Marketing and communication goes way beyond the printed page and written word. Almost anything can be a marketing opportunity - from face-to-face chat to branded merch. Together all the parts and pieces work together to help you tell the story of your organization. Here are a few marketing opportunities that can get you (and your organization) noticed by your audience beyond pixels and print.
Giveaways + Promotions
Did you know SWAG stands for Stuff We All Get? Who knew! From pens to apparel, nothing is more exciting than getting some sweet UVM gear from UVM clubs, offices, and departments. Producing a product will cost you more - but could go a long way to creating a lasting impression with your audience for days, months, and years to come.
Licensing + Approval Process
Anyone using the UVM trademark (UVM, University of Vermont, the tower logo, the catamount, etc) on a promotional item are required to: A) have their artwork approved by the licensing office and B) use a UVM approved and licensed vendor to produce their item. This process is meant to protect the visual identity and brand of the university.
Getting approvals, estimates, and quotes is easy using UVM's licensing system AgoraCX. This system allows you to put in all the information about what you're looking to order, and have licensed UVM vendors send you cost estimates - and proceed with an order all in one spot. Here's how to get started:
- Visit the UVM AgoraCX Portal and create a new account.
- Click "Start a Project" to create a new order.
- Follow the prompts and enter the details about the project. The more detailed you are, the easier it will be for companies to respond to your request with pricing. You will also have a chance to select the vendors you want quotes from (or let all of them submit pricing to you).
- Once submitted, you just have to wait for your licensing approval notification - then you can choose from the estimates you get and complete your order.
If you're having a hard time navigating AgoraCX, check out this How To Guide (pdf). Learn more about the licensing process (and office) on the UVM Licensing Program website - or reach out to Krista Balogh for more information.
- Be green. Before you buy a promotional product consider the ecological impact of your order. Try to avoid ordering swag that is cheap, unhelpful, or otherwise will wind up in the landfill. Try to order things that people are excited to have, keep, and use in their daily lives.
- Similarly - see if you can find/choose a vendor that produces products in a way that align with our values around environment and social justice.
- Many vendors give you price breaks at higher quantities. Find out the cost-breakdown at a variety of quantities when getting estimates for your product.
- Need to make new artwork for your project? The Student Life Marketing Assistants can help - they just need to know the imprint size (the space that your artwork will be placed).
The Dudley H. Davis Center
The Davis Center is the hub of all activity on campus. From large-scale programming to small coffee meet-ups, it all happens at the DC. With such high traffic, it makes sense to use the halls and walls of the DC to help increase the visibility of your event(s). Luckily, there are a variety of opportunities ready and waiting.
Student Government Association (SGA) has a responsibility-centered funding model for the clubs and orgs under it's umbrella. In short, this means SGA provides a base-level amount of funding for clubs, but requires that each organization fundraises to help support their additional needs (gear, travel expenses, etc). If your organization has an original idea, we encourage you to connect with Student Life and SGA to discuss your ideas so we can assist in having your idea becoming a reality.
Individuals can donate to clubs online using the UVM Foundation's Donation form (go.uvm.edu/clubfund) and using the 'Other' option to designate the organization they're donating to. Contact email@example.com for additional questions about club fundraising.
- Host a raffle. Approach local organizations and/or UVM offices for giveaway donations
- Write letters to past organization alumni (and families) asking for donations via check or an online donation page though the UVM Foundation
- Write letters to family, friends, and alums asking to participate in a pledge type fundraiser
- Host an event that charges admission
- Hold a workshop/clinic to the UVM community and charge a reasonable price
- Hold a fun run, competition, tournament (either intercollegiate, intramural, or in the community), or event and charge entry fees.
- Work with local restaurants like Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, Texas Roadhouse, Pizzeria Unos and others to have a “club night” and collect a portion of proceeds
- Host a pancake breakfast with a local restaurant who donates the profits to the club if the club works
- Sell meals for local restaurants at a good price and club delivers them to the people (take out only) and club receives profit
- Host a bake sale
- Partner with magazine distributors and have clubs sell magazines and receive a large percentage of the profits
- Acquire sponsorships and disperse materials to advocate for sponsorship and in return sponsors donate money and/or equipment to the clubs
- Perform seasonal work on behalf of your organization (i.e. – Vermont Teddy Bear Company)
- Sell Apparel and other Merchandise
- Hold a candy drive
- Start a penny war or change collection drive
- Host a bottle drives
- When asking for donations, focus on what opportunities the donation will provide for your org. Don't just ask for money - tell your donors what their money is being used for!
- Update your audience about what it is your organization does, any highlights from the past year, and what you hope to do in the future.
- Focus on community - donations allow your organization to thrive; highlight the people it impacts and how it how your organization his helping them thrive. Tell a story.
- Offer multiple ways to give (as long as they follow UVM regulations). Some folks will want to send money via check. Some will want an online form. Make it easy for them, and spell out the process for each platform.
- Thank people. Write a personalized letter or send an email. Make sure to follow up with people to let you know you appreciate their time and money.
- Consider linking to an online donation form via your clubs page and/or social media accounts.
- Build relationships. Collect a list of interested people (alumni, friends, family) and let them know what's up in your world WITHOUT asking them for money. Folks who are invested are more likely to care about your organization if you build a relationship with them vs just reaching out when you need money.
- Keep a list! Remember who had donated in the past and how much. Use data to be smart about your outreach and relationship building.
- Ask the UVM Foundation for help and advice. Use their tools to help build a great fundraising campaign.
- Join UVM Connect to network with past alumni. Consider reaching out to the Foundation to see if you can start a UVM Connect group for your org.
Chat with folks, give away swag, and inform students about your organization in a more personal, face-to-face, way. Spaces are available in the Davis Center atrium (and out on the green when the weather is nice). Tables must be reserved in advance. The DC will supply the table and the space, but your organization is responsible for the rest. If you are supplying food, it must adhere to the policies in place by UVM.
Learn more about tabling on the Davis Center's Marketing site.
- Presentation is key - create a colorful, fun, exciting table that folks walk to investigate further. Make sure it is true to the nature of your org. Plan this out ahead of time!
- Be engaging. Try not to sit - be prepared to greet people. Make eye contact and say hello to those who pass by.
- Notice folks who linger and engage them in conversation.
- Introduce yourself to folks who stop at your table. Get to know them and their interests. Try to be helpful in addition to talking about what it is you're trying to 'sell' them. Make a real human connection.
- Prepare some engagement opportunities in advance. Have folks compete for swag or engage in a raffle. Create some fun that pulls folks in.
- Think about food - can you get candy to entice folks to your table?
- Consider ordering a table throw for your organization with your logo on it for use at tabling events. This will make you seem more professional and help with your table presentation.
Show Up + Having a Presence
No amount of marketing will help you sell your organization or event if people don't know who you are - it's just as important to be present and engaging a variety of campus events. Showing up provides your org amazing opportunities to show you're well-integrated (and respected) in the UVM community, and gives you a chance to build honest relationships with your audience (and even other orgs!).
Here are a few events you could involve yourself in:
- New Student Picnic - mingle with the new first years at this New Student Program event that kicks off the fall semester.
- Twilight Induction – cheer on new students as they precede down main street. Make signs and wear your organization’s gear.
- ActivitiesFest - Sign your org up to table at the two biggest involvement events of the year.
- Mosaic Center for Students of Color Breakfast - mix and mingle with students from across campus while enjoying a delicious breakfast (or see if you can host a week and cook your own!)
This type of marketing is basically any unconventional (or surprise) marketing idea or interaction meant to advertise your org or event. Think "outside-the-box" ideas that go well beyond the traditional 'postering' and 'emailing' channels. Here are some ideas to get your thought process going:
- Chalking (Requires an EMS reservation in advance; must use water-soluble chalk and be 25 feet from building entrances to avoid tracking and easy cleanup)
- If you live on-campus, knock on your hall-mates' doors to get your message out.
- Host a pop-up lemonade stand on campus.
- Ask random people questions about your org - Billy on the Street style.
- Write on chalkboards
- Hand out fliers
- Talk to professors about making announcements at the start of class
- Dress up the Catamount Statue
There are tons of ways you can engage in Guerrilla Marketing - use your brain and be creative. Just make sure you connect with the appropriate UVM Departments, follow policy, and don't damage UVM property in the process. Need some more inspiration? Check out these 35 bold examples of Guerrilla Marketing.