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  • Tips for reducing respondent fatigue

    It’s back-to-school season! Soon our students will be making their way back to campus, thanks to all the work the university has done to make this possible. As we celebrate the return of students, it’s also a good time to start considering how to respectfully access their valuable feedback.  Last year, students were inundated with […]
  • Gathering more useful feedback about your website

    I’m guessing that most of you who are reading my blog posts have developed or at least utilized email-deployed surveys as part of your job at the university. But have you also been looking at data from your website (or as I like to call it “the digital front door”) to understand the needs of […]
  • First party data (the most important party in town)

    About every five minutes, a new article comes out talking about the demise of cookies – the kind that contain data, not chocolate chips. With the demise of cookies comes the end of ad tracking, retargeting, and behavioral/locational targeting as we know it. For many of us, this is like a giant meteor hurtling toward the […]
  • Leveraging an often-overlooked brand power: Integration

    Integration. It’s one of our brand’s seven I-words, and probably the one that’s least-often used. Maybe because it’s a word that makes us think of other words we’d rather use, like "interdisciplinary” and “collaboration.” But "integration” made the brand powers list because it represents a very important U of I characteristic – one that could […]
  • High-fives: A quick look at 3 on-brand social graphics

    In my first weeks as a designer on the SMB team, I’ve spent a lot of time digging into the design section of our brand guidelines site. I’ve also enjoyed looking for examples of how campus units are using design aspects of the brand. Here are a few recent Twitter graphics that have done a […]
  • Calling all U of I designers!

    When I joined the SMB team in April as a Strategic Design Specialist, I was not only new to the team, I was new to the U of I. As I’ve been able to meet some other designers, I discovered that there really isn’t a design community on campus that meets regularly to share ideas […]
  • 3 tips for writing homepage content that engages your audience

    If a marketing message doesn’t engage readers, is it really a message? Yes, this is a play on the “If a tree falls in the forest” quip. My adaptation might be a stretch, but the question still gets to the heart of what’s vital in creating effective website content: Writing to engage our audiences is […]
  • Why (and when) to leverage focus groups

    Surveys are a great tool for collecting large amounts of data from your audience, but they do have limitations and don’t always gather the depth of information you’re after. This is where focus groups can be extremely beneficial.  There are generally two ways that focus groups can be used as part of a market research […]
  • Making your jobs easier with brand templates

    The Office of Strategic Marketing & Branding exists, in part, to help campus marketers’ and communicators’ jobs to be a bit easier. We understand that you have a lot to do, no matter how large or small your team may be.  One of the ways that we will be looking to help in the coming […]