How Accordant and La Trobe University pulled off a record-breaking virtual Open Day

By Adobe Communications Team

Posted on 01-29-2021

Open Day is traditionally one of the biggest and most exciting days of the year at La Trobe University and other universities across Australia. On the annual Open Day, prospective students get an opportunity to explore La Trobe’s six campuses across Victoria, talk to professors about fields of study, watch performances from fellow students, and even participate in hands-on demonstrations—including caring for a ‘sim’ patient, building a robot, or interacting with one of the smart pups from the dog behavior and cognition lab.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic swept through Australia, making in-person meetings and events impossible, La Trobe needed to think outside the box. The university had to switch directions with a digital event that could provide similar levels of engagement, but through the screen.

Luckily, La Trobe had already recognised the importance of investing in a digital transformation approach to reach potential students through digital channels effectively and efficiently. With the help of Adobe partner Accordant, La Trobe was deploying Adobe Experience Cloud applications to create an integrated platform to engage with potential students using highly personalised messaging across multiple channels. Accordant partnered with La Trobe to build upon this experience by helping the university pull off an Open Day unlike any other.

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Building Open Day 2020

Open Day 2020 needed to provide top-notch digital experiences from the very first interaction with prospective students. For many, this first touch was paid search or a programmatic ad delivered with Adobe Advertising Cloud. Adobe Analytics provided real-time data insights into what types of search keywords and website ads were connecting with audiences. Advertising Cloud segmented data through Audience Manager and used intelligent algorithms to adjust bid strategies and reach even more potential students more effectively.

Once potential students found their way to the website, they were directed to the Digital Open Day event registration page. Accordant created a highly customised website that introduced events and virtual sessions that might interest each visitor. A registration form further engaged students, inviting them to “save a spot” at the event by indicating what topics, campuses, and courses were drawing them to one of the two Open Days — vital information that powered follow-up campaigns.

Adobe Campaign built upon this intelligence with a personalised nurture campaign. Prospective students were treated to previews of digital activities, a countdown to the big event, and other email and SMS messages aimed at keeping excitement high.

On the two big days, prospective students returned to the Open Day website created by Accordant. Adobe Target provided a unique, personalised page for each student, weeding through hundreds of possible experiences to pick out top webinars, Q&A sessions, and social events based on prospects’ interests.

“This is our first year working with a digital Open Day, but we saw 157 percent more leads compared to last year, with a 91 percent reduction in costs per lead, and an overall operating cost much less than physical events,” says Mark Keevers-Hall, digital marketing experience lead at La Trobe University. “While nothing will quite replace face-to-face interactions, these Open Days have shown us the benefits of offering digital options that we can use to reach more potential students across Victoria.”

Learn more about how La Trobe University’ digital transformation here.

Topics: Customer Stories, Education, COVID-19, APAC

Products: Experience Cloud, Advertising Cloud, Analytics, Audience Manager, Campaign, Target,