Generating career connections through community college.

Southwestern Community College Logo

Southwestern Community College District


How do you build a 21st-century workforce that meets a community’s changing needs? By connecting their community college system’s training programs to the lives and dreams of the students who will shape their regions for the better.

3fold Education Community College Marketing Image


Southwestern Community College District (SWCCD) enlisted 3fold to strategically grow awareness among prospective and enrolled students. In particular, they needed help promoting their priority Career Education programs and boosting enrollment in them.

In order to achieve SWCCD’s goals, 3fold developed a strategy that leveraged their marketing budget as efficiently as possible by delivering relevant and impactful added-value.

3fold worked with SWCCD’s team to develop targeted messaging designed to appeal to specific student audiences. This included identifying and educating new sub-populations, as well as developing tactical creative that delivered impactful messages designed to increase enrollment. Additionally, we identified earned media opportunities that would expand audience exposure beyond what the allotted project budget allowed.

3fold Education Community College Marketing Image

The Campaign

3fold developed a student-centric approach for the outreach campaign, including the following objectives:

Position Southwestern College as the top regional choice for prospective students.

SWCCD’s campaign was designed around the goal of generating enrollment and targeting student audiences in order to increase overall awareness of SWCCD’s core competencies. To do this, 3fold identified where prospective students were in the “planning cycle” of their educational pursuits and delivered persuasive arguments to them in a targeted way—connecting with them digitally in the time and places they would most engage.

Use the right channels for awareness and direct response.

Developing an optimal media mix was key. Prospective students and influencers needed to be first aware that SWCCD exists, then be convinced of the benefits of attending as compared to other choices.

Using a variety of marketing channels to reach different audiences in different ways, we were able to generate awareness more efficiently and effectively. Because each channel had differing strengths for influencing decisions (and we know not all impressions are created equal), we developed a variety of messages designed to leverage the strengths of each channel in relation to the goal.

Map the student journey for future efforts.

The college selection process happens in several stages. Developing strategies for each of these stages was critical in capturing the attention of students and their influencers. Defining what marketing materials, messages, and media coverage was most effective by stage ensured SWCCD had a foundational strategy for bridging awareness and conversion beyond this campaign.

The Campaign

Throughout the campaign, 3fold was able to accomplish a number of key objectives:

  • We were first able to help SWCCD prioritize its Career Education programs based on low enrollment and high employer need.
  • We were able to identify SWCCD’s core competencies in order to better prioritize student audiences.
  • We were able to boost campaign reach and frequency through district-wide alignment and leveraging of multiple campaigns.
  • We created a general awareness campaign that drove potential students to apply for both the CE program and the traditional associate degree courses/pathways.

Services Provided

Marketing Research
Strategic Outreach Planning
Brand Development, Positioning, and Management
Campaign Design and Development
Media Planning and Management
Digital Advertising Management
Graphic Design and Collateral Development
Content Development
Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting