Sustaining Enrollment Growth Through a Holistic
Marketing Approach for Large Public University

One of the Largest Public Universities in its State

One of the largest public universities in its state achieved significant growth over the past 20 years. The school first engaged with EducationDynamics (EDDY) after searching for a strategic marketing agency partner to help sustain their growth. To help the university achieve their enrollment growth goals, EDDY’s expert higher education marketing team created a holistic approach leveraging both awareness marketing and paid digital strategies to fuel continued growth for the school.

The Challenge

The school is a large public research university with more than 300 doctoral, master’s and baccalaureate-level programs. The university experienced excellent growth over the past 20 years and has ambitions and goals of continued growth in the future. Understanding that there is increased competition for fewer students, the school sought an expert marketing team to increase their online and non-traditional student enrollment.  

The Objectives

  • Develop and execute a comprehensive holistic marketing strategy to achieve long-term growth for the university.
  • Increase awareness using traditional and digital marketing to generate high-quality and high-intent inquiries.
  • Implement a digital media campaign using paid search and social media advertising to drive inquiries for the university’s undergraduate and graduate programs as well as promote the university brand.

The Solution

EducationDynamics was selected as the school’s strategic partner to provide a turn-key holistic approach leveraging both awareness marketing and digital media.

EDDY’s team of higher education marketing professionals recognized opportunities for a more extensive awareness campaign and pushed to implement streaming audio based on their extensive market research of the university’s target audience. A more robust awareness campaign was incorporated that included print, billboards, transit, digital display, and YouTube video. EDDY’s team specifically focused on awareness mediums that allowed for advanced targeting tactics. By using OTT along with TV retargeting, streaming audio, display and geofencing, EDDY was able to obtain more cost-efficient placements while targeting only the university’s key audience.

To supplement the university’s new awareness marketing campaign, EDDY implemented digital media advertising by using paid search and social media ads to continue to generate high-quality inquiries. The search strategy focused around creating targeted campaigns for the university’s online undergraduate and graduate programs, summer sessions, and brand. The combination of both awareness and digital media campaigns increased the university’s brand impressions 1,126% during one six-month period in 2021-2022. 

The Results

  • 30% improved cost-per-inquiry
  • 77% increased direct traffic
  • 73% increased organic traffic
  • Achieved inquiry-to-application conversion rate of 17%
  • Achieved inquiry-to-enrollment conversion rate of 4.5%
  • Improved brand impressions by 1,126%
  • Increased digital media inquiries by 102%
  • Improved average cost-per-start by 12.8%

The EDDY Difference

Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, EducationDynamics created a unique solution for the university that focused on a comprehensive holistic strategy to sustain long-term growth.

Leading colleges and universities trust EducationDynamics because of its specialty in higher education, deep understanding of online academic programs and in-depth knowledge of the student audience. EDDY’s approach to marketing applies both expertise and a curiosity that drives continuous improvement through testing and optimization efforts. This drive to find opportunities for improvement has led to significant performance improvements in cost-per-inquiry, cost-per-application and cost-per-start for the university.

EDDY’s focus and specialization on online programs and non-traditional students leads to an unmatched understanding of this unique student population and the motivations that drive them through the enrollment process. By increasing brand awareness, targeting campaigns to the right audience, and identifying the proper marketing channels, EDDY was able to maximize their results by increasing brand impressions, lowering cost-per-inquiry, and growing direct/organic traffic over a short period of time while continuing to find optimization opportunities over the length of the partnership.