‘Baker Builds’ campaign shows university pride


Courtesy of Baker University.

Story by Lily Stephens, Writer

The Department of Marketing and Communications has launched the “Baker Builds” marketing campaign to revamp Baker University’s image.

“The genesis of it was trying to figure out a campaign that appropriately described each of our four schools,” Director of Marketing and Communications Chris Smith said. “That’s a challenge sometimes. We have different products (and) different locations at each one of our four schools.”

Baker’s four schools are the School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Professional and Graduate Studies and the School of Arts and Sciences.

The Baker marketing team distributed the campaign through a variety of outlets, including television commercials, one featuring a male lead and another with a female lead. Other outlets included traditional radio, search-and-display digital advertising and print materials. The campaign also added something new to the department, IP targeting and geo-fencing, which focus on highly targeted areas where marketers know prospective students have an interest in Baker. Banner and display ads are then shown on their devices.

The campaign went through a process Smith called “the truth and transformation exercise.” The largest part of the exercise was a series of focus groups with students from all four campuses along with alumni, current faculty, former faculty and administrators.

The focus groups discovered that while at Baker “people go through a personal transformation,” Smith said.

“The alumni are really the crux of the campaign because it gives that aspirant mentality that ‘this is what I can become after Baker builds me,’” Smith said.

While the numbers are still coming in, Smith believes that the large freshman and transfer class is a representation of the campaign’s success. Smith also measures the success by the number of recommendations he receives from staff, alumni and administrators for people to be featured on future marketing material.

When first gathering students and alumni models to represent Baker on the advertisements, the marketing department went through past photo shoots and selected pictures.

Madison Haefke is featured on the ad for the Department of Music and Theatre with the script below her reading “Baker Builds Showstoppers.”

“I found out when I saw a giant picture of myself that was bigger than my actual face,” Haefke said, “I was a little embarrassed, but I was really flattered, too, because I’ve been a part of the music department for four years. It was a really special honor.”

Junior Brittney Diehm, who works in the Department of Marketing and Communications office, got to witness the campaign come to fruition over the summer.

“I saw Taylor Shuck’s work on the postcard,” Diehm said, “The other interns and I gave her feedback.” Shuck is a marketing and communications coordinator.

The campaign is still growing.

“We will increase volume again starting this month as high school seniors are making their choice on where to go to college,” Smith said.

The campaign will continue to be used for this coming school year, and once the official numbers come back, the marketing department will review its effectiveness.