Improving the connection between multiple critical marketing systems enabled Open Colleges to create exclusion lists and focus on targeting the right users.
ABOUT THE CLIENT
Open Colleges is a leading online educational institution, specialising in vocational courses. Part of the Apollo Education Group, they offer more than 100 qualifications to (predominantly) domestic students within the Australian market.
Open Colleges came to us in September 2017 with challenges stemming from the increasingly competitive industry in which they operate. They were spending millions of dollars each month on marketing initiatives to try and hold their position within the market and hit their lead generation KPIs, but needed to establish new ways of reducing cost per acquisition to a maintainable level.
Being a publicly listed company added an extra layer of complexity as Open Colleges was facing increased revenue targets, while costs needed to remain the same or reduce.
Dirty data and a lack of platform integration made it impossible to understand customers and improve lead quality properly.
Open Colleges came to In Marketing We Trust with one key goal in mind: use data to reduce costs. To achieve this goal, several challenges needed to be solved.
Stop dirty data collection due to incorrect tagging and data capture
Open Colleges were spending more than $1 million each month to attract qualified leads but data quality was poor, making it difficult to distinguish existing customers from new prospects. A lack of resources, technical support, governance, and maintenance meant the team were spending a significant amount of time finding and correcting errors, cleaning and organising data, and creating ad hoc reports; rather than improving ad performance.
Create integration between Salesforce, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Facebook platforms
The lack of integration between their CRM (Salesforce) and their analytics tool (Google Analytics) made it impossible to effectively identify the correct source of a lead and more importantly data was not flowing back to Ads platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook.
Create automation to improve lead scoring and target lists
Lead scoring and automation processes needed to be implemented to show Open Colleges which leads were prospective students, existing leads, or even current students. Due to the time required (2 days of manual work each month), this manual process was ad hoc and rarely occurred.
Integrating platforms to create a robust analytics implementation that provides quality insights and direction for the sales and marketing teams.
Working with Salesforce and Open Colleges allowed us to identify existing leads and create an exclusion list with an automated connection to bidding platforms, reducing wastage on ad spend.
We approached Open Colleges’ challenges with the philosophy that marketers need to engage their customers with the right message, at the right time, on the right device, with the right contextual cues. So we set about creating a strategy that would combine the digital data sets from Analytics and customer identity data from Salesforce, via their Data Management Platform (DMP) to provide quality insights, help automate processes, and unite marketing and sales efforts.
Key elements of the plan included:
- Adjusting web forms: ensuring useful data was collected for lead scoring and reporting
- Configuring Salesforce: linking data from Analytics and Salesforce to create a clearer picture for each contact
- Integrating systems: to allow Salesforce and Google Analytics to talk to each other, which was done in conjunction with Salesforce and Bohemia
- Collecting data analytics: determining which pieces of data needed to move from Google Analytics to Salesforce for a full view of customer activity
- Transferring lead qualification data: from Salesforce to Google Analytics when a lead was qualified
- Lead scoring: using BigQuery (machine learning) to automate the lead scoring process, reducing manual handling
- Building audiences: to feed into paid platforms for better targeting
- Creating exclusion lists: for use in paid platforms to ensure existing customers weren’t advertised to
Note: At the time there was no native integration between the two platforms, although a feature that allowed for this was released in January of 2019. We worked with Salesforce developers to create and implement the best fit-for-purpose solution.
We also placed a member of the In Marketing We Trust team in the Open Colleges offices to support the marketing team in executing our strategy.
We approached this project as a joint venture with Salesforce and Open Colleges.
By working closely with their teams, we were able to create a holistic solution that delivered meaningful insights and reduced marketing costs.
Combining data from Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Salesforce allowed us to create a unified view of the customer journey for Open Colleges. This reduces some of the barriers between the sales and marketing teams and had potential to shorten the sales cycle and improve marketing investment.
Enabling Open Colleges to overachieve on their goals and refine processes to ensure future success.
We were able to save Open Colleges $200,000 per month on media fees by implementing an analytics strategy that drove insights and helped to understand their customers better. This also resulted in a 10-15 per cent decrease in duplicate lead generation and saved more than 2 days in reporting time per month.
savings per month on media fees
Open Colleges selected us because of our deep expertise in analytics, data, and search.
Our ability to work with all stakeholders – from the CMO to technical/development teams – ensured that the correct configuration would be implemented.
Placing a team member inside the Open Colleges marketing team meant we were able to not only provide recommendations but actively work with their technical and marketing teams, joining their scrum, and pushing through the implementation in a very short amount of time.
In Marketing We Trust are more than just an agency that delivers work. They are truly committed to understanding and doing the right thing for our channel and our business.Joao da CostaHead of SEO, Open Colleges
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