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Leads entering nurturing
Manual lead capture and limited ability to maintain contact with prospective students hampered marketing’s efforts to maintain engagement throughout the lengthy path to enrollment.
Almost every weekend, at educational fairs and seminars around the world, Navitas recruiters meet with students and their parents to help them select a Navitas college or Navitas partner university abroad. Rob Brown, Group Marketing Manager for eMarketing, hopes that many of these students will ultimately choose the Navitas University Pathway Program, which helps students make a successful transition into partner universities and colleges. However, the decision-making process can take up to three years, and Navitas had no way to stay top-of-mind with prospective students during that time. Rob tackled this challenge through a sophisticated Marketo nurturing program, which captures information and personalizes interactions with prospective students along the way to enrolling with Navitas. All of Navitas’ university pathway colleges now run similar nurturing campaigns.
International students typically start searching for the right educational program several years ahead of enrollment. To handle this lengthy and complex sales cycle, Rob needed visibility into the pipeline of prospective students. With that in mind, he automated marketing’s lead capture process and gave each Navitas recruiter a “digital briefcase” for entering student information directly into Marketo during face-to-face meetings.
“We now have information that lets us engage students and their families in digital and personal conversations through many channels—from email and SMS, to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WeChat, and Sina Weibo,” Rob explains. “Three hours after a recruiter meets with a student or parent, we follow up with a personalized message from that recruiter. We’ve created different versions of the content for students and their mothers and fathers. In certain markets, such as Vietnam, we even distinguish between younger and older parents. That level of personalization continues with nurturing programs that move students and parents through the decision-making process.”
More enrollments, fewer dropouts
Marketo is delivering results in every stage of the relationship-building process with students. The marketing team is capturing data on 60,000 prospective students annually and engaging them in conversations based on where each one is in the decision process.
The conversation doesn’t stop once the student is enrolled. Ongoing campaigns smooth the transition into the first semester of studies, enhance student success, and reduce dropout rates. Initial piloting of engagement campaigns at one Navitas college resulted in a 10 percent increase in retention. The marketing team is now working on alumni campaigns, with the goal of encouraging alumni advocacy to increase net new enrollments.
“Marketo gives us what we need to keep students engaged and move them through the funnel to conversion,” Rob concludes. “It has brought our lead management and nurturing into the digital age. Now our team understands the importance of nurturing, lead scoring, and marketing automation. Best of all, it’s given us a big advantage over our competitors—as implementing a sophisticated nurturing campaign takes an immense amount of time and know-how.”