Military Marketing & Admissions Programs for Colleges & Universities
Transparent. Targeted. Trusted.
Case Study: University of Cincinnati Online
How CollegeRecon Supported the University of Cincinnati Online’s Military Marketing Efforts from Initial Launch to Growth Phase
About the University of Cincinnati Online
The University of Cincinnati ranks among the nation’s best urban public research universities. Home to more than 47,000 students, 10,500 faculty and staff and 330,000 alumni, UC combines a Top 35 research university with a robust online offering. These online degrees provide flexible completion options for adult learners and military-connected students.
In 2019, a UC marketer, Brian Eck, was assigned a special program to build out a military marketing strategy for UC’s online programs across the country. Brian decided to look for a military specific marketing partner, an organization that could structure a marketing plan the same way UC structures their other target plans. He discovered CollegeRecon and it was able to provide a plan and so much more for UC over the last 3+ years.
During that time, UC has doubled their annual investment in CollegeRecon and increased their military enrollment by 10x!
According to Brian,
“I would say College Recon’s ability to put our message and brand in front of the right people at the right time has made a huge difference for us. The depth of individual veteran information we receive allows UC to nurture the prospect in a more personalized way. It helps them feel more comfortable with us and provides us more insight into this audience. It allows us to build messaging that lets them see they will be part of something here [at UC].”
Initial challenges UC faced when looking to enter the military market:
Establishing trust within the military community. There are gatekeepers to this target audience and you have to find ways to get your message out through trusted publishers, influencers, and organizations.
Understanding compliance with DoD and VA regulations.
Finding where to reach college-bound, military-connected men and women.
Lack of understanding surrounding demographics, interest, needs, etc of the audience
How to create messaging that relates to the experiences and language of the audience
Nurturing the veteran through their college selection process and beyond; what sort of programs and offerings are needed to compete
CollegeRecon’s Platform and Domain Expertise helps provide a path toward veteran student growth.
“We can honestly say that CollegeRecon is GOLDEN. CollegeRecon’s unique military platform, resources and active involvement in our program’s success is unparalleled. They get in front of the military audience better than a lot of our tactics because they are more experienced in that.
Their consulting services have contributed substantially to our know-how in building our marketing plan from scratch. Our relationship with CollegeRecon’s CEO, Garrett FitzGerald, and his team has meant a lot because they not only provide inquiries for us, but these are super targeted people that are looking for more information and building our name as a great school for military students.
They’re also teaching and guiding us about the program and about the target audience. It’s been a huge relationship for us and been a big help. An example of their help is I found out very quickly that one thing that is important in the military community is the small details. I needed to be in tune with the target audience and their verbiage.
A big part of my relationship with CollegeRecon is my ability to bounce ideas off and show things to Garrett and his team; whether its imagery, messaging, or where we should allocate funds. That’s another service that they’ve provided to us that is in addition to everything else they do. And it’s been awesome.”
CollegeRecon is more than just a third-party vendor
“The thing that’s been cool about this whole relationship with CollegeRecon is that when we first started, they were growing alongside us and building their own name in the military community. Garrett and his team have been able to provide leadership and ideas for us to make things easier as we got more involved.
The best example of our great working relationship is my teamwork with Garrett. Before I handed off the program to the next person, Garrett and I worked very closely to set up an API. When I was setting up this campaign, the inquiry was filled out through a form on their website. When they would fill out that form, the data would then come to me, and then I would have to submit it manually. Garrett was able to help set up an API where that transaction was automated. One of the values that Garrett and his team has provided is the ability to be flexible in my area of work. That’s invaluable”
CollegeRecon provides universities with in-depth data on prospective students requesting information such as military experience, academic interests, and educational history to ensure both sides have a great understanding of whether or not this is a good fit. UC has seen his first-hand,
“We use the data provided by CollegeRecon. It helps especially with this audience. The personalized approach really is an important component of landing somebody and this information is key to that effort. The military community is interesting in the sense that the vast majority of them fit into a persona that has a lot to do with being part of something and feeling like they’re belonging to something as a group.
I think that’s a pretty key insight that we learned early on. This isn’t something that is a quick purchase or decision for them. The buying cycle is a little bit longer, and it really requires a high level of trust built by our team.
You know, I believe in the product, I believe in UC very, very much, but being able to convey that to someone the way we do through CollegeRecon is huge.”
CollegeRecon’s trust within the military
CollegeRecon has built a strong, reputable brand name within the military community and the industry of higher education. Our platform was built to begin breaking away the predatory practices of schools and military publishers who dominated the market for years.
CollegeRecon does NOT work with any schools possessing a VA Caution Flag and works to vet every school that seeks a partnership. As a result of these efforts, our tools have been adopted and approved by some of the largest veteran service organizations in the country.
“The fact that CollegeRecon is able to speak to the largest community of college seeking veterans on the web, it’s proof in the pudding that they’re operating in the right space. They’re clearly in tune with this community. It’s awesome, and it’s definitely paid dividends for us to be so heavily promoted with them.”
“One of the biggest things is that we get a lot of inquiries and exposure from them and with this subscription, we’re coming in lower than our cost targets for this niche audience. That’s gold, so that’s great. The exposure is invaluable, especially with a community like this who prides itself on honor and things. There are big gatekeepers to this target audience. You can’t just walk in and try to sell them something. So, I think that establishing the trust within the community via CollegeRecon has been a huge help for us.”
CollegeRecon is the #1 branding and engagement platform for colleges and universities looking to market to the largest community of college-bound, military-connected students in the country. We work with all different types of institutions: small private liberal arts colleges, large online universities, public schools and trade programs.
Over the last decade, CollegeRecon has built a reputation within higher ed as a premier service providing direct access to the military and veteran community. Through native advertising, compliant marketing practices, and detailed consulting on your communication strategy, we can help build your plan from the very beginning or elevate your existing plan to the next level.
CollegeRecon is built exclusively for veterans, active military, the National Guard, Reserves, military spouses and dependents of the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force and DoD to assist in their education journey.
Get started on building your own institution’s plan today!
Reach out to CollegeRecon at Information@HFAlliance.com or 414-350-6638 to discuss your institution’s needs and explore how our solutions can help you grow your brand and enrollment efforts within the military and veteran community. We are available to help you analyze your current efforts and provide a roadmap to get you where you want to go!