One of the first areas Salesforce has been deployed is across the university’s teaching and learning domain where COVID-19 and associated restrictions created an urgent need for digital transformation. For example, with current and prospective students unable to gather on campus, the university needed to rethink its engagement strategies and provide them with new ways to connect.
One particular area of concern for the university was how to manage its annual open days which provide potential students with a glimpse of what life is like as a student on campus. Knowing that an in-person event was not an option for 2020, the university decided to host digital open days using Experience Cloud.
The planning and design of the event took just eight weeks and included integration between Salesforce, Zoom, Squiz, and the university’s event booking system to provide a seamless experience for participants from end-to-end. The digital open days included more than 300 on-demand videos as well as a virtual tour of all seven campuses to help students get a feel for the campus and to learn more about their study options and life as a student at the university.
The University of Melbourne used Marketing Cloud to promote the event through email as well as digital advertising and, for the first time, it was able to get detailed analytics on campaign performance relating to event attendance and engagement. This was in addition to traditional web analytics.
The University of Melbourne was also able to tailor communication to prospective students and help give them more confidence in their decision to apply. Approximately 15,000 students participated on the day and in the weeks following. Now, the university will be able to measure how many of these apply for admission, allowing it to fully measure the impact and effectiveness of marketing.
Another key benefit of the digital open days was the ability to reach those who do not or cannot normally attend the annual event in person—either due to location or a dislike or anxiety about such events. The post-event survey results also revealed that many enjoyed the digital format. Undergraduate NPS for the event increased 10 per cent year-on-year with participants viewing the events as catering well to their core needs for course and career outcome information. There was also a slight increase amongst those who said the event helped them to determine the university was the right place for them.
“Part of our appeal is our beautiful campus in one of the world’s most livable cities and through our digital open days we were able to showcase that to students everywhere and provide a more inclusive experience,” said Belinda Day, Teaching and Learning Domain Lead, OneCRM Program at the University of Melbourne.