Prospects in first 12 months
University of Wollongong embraces marketing automation to attract top students from around the world.
With Marketo, university marketers guide prospective students through recruitment processes with personalized interactions that drive enrollment.
Ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide, University of Wollongong has made research excellence a core goal. It’s a goal that has made the university a compelling choice for many of the world’s top students. According to Nicholas (Nicho) Manojlovic, Digital Manager - Student Recruitment, university marketers were struggling to identify and track prospective students, engage them in conversations about the advantages of Wollongong, and guide them through the recruitment process. With that in mind, Nicho and his team implemented Marketo, which is enabling them to capture prospect data and gain visibility into the total lifecycle of the student. With Marketo, they have insight into the number of prospects in the pipeline, how many are likely to enroll, and how long it takes to move them through the process.
Gathering and leveraging valuable data
For international students seeking a top-notch university, the first point of contact is typically an educational fair or seminar. The University of Wollongong actively participates in these events to meet students and encourage them to choose one of its locations in Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In the past, however, marketers didn’t have a process or tools in place to capture prospect data and interact with students digitally to move them from initial interest to enrollment. Everything was manual, and there was no visibility into the number of prospects in the pipeline or how many prospects actually enrolled in classes. With Marketo, marketers were able to quickly create a lead-to-application funnel that tracks recruitment progress and offers full visibility into the lead sources, application submissions, offers, and enrollments.
“With Marketo, we have a modern tool that helps us understand the prospect-to-student lifecycle. We can use that data to measure the performance of campaigns and content so that we can fine tune our efforts in ways that shorten the recruitment cycle and increase enrollments and revenues.”
Creating an effective nurturing program
The marketing team’s initial effort with Marketo involved a 12-month proof-of-concept (POC) nurturing program. The POC employed simple but smart segmentation that made it easy to create and manage content. Throughout the year, the team expanded the scope of the POC, gradually building on the extensive power of Marketo.
The Marketo email editor made it easy to repackage printed marketing materials by converting them to digital form. This content is critical in advancing prospects through the recruitment cycle. Of the 7,000 prospects captured in the pipeline during the first year, 12% submitted an application. Of those, 97% received an offer from the university and 10% of those ultimately became students. Marketers are leveraging this baseline data to tailor follow-on communications with prospects to increase the lead-to-application rate as well as conversion rate.
“What we achieved in the first 90 days was unreal, and we’re looking forward to the many additional ways we can leverage Marketo. The process is completely transparent, so we can easily show what’s happening at all the touch points in the lifecycle. We’ve created a standing dashboard that shows management the current state of recruitment—for example, the number of prospects captured in the past 30 days.”