Moving from a Degree-Centric Postsecondary System to an Incremental Credentialing System: What Happens to Learners’ Financing Options?

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Building a Communications and Marketing Strategy in a State or Institution for Incremental Credentialing

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Definitions of Key Terms

Building a Communications and Marketing Strategy in a State or Institution for Incremental Credentialing

Definitions of Key Terms

Channel: A channel is any of the many avenues or vehicles that can be used to deliver communication and marketing messages. Communication channels are the means through which people and organizations interact. There are many different types of communication channels, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The best way to select the right communication channel is to consider the purpose of the communication, the preferences of the audience, and the time frame in which the message needs to be delivered.

Communications and Marketing Plan: A communications and marketing plan is one that is both strategic and tactical, created to support an organization’s or initiative’s overall strategic plan. Businesses use marketing plans as a strategic roadmap to organize, execute, and track their marketing strategy over a given period.

Marketing Strategy: Marketing strategy is an organization’s promotional efforts to allocate its resources across a wide range of platforms, channels to increase its sales and achieve sustainable competitive advantage within its corresponding market. A marketing strategy describes how a business will accomplish a particular goal or mission (e.g., including campaigns, content, channels, and marketing software they’ll use to execute that mission and track its success). A thorough marketing strategy covers the four Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. Marketing’s main goal is to educate and advertise a product, service, idea, or organization. In our case, the product is availability of specific incremental credential programs—for learners and employers—in your state and/or institution.

Strategic Communication: Strategic communication is an umbrella term to describe the activities of disciplines including public relations, management communication, and advertising.  The approach focuses on strategy rather than specific tactics. Strategic communications refers to an organization’s planned and purposeful use of communications principles, strategies, and initiatives to further its goals, mission, and/or values. Focus on conveying a specific message that is not necessarily related to advertising. In incremental credentialing, the message may be to make the case for an incremental credentialing system—to raise awareness of new approaches and build commitment to transforming the degree-centric credentialing system to an incremental credentialing system.

Strategic PlanningStrategic planning focuses on the 3C’s in a marketing strategy: Customer, Corporation, and Competitors. A detailed analysis of each factor is key to the success of strategy formulation. The 3 C’s refer to the following three questions:

  • Customers – Who are our target customers? What do they want or need? How can we reach them?
  • Company (entity) – Who are we? What do we do? What can we do? How do we want to be perceived?
  • Competition – Who are our competitors? What are they doing? How can we differentiate ourselves?

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