Encouraging students to thrive.

La Trobe University works with Accordant to transform how it reaches prospective students.

Company Logo

Established

1964

Students: 38,000+
Victoria, Australia
www.latrobe.edu.au

Accordant
www.accordant.com.au

157%

Increase in leads for Open Day 2020 compared to previous years

Objectives

Connect prospective students with information about studies that interest them

Attract attention of students in the competitive higher education market

Use marketing technology to reach students more efficiently

Results

35% increase in enrollments and 121% increase in applications since starting digital transformation

Up to 70% increase in click-through rates achieved through testing

Reduced time and resources required for training with Adobe Experience League

157% more leads for Open Day 2020 compared to previous years while reducing overall operating costs

La Trobe University is committed to positively impacting the lives of the students, partners, and communities it serves. Established more than 50 years ago as the third university in the state of Victoria, La Trobe is known equally for its forward-looking research centers, wildlife sanctuary, and being Victoria’s only truly state-wide university.

Mark Keevers-Hall was excited to bring his marketing experience to help share the unique vision of La Trobe with aspiring students. “La Trobe is Victoria’s only truly state-wide university, with campuses across the state,” says Keevers-Hall, Leader Digital Marketing Experience at La Trobe University. “We’re also a highly inclusive university, so it’s important for us to reach different audiences and help them find their home at La Trobe.”

With colleges and universities in Victoria competing to attract the attention of prospective students, La Trobe needs to take advantage of smart technology, people, and processes aimed at reaching people more effectively. When Keevers-Hall first joined La Trobe, he was tasked with handling outbound email marketing. He saw an opportunity to better reach diverse student populations by taking advantage of the automation, segmentation, and personalisation available in Marketo Engage.

The Marketo Engage implementation was highly successful, delivering strong returns that demonstrated the benefits of investing in digital marketing technologies. This success convinced La Trobe to take the next logical step with a full digital transformation aimed at completely changing how it uses marketing technology to attract students.

La Trobe decided to expand on its Marketo Engage implementation with multiple solutions within Adobe Experience Cloud. With the help of preferred Adobe Experience Cloud partner Accordant, La Trobe is on the path to building strong experiences that attract even more students to the university.


“The digital transformation has helped us attract more students. Through personalised experiences and targeted nurture campaigns, we’ve seen a 35% increase in enrollments and a 121% increase in applications over the past two years*.”

 

Mark Keevers-Hall
Leader Digital Marketing Experience, La Trobe University


Transforming how marketers reach prospective students


Accordant suggested that La Trobe start its digital transformation journey with Adobe Advertising Cloud, as the application’s automated performance optimisations can deliver extremely strong returns on paid marketing with very little time and effort.

“Using Adobe Advertising Cloud to manage our paid media, we reduced cost per acquisition up to 70% on some paid digital media campaigns,” says Keevers-Hall. “This was just the type of strong returns that we needed to show everyone — from executives to the IT team to marketers — that Adobe Experience Cloud could make big changes to the way we design and deliver communications.”

With internal teams excited about the transformation, Accordant started integrating other Adobe Experience Cloud applications into the fold. Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target create a solid foundation to collect behavioral data about website visitors and personalise experiences based on preferences. Adobe Audience Manager adds even better audience management for greater targeting, including over cross-channel marketing campaigns delivered with Adobe Campaign.

“The digital transformation has helped us attract more students,” says Keevers-Hall. “Through personalised experiences and targeted nurture campaigns, we’ve seen a 35% increase in enrollments and a 121% increase in applications over the past two years*. We’re delivering smarter, targeted experiences to find the right prospects for La Trobe with Adobe Experience Cloud.”

Capabilities powered by artificial intelligence through Adobe Sensei help La Trobe deliver even more powerful, personalised experiences. Look-alike modeling in Adobe Audience Manager allows the university to deliver tailored experiences even for first-time visitors by using online behaviors to identify valuable audiences on the fly. Anomaly detection in Adobe Analytics alerts Keevers-Hall and his analytics team to any unusual activity. Recently, an alert identified a very positive anomaly when Keevers-Hall was running an A/B test on email subject lines. One variation achieved click-through rates above 70% — a clear sign that the marketers had found a winner.


“Between Accordant walking us through real-world scenarios and Adobe Experience League refreshing our knowledge, we’ve been able to build the confidence needed to drive experiences with Adobe Experience Cloud.”

 

Mark Keevers-Hall
Leader Digital Marketing Experience, La Trobe University


Building skills and confidence for staff

Accordant helped build skills and confidence by providing strong training support for La Trobe, including a multi-day session it called Accordantpalooza. Teams from across La Trobe, including marketing, IT, business, and academic teams, listened in to the sessions that helped educate stakeholders about what applications were in place, what they were doing, what wins they were seeing, and how they could get involved. This helped build excitement and interest in doing more with Adobe Experience Cloud.

“We knew it would take time to build our Adobe Experience Cloud knowledge, but Accordant was with us every step of the way,” says Keevers-Hall. “They started out by doing the heavy lifting, but over time they provided less hand-holding until we were working largely on our own.”

Keevers-Hall also encouraged staff to learn more about Adobe applications with Adobe Experience League. As teams started to work more with Adobe Experience Cloud applications by themselves, many staff members became interesting in learning how to build skills and answer questions on their own. Analysts, in particular, wanted to know how to better use Adobe Analytics to get more value from data.

With Adobe Experience League, analysts can explore recommended learning paths at their own pace. By encouraging analysts to learn introductory and basic skills through Experience League, La Trobe spends less time and effort on training.

“Between Accordant walking us through real-world scenarios and Adobe Experience League refreshing our knowledge, we’ve been able to build the confidence needed to drive experiences with Adobe Experience Cloud,” says Keevers-Hall.

Bringing Open Day to students digitally

While La Trobe teams generally manage day-to-day experiences, Accordant continues to support teams through long-term strategic planning and specialised use cases. Accordant recently supported one major event for La Trobe: Open Day 2020.

Open Day is traditionally the biggest recruiting day of the year for Australian universities. But when the COVID-19 pandemic made in-person gatherings impossible, La Trobe decided to switch directions and create a virtual Open Day. Over two Sundays, La Trobe held over 100 individual sessions and numerous Q&A segments promoting different fields of study across metro and regional campuses. Through highly personalised website experiences and campaigns, Accordant helped La Trobe create a multi-channel journey aimed at attracting potential students from across Victoria.

The Open Day experience started from registration. Accordant built a custom website with personalisation and interactivity at its core, encouraging students to register their interests as they filled out the form. Based on this information, La Trobe could start pushing highly tailored emails and SMS messages through Adobe Campaign aimed at keeping prospects eagerly looking forward to Open Day. On the day of the event, Adobe Target helped create a personalised website experience, surfacing the sessions most relevant to each student.

“This is our first year working with a digital Open Day, but we saw 157% more leads compared to last year with a 91% reduction in costs per lead, and an overall operating cost much less than physical events,” says Keevers-Hall. “While nothing will quite replace face-to-face interactions, these Open Days have shown us the benefits of offering digital options.”


“The key to success for digital transformation at La Trobe has been alignment. We’ve had strong support from Accordant, but we also have a fantastic relationship with senior leadership and internal partners such as IT, who are equal partners in our journey.”

 

Mark Keevers-Hall
Leader Digital Marketing Experience, La Trobe University


Optimising the future of digital

With Adobe Experience Cloud, La Trobe connects with more prospective students through personalised campaigns and experiences. The Aspire Early Admissions Program aims to attract students who are strong leaders and contributors to their communities. Through a mixture of paid media, personalised web experiences, and cross-channel nurture campaigns, La Trobe encouraged a 27% year-over-year increase in completed applications.

La Trobe is currently working with Accordant to establish the road map and strategy for the next few years. The university plans to expand its Adobe Experience Cloud implementation with Adobe Experience Manager Assets to manage the increasing number of assets needed as the university scales personalisation. Keevers-Hall also hopes to increase testing and optimisation across campaigns and experiences.

“The key to success for digital transformation at La Trobe has been alignment,” says Keevers-Hall. “We’ve had strong support from Accordant, but we also have a fantastic relationship with senior leadership and internal partners such as IT, who are equal partners in our journey. We share wins frequently to get everyone excited about what we are accomplishing for our prospective students with Adobe Experience Cloud.”

*Direct applications excluding Tertiary Admission Centers and International

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