Inbound Marketing
Apr 23, 2019
Encarna Abellán
Head of Project Management
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Marketing and Sales Consulting for IE Exponential Learning

Home > Inbound Marketing > Marketing and Sales Consulting for IE Exponential Learning
How can a 360° approach to digital marketing work in the higher education industry when you’re launching a program from scratch and looking to enroll students? That’s what our work with IE Exponential Learning exemplified.

IE Exponential Learning was looking to automate its lead-generation process for its two brand-new course offerings, and we worked with them as a sales and marketing consultant to implement a comprehensive Inbound Marketing strategy while optimizing all the supports through a Marketing Automation tool and complementing it with important Paid Media initiatives.  

But before we go any further, what is IE Exponential Learning?

IE Exponential Learning is a division of the Instituto de Empresa, an institution of higher learning that is one of the best business schools in Spain, Europe, and in the world. In the Financial Times’s 2017 European business school ranking, IE (as it’s known in English) was the #3 business school in Europe and #1 in Spain. As part of its expansion into other academic programs and experiences, IE created IE Exponential Learning to offer educational experiences to those needing to upgrade their skills after their traditional degree programs. As their slogan says, IE Exponential Learning “offers academic experiences adaptable to all stages of your professional life.”

We worked with the following IE Exponential Learning pillars:

  • High-Impact Online Programs (HiOPs): These are five-week online programs designed for learners to balance their studies with other work and personal commitments.
  • Immersive Learning: These face-to-face learning formats, starting with the 11-week full-time Data Science Bootcamp, give students the chance to cultivate specific, in-demand skill sets that let you transform or accelerate their careers in an increasingly dynamic labor market.

What was our challenge?

After creating the High-Impact Online Programs and Data Science Bootcamp programs from scratch, IEXL came to us with the task of implementing an inbound marketing and sales funnel from scratch. We had to establish a lead nurturing model to generate Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) in a tight timeframe with the content the client already created and turn those leads into customers.  

Not only did we need to create this sales and marketing strategy, but we also had to help ensure it generated sufficient demand to get enough qualified leads. All this had to be achieved in a limited amount of time while targeting specific niches and their already-existing competitors on the market.

How did we do it?

To address this area’s needs, we chose to implement a full Inbound Marketing strategy and design personalized communication workflows for both HiOPs and Bootcamps to incentivize a nearly-immediate decision and bring home time limits because of the seasonal intakes. We also developed medium-term lead nurturing workflows that could generate leads over time sustainably.

 

Over the first few months of the project, we also performed an audit of their website to optimize the program materials and campaign structures such as landing pages, banners, assets, and course brochures to capture the most-qualified leads and segment them for each program. We then optimized all the existing assets through a Marketing Automation tool to streamline the process for all the stakeholders involved in the process from when a prospective student goes from looking at a program to depositing to enroll in the program of their choice.

 

We proposed new campaigns on different channels to increase the number of qualified leads we could gather through our efforts. An example of one of these campaigns was the Women in Data Campaign.

When the IE Data Science Bootcamp was looking to give out a scholarship to a qualified female applicant, we created a campaign to get aspiring female data scientists to enter the IE Data Science Bootcamp Women in Data scholarship competition. As they were announcing the scholarship winner at an event held on March 8th, International Women’s Day, we decided to work with “The Future is Female” concept and highlight the fact that this statement should also apply to Data Science using insights that women are under-represented in the field.

Our copy and images focused on invoking “The Future is Female” while using components of the code that’s part data scientists’ daily work. The CTA encouraged our target audience to start their application and be considered for the prize, which was worth the full tuition for the program. We supported the campaign during its run with Paid Media across appropriate channels along with our primary Inbound Marketing workflows. Due to its successful first run, we repeated the Women in Data campaign for future intakes with some modifications in the award on the part of the client.

Along with program-specific campaigns, we also planned and executed lead-acquisition campaigns, ran A/B testing, and spread the word about events related to their programs.

The project included the following areas:

What results did we see throughout the project?

After setting our marketing and sales funnel metrics, these were the results we managed to achieve throughout the project. During the first nine months of 2018, we managed to generate a database with 3,000 new leads that we acquired through Paid Media campaigns. As for our Inbound Marketing workflows, at the end of the project, the open rate we managed to achieve for our emails was higher than 65%, and we managed a download rate of 45%. Lastly, we successfully made an over 50% increase in the number of conversions stemming from our efforts. We helped set the foundation for IE Exponential Learning’s future growth as learning continues to evolve.

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