RRD and Ivy Tech: Partnering to Streamline the Student Journey

12/16/2021 RRD

RRD and Ivy Tech: Partnering to Streamline the Student Journey

Serving over 150,000 students on campuses and in high schools, Ivy Tech Community College is the largest public postsecondary institution in Indiana and the state’s only full-fledged community college. Ivy Tech boasts more than 40 locations and teaches classes in more than 75 communities across the state. Since its founding in 1963, Ivy Tech has grown to become the largest singly-accredited statewide community college system in the United States.

Ivy Tech offers degree programs in schools across a variety of domains, including business (School of Business, Logistics, & Supply Chain and School of Information Technology), health (School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing), manufacturing and engineering (School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Applied Science), a School of Public Affairs & Social Services, and the School of Arts, Sciences & Education.

As the Ivy Tech community of students, parents, and educators has grown, so too have its communication needs and challenges. Each school has its own unique communication requirements, and the students matriculating through these schools are each on a unique path. Effectively communicating critical information to students, while maintaining brand integrity across such a large and geographically dispersed student body requires an agile, data-driven approach to marketing communications.

The right communication at the right time — for every step of the student journey

Prior to partnering with RRD, Ivy Tech had taken a decentralized approach to managing these communications, with each of the 19 campuses spearheading its own communications programs including printing, packaging, and fulfillment of student-facing materials including marketing, enrollment, special events, and other publications. As Ivy Tech continued to grow, this approach became increasingly challenging from a brand, cost, and efficiency standpoint.

Today, RRD manages print and digital communications across all 19 campuses and throughout much of the student journey. Each step triggers communication events. Prospective students are sent “The Wheel of Value,” an innovative dimensional mailer that allows a student, at a glance, to assess different careers and their associated earnings, and review Ivy Tech’s network of locations with a call-to-action of applying online for free or calling a number to begin the discussion. Approximately 75,000 of these mailers are sent to prospective students annually.

Upon acceptance into Ivy Tech, students are sent a packet containing an acceptance letter, a keepsake, and a perforated wallet-sized student identification card. Students also receive a View Book, an eight-page overview of Ivy Tech that provides a quick, highlighted view of key information new students need. These communications are not limited to printed materials. RRD also sends approximately 10 million emails each year to students to communicate specific information unique to where they are in their academic career.

“RRD combines automation and innovation with the advantage of having all the resources Ivy Tech needs under one roof,” said Jeff Fanter, Ivy Tech Vice President for Marketing and Communications. “Timely, relevant, and accurate communications are key to providing an exceptional student experience from prospect to graduate and beyond, and RRD helps us deliver on that goal.”

Personalized, data-driven communications

Orchestrating marketing and communications on this scale requires a rules-based, data-driven approach. In order to streamline the process, RRD and Ivy Tech conducted an extensive process of developing business rules for each channel of communication. These business rules were then used to develop an automated communications solution.

RRD receives a daily direct data feed from Ivy Tech’s Banner Student Information System (SIS) that allows RRD to send the appropriate communications across each stage of the student’s journey from prospect to applicant to enrollment, with messaging further tailored to take into account the student’s area of study, district location, and other personalized details. RRD also created a portal for Ivy Tech staff, allowing them to develop and send customized email communications, order static and customized promotional items, and more.

Driving agility, consistency and efficiency

The ongoing Ivy Tech-RRD partnership has been a success across multiple dimensions. It successfully streamlined Ivy Tech’s marketing and communications, resulting in an annual savings of $250,000 in print costs alone. The brand, messaging, and student experience are consistent and unified across all communications vehicles, both print and digital.

Ivy Tech leverages the business rules and automation developed by RRD to increase the speed, agility, and relevance of its communications. With all printed materials produced at RRD’s facility in Indianapolis, communications that required weeks in the past are now fulfilled as quickly as the next day.

Perhaps most importantly, RRD’s comprehensive multichannel solutions also free up time for Ivy Tech’s staff and administrators, allowing them to focus on their primary mission of serving the people of Indiana through accessible and affordable world-class education and adaptive learning.

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