UCD Alumni

Creating a new digital marketing strategy for a membership organisation with a focus on communication and engagement.

The Client

UCD is Ireland’s largest and one of Europe’s leading research-intensive English-speaking universities. UCD Development & Alumni Relations provide the vital link between their extensive alumni diaspora and the university’s development objectives. The role of the alumni is to foster a community around UCD.

The Challenge

UCD had an outdated website, inefficient communication processes, and were not optimising their contacts with their Alumni. They needed a strategy and a plan for the future. Emarkable started our process with a clear definition of the challenge. The initial session was centered around the ‘why’ of their current processes, and this developed into a very positive focus about the need to engage better with their past students.

The Strategy

Clear objectives were drawn up. Comprehensive competitor analysis was carried out using models from US ‘Ivy League’ universities and Irish and UK-based universities. It was very clear that there were lots of opportunities that were not being examined or used.
We focused on:

  • Reach became a clear focus – ensure the maximum number of people knew about the activities of the Alumni.
  • Engagement was a priority, and through the use of email marketing, social media and regular website updates, past students could engage with the community that is UCD Alumni.
  • Measuring everything helped us optimise the limited resources available to the Alumni office, and concentrate on the activities that could achieve the most.
  • Education is also a big part of this process.


Terminal Four was the preferred Content Management System. Prior to this, Emarkable had no experience of this system so together with the co-operation of Terminal Four and UCD’s IT team, we developed the site as part of ucd.ie. While this posed some new challenges, it also exposed us to an enterprise system with enormous potential for other opportunities. Terminal Four’s community of university users also helped us define and implement an improved strategy for UCD Alumni.

Harris Connect was the online community building system UCD Alumni used for email, subscriptions and membership details. This is integrated with ucd.ie/alumni. The team at Harris Connect were very helpful, providing research, examples, case studies and were extremely proactive with the opportunities for community building among alumni organisations worldwide.

UCD Alumni have a very strong digital marketing platform with a very broad, yet focused number of platforms within its digital marketing mix. Emarkable continue to partner with UCD Alumni, and look forward to working on building their community in the future.

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