Loyola has increased advertising throughout the city and online in recent years to compete with other colleges in attracting prospective students.
Loyola Increases Spending on Advertising
Starting this past fall, Loyola has wrapped Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses and “L” trains with Loyola colors and branding in order to reach more of Chicago, according to Douglas Clark, Loyola’s assistant vice president of marketing and advertising.
In order to promote Loyola across the U.S. and especially Chicago, Loyola has been looking to increase awareness of the school to compete in the competitive collegiate market through physical, visual and auditory types of advertisements, according to Clark.
“Higher education has become very competitive in the last several years, even more so as a result of population shifts and the pandemic,” Clark wrote in an email to The Phoenix. “To compete in this climate, more people need to know the stories of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff—Ramblers who are living proof of our value.”
Some students including junior Delaney Schilt have noticed Loyola advertising throughout Chicago, especially through the CTA, compared to online advertising.
“I have seen the Loyola wrapped CTA train and bus, and I think it’s pretty eye-catching,” Schilt said. “Sometimes I’m like, ‘That’s a bit ridiculous like with the wrapped transit,’ but sometimes I feel a little bit of school pride.”
The university is advertising on popular social media platforms among students, including TikTok and YouTube. Loyola is also trying to spread the message in other ways. Advertising techniques have become more technological in recent years as well as more permanent visual signs around Chicago, according to Clark.
Advertising techniques and placements are decided upon with careful research, according to Clark.
“We start by considering the objective of the campaign, then leverage data to target markets and channels, and finally frequently evaluate and verify against goals,” he said.
However, Clark said Loyola does not have the highest budget compared to many other colleges.
“Though Loyola does not have the largest spend, our strategy is based on an integrated marketing approach. Our focus is making sound marketing investments that align with Loyola’s mission and values,” Clark said.
Loyola spent $5,243,252 on advertising and promotion in 2021, according to the university’s Form 990 tax documents. This is an increase from 2020 when Loyola spent $4,569,637.
However, spreading Loyola’s message can come in other ways too. Loyola takes advantage of all opportunities that arise.
“The move to the Atlantic 10 athletic conference provides a wonderful opportunity to bring our stories to areas of the country who are not as familiar with Loyola Chicago,” Clark said.
The increase in marketing and advertisements has already yielded positive results, according to Clark.
“We have seen increased interest and engagement, including click-throughs and traffic to our website and online forms requesting information,” Clark said.
All of these advertising strategies target different groups through the different tactics but overall are used to bring in potential students, past students and increase public knowledge, according to Clark.
Some faculty are proud seeing the advertisements online and throughout the city. There have been reports of positive feedback from the Loyola community according to Clark.
“There’s a Rambler pride in seeing Loyola out there in the wild,” Clark said.