The university launched an overhauled acu.edu on Wednesday, marking the beginning of a new brand and creative strategy – one that doesn’t include the words “exceptional,” “innovative” or “real.” After working with an outside firm, Salt Lake City-based Helix Education, the university debuted a new campaign – “Many and One.”
Jason Groves, chief marketing officer, said the campaign is based on the verse 1 Corinthians 12:12, which reads “just as the body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”
The new website is a product of focus groups and research conducted by Helix Education, he said.
“The purpose was to surface what makes ACU truly unique and how can this be communicated to various audiences,” Groves said.
The result: a site focused on drawing in prospective students in three primary areas: undergraduate, residential graduate or online graduate. The site gives preference to information important to recruiting, but all other content still exists online at the same URLs.
Clicking around, one finds polished web pages for a majority of the content, but every now and then, a link will take a visitor to old versions of the internal content that still bear the old website look – for example, student life, campus offices and department information.
“Until this point, the website has been a place where all content resides, and we have tens of thousands of pages that have been created over decades,” Groves said. “Having everything in one place makes it difficult for users to navigate effectively; it’s very cumbersome to manage, and it impacts our marketing efforts.”
To combat this problem, online marketing is splitting the site into acu.edu and a more internally-focused Community at ACU site, which will launch later in the fall.
Community at ACU will feature responsive mobile design and will be modeled after Pepperdine University’s website. Pepperdine’s main web page has a tab for site visitors to access the internal content.
“Creating the public facing site for marketing purposes and an internal ‘Community at ACU’ site will improve the user experiences,” Groves said. “By separating external and internal content, we will create distinct spaces for audiences, based on their unique informational needs.”
Groves said The Office of University Marketing will reach out to colleges, schools, departments and offices to update their information as the content migration process continues.
“The transition has been fairly smooth and we’ve been able to address important issues quickly throughout the migration process,” Groves said. “There are elements that we plan on improving over the weeks ahead, but we felt it was most important to launch the site.”