In the highly competitive higher education sector, new institutions were cluttering the market and luring both domestic and international students away from Melbourne Business School (MBS). Brand awareness in the UK, USA and Canada was poor, and MBS could no longer rely on its excellent reputation to attract students as it had begun to slip in global post-graduate course rankings. They needed to stand out and motivate the right people to apply for the full-time and part-time MBA courses.
Sphere developed an insight-driven multi-channel strategy that covered domestic and international markets, with the domestic strategy focused on maximising search share of voice (impression share) and contextual environments for display advertising. For international students, Sphere overcame a lack of historical data by employing a ‘test and learn’ SEM approach focused on environments that could be optimised and key insights developed to drive future buying. The campaign was integrated across OOH, search, display, EDM and internal marketing activities.
As the decision-making process is long, Sphere proposed a tiered approach to remarketing and re-engaging with audiences. More insightful remarketing lists were also developed via Google Analytics, which helped us target the most valuable potential students.
Search played a critical role in driving leads to MBS and was ultimately the most cost-efficient channel for the campaign. As a result of this strategy, Melbourne Business School reduced their average cost-per-click by 63% year-on-year, a significant decrease in this highly competitive sector. Impression share in the domestic market also increased from 45% to 80%. Sphere’s strategy led to Melbourne Business School increasing enrolments across their MBA programs by 21% and achieving greater cost efficiencies that were reinvested across marketing activities.
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