Graduating with a degree in digital.
Swinburne University of Technology teams with Isobar to personalise digital experiences with Adobe Experience Cloud.
Isobar Melbourne, Australia
Higher lead generation on campaign microsites
Create personalised website experiences to attract new students and drive enrollment
Increase speed to market with campaign microsites and content updates
Enable departments to publish their own content while maintaining brand consistency
Drove 189% higher lead gen on campaign microsites, with 98% higher form completion rates
Boosted domestic online course applications from campaign microsite channel by 70%
Enabled marketing to launch campaigns without IT, in days instead of weeks
Shortened the publishing cycle for news, PR, and more from two hours to real time
“Isobar plays a critical role in making sure we have the right technology in place – and that we can use it effectively.”
Head of Digital Marketing, Swinburne University of Technology
On a mission to connect with the next generation of students
When Jordan Capp talks about where he works, he lights up.
“Swinburne University of Technology does more than educate people—we make sure our graduates are prepared to get jobs, giving them practical skills to solve real-world challenges,” he says. “It's an amazing place to work, really inspiring.”
As head of digital marketing at Swinburne University of Technology, he’s in a great position to support its mission. In partnership with Isobar, Capp helps to drive the university’s digital transformation and serve a new generation of students who have high expectations for digital experiences.
Attracting new students is one of the most pressing challenges at Swinburne University. Whether they’re looking for undergraduate, postgraduate, or vocational education, prospective students have many options across Australia. The university faces tough competition as it works to keep enrollment high – and digital experiences are key to standing out.
“When potential students visit our site, they’re always looking to solve a problem—whether they’re still evaluating their options, looking to apply, or getting ready for classes,” Capp says. “It’s our job to find out what they need and fill that need with targeted, relevant content.”
But students are only one piece of the puzzle. Swinburne University also has strong connections with the community, from its research partnerships to its professional training program, Swinburne Professional. Multiple departments are all trying to reach unique audiences simultaneously while staying true to the Swinburne brand.
That makes for a complex, large-scale marketing challenge. Achieving personalisation at that scale across multiple audiences requires sophisticated tools and a fresh approach to digital marketing.\
“Our specialised development team worked through the backlog, creating hundreds of Adobe Experience Manager components. We’ve been delivering value incrementally, gradually migrating pages from the old CMS to the new platform.”
Client Engagement Director, Isobar
The university teams up with Isobar for new digital experiences
One of the biggest obstacles Swinburne University had to overcome was its website. Its former content management system (CMS) was outdated, with no way to understand visitors or deliver personalised experiences. Marketing teams were dependent on IT for everything from campaign launches to simple content updates, and content authoring was limited to a single team. That created a bottleneck, and many departments resorted to building their own off-domain, off-brand websites.
“We wanted to be faster and more consistent in everything we do – from our core campaigns to all our departmental sites,” says Capp. “That meant moving to a much more dynamic CMS with distributed authoring capabilities.”
Isobar Group’s Accordant are continuing to build and support Swinburne’s capabilities with Adobe Campaign by further connecting it with Adobe Target, Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Advertising Cloud – with integrations across the university’s student data ecosystems. This enables Swinburne to create data-driven personalisation across all stages of the university’s engagement lifecycle, including prospective students and existing students.
Building on this marketing foundation, Swinburne University adopted Adobe Experience Manager Sites for a dynamic, personalised website that could support multiple teams and diverse audiences. It looked to Isobar for the expertise to make it happen.
“With Isobar’s design framework for Adobe Experience Manager Sites, we get reusable components that make publishing very simple and scalable,” Capp says. “Isobar plays a critical role in making sure we have the right technology in place – and that we can use it effectively.”
Working together, Isobar and the university tackled implementation systematically over the next few years. The agency formed a scrum agile team and went to work, performing front-end development and handling infrastructure requirements with Adobe Managed Services.
“Our specialised development team worked through the backlog, creating hundreds of Adobe Experience Manager components,” says Simon Coghlan, Client Engagement Director at Isobar. “We’ve been delivering value incrementally, gradually migrating pages from the old CMS to the new platform.”
The work included setting up Adobe Experience Manager Forms and Adobe Experience Manager Assets. “Adobe Experience Manager Assets was an easy early win, giving marketing and communications teams visibility they never had,” Capp says. “Instead of recreating assets that already exist, they’re coordinating more effectively to reduce duplicate work.”
For Capp’s team, Isobar’s involvement has resulted in a seamless transition to a more sophisticated approach to digital marketing. As they shift to Experience Manager, they’re finding new freedom and flexibility to run personalised campaigns – and let other teams in on the action.
“We’re connecting anonymous activity with known customer data through digital IDs. By passing that data through Audience Manager, Target, and Campaign, we can do extremely targeted marketing, retargeting, and nurture streams. Going forward, this is the part that really excites me.”
Head of Digital Marketing, Swinburne University of Technology
A web of integrations keeps the student journey personal
With its move to Experience Manager, Swinburne University filled a central gap in its digital marketing strategy. The digital experience platform joins an integrated ecosystem of tools, including Adobe Campaign, Analytics, Target, Audience Manager, and Advertising Cloud. By tying them all together, the university can create data-driven end-to-end personalised customer journeys, across all touchpoints and channels.
Campaign microsites are a critical waystation in customer journeys. And now they’re easy to spin up. With Experience Manager Forms, marketing teams can create forms without help from IT. Those forms are linked to the CRM system and Campaign, allowing the university to capture information and use it to segment audiences for targeted, triggered campaigns.
Accordant Isobar integrated Adobe’s marketing automation platform, Adobe Campaign, into Experience Manager Forms enabling real-time communications via email and SMS to be triggered via form interactions and personalised using a student’s preferences captured via the form data. That work has increased lead generation from campaign microsites by 189%, and form completion rates are up 98%.
“When a new group of undergraduates is about to start classes, we invite them to an orientation event and send them a series of triggered emails or text messages to follow up,” Capp explains. “Our communications are dynamically tailored to their personal information and the actions they take, such as what they view on the site and whether they show up to the event.”
The website also changes based on each person’s behavior, thanks to the work Capp’s team has done with Target. If someone leaves a form half filled, the site will give that person a nudge the next time they visit. That dynamic personalisation helps increase conversion rates and helps prospective students find what they need faster – which has led to a 70% increase in domestic online course applications from the campaign microsite channel between 2019 and 2020.
The synergy Swinburne University has created among its Adobe Experience Cloud tools is mirrored by the synergy in its partner network. While Isobar built out the Experience Manager environment, its subsidiary Accordant has been a central figure in helping the university ramp up its use of Campaign and building integrations.
Capp is eager to do more with those integrations. “We’re connecting anonymous activity with known customer data through digital IDs. By passing that data through Audience Manager, Target, and Campaign, we can do extremely targeted marketing, retargeting, and nurture streams,” he says. “Going forward, this is the part that really excites me.”
That central view of customer data across channels, enabled by Analytics and Audience Manager with rich anonymous insights, complemented by rich PII intent data in Campaign, provides Capp and his team important insights into what visitors are looking for – and what problems they want to solve. An international student, for example, needs very different information than a corporate customer. With such diverse audiences, pinpointing those differences is a key capability for the university as it looks to personalise digital experiences.
Empowered to create, teams move faster
Today, there are as many as 20 authors publishing and managing their own content through Experience Manager Sites. Capp’s team controls access permissions, so users see only the content they control. To start, most users are in the marketing department, but other teams are coming on board.
“We rolled out Adobe Experience Manager Sites to our first non-marketing authors on the news team,” says Capp. “Using the templates we built, their publishing cycle has gone from two hours to instantaneous. For them, this is an absolute game-changer.”
Isobar’s Accordant had already run in-depth programs of training and governance across Campaign, Analytics, Advertising Cloud, Audience Manager, and Target. This enables Swinburne’s broad stakeholder groups to be self-sufficient utilising the ‘drag and drop’ capabilities and fragment builder functionality in Campaign to create reusable, reliable, and standardised EDM components for ease of use and consistency of messaging and sophisticated marketing journeys for prospects and students alike.
It’s a promising start as Capp works with Isobar to roll out the solution to other departments, such as faculty groups and the university’s research centers. With control over their own content under the Swinburne domain, departments can speak to their audiences directly – no longer waiting for marketing and IT to publish updates.
For Capp, it’s exciting to see so much progress so quickly. It’s his opportunity to make an impact on the university’s mission – attracting the right students and preparing them for the future.
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