforms comprise the following elements and characteristics:

  • Digital ads;
  • Banner ads;
  • Geo-fencing capabilities;
  • Retargeting efforts based on internet behaviors and college intentions;
  • Billboards geo-fenced near Detroit Mercy’s top feeder high schools with mobile web marketing capabilities;
  • Television commercials during peak viewing times for students and on multiple platforms, such as Netflix, sports and news networks;
  • SEO/SEM and other Google Ad Words campaigns focused on specific Detroit Mercy educational products;
  • An in-depth social media strategy and campaign via Instagram, Snap Chat, Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube;
  • Subscription and free music services such as Pandora;
  • Sponsorships and major media buys, such as Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Homecoming Event;
  • Working with individual departments, colleges, and program leads to develop integrated marketing and communication plans to help spur additional enrollment; and
  • Other activities and platforms.

Detroit Mercy deploys marketing efforts through the entire 12-month year, but places specific emphasis on strategic marketing message deployment around three flight periods that encompass visit days and between the months of August and March. Flight dates are August-October; November – January; and January – March. At the end of each flight, MarCom receives all analytics from marketing vendors for in-depth review and to make adjustments to the campaign for subsequent flights.

Website Development

In March of 2017, the University launched a new website, which has helped increase the number of web site visits during the past year and a half. Over the next few years, MarCom, in partnership with other Colleges and departments on campus, will make refinements to the web site in terms of aesthetics and content delivery to further enhance the user experience.

For More Information

Individuals who would like to know more about the three-year Strategic Marketing Plan may contact Gary Erwin, associate vice president of Marketing & Communications, at 313-578-0339 or via email at