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Customer case study

Western Colorado University

Torn between larger strategic initiatives and smaller design requests from campus clients, the creative team at Western Colorado University struggled to keep their head above water. It wasn’t until they found a tool to help relieve the overload of design requests that they were able to properly focus their energy on admissions.
 

About

Western Colorado University is a small school in the heart of the Rocky Mountains delivering engineering, computer science, and liberal arts curriculum to almost 3,000 students. 

Features they love

Collaborative Workflow

“Marq has allowed our copywriter to hop right into Marq and quickly review a piece of marketing content for our campus clients, instead of having to do a series of emails back and forth.” — Anna Boyle, WCU’s Creative Director

Drag-and-drop Interface

Many professors and other campus clients do not have experience working in complicated design programs, such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. The Marq interface allowed WCU employees to easily create beautiful materials without having to rely on Anna’s team.

Branded templates

“Marq templates empower people who aren’t designers to learn how to take control of daily design. Many wish they had a design eye, but most of the time... they don’t. This way we can empower our campus clients to stay on brand by locking down aspects of the templates, but they can still be creative and feel like they’re able to tackle these projects without bringing in someone from our team.” — Delaney, Graphic Designer

Challenge

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The majority of the creative team’s time at Western Colorado University, prior to Marq, boiled down to two major tasks: 1) producing admissions materials and 2) serving campus clients.

With a small design team serving 3,000 students, graphic designers were torn between working on the larger branding and admissions projects (strategically planning months in advance) and the smaller, menial requests for flyers and brochures coming in from all over campus.

At the time, it could take up to 2-3 weeks for designers to get to the smaller requests. And once they did, communication over “small tweaks” to the designs would suck up even more hours of their day. Delaney, one of Western Colorado’s graphic designers, said: “We were just being bogged down with silly poster or brochure designs. They aren’t as fun for us to design and should be simpler and cleaner than they were. We were wasting a lot of our time.”

Solution

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Anna first heard about Marq through a simple email. It became evident that a brand templating solution could help mitigate some of the problems her team was facing, so they gave it a go and got accounts for two designers and one copywriter.

Delaney, a graphic designer, quickly discovered how easy it was to create and share templates with her colleagues. She explained, “Our campus clients simply have to log in, find a template, and then type in the appropriate info or drag and drop in some images. They don’t have to work through me unless they have questions. Once a design is done, all I have to do is approve it and then they can print it off. It’s pretty simple.”

Anna and Delaney both found the Marq interface to be extremely easy to use and collaborative. Since they didn’t have enough font and Adobe licenses to go around, even for their own team, Marq empowered their team to edit designs collaboratively and in real-time, vs. having to send PDFs back and forth to each other.

Results

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More time

Marq helped bridge the gap between the need for smaller design requests to be fulfilled in a timely manner and the lack of time on the creative team’s end.

Cleaner lines of communication

No more back-and-forth emails between Anna’s creative team and campus clients. The ability for campus employees to be able to edit templates in real time, without Anna’s help, streamlined the whole process.

Campus clients who are self-serving

Even though most clients at WCU have no design experience, they’re able to produce professional, branded marketing materials on their own time.

Demand for templates

Anna’s team sent out an email with a new newsletter format using Marq. Employees throughout campus asked her where the professional design came from and how they could get their hands on it.

Stronger brand

Western Colorado University’s brand can now be strong and consistent — from nationwide marketing campaigns down to classroom posters. Marq also gives Anna’s team the time to focus on bigger branding initiatives and their overall skillset.

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