Strongly impacting the university’s growth and being able to show It
Before 2016, the marketing department at the University of Wyoming was focused on brand management and, although they were doing some advertising, they didn’t know how effective it was. With a background in digital marketing and brand management, Jennifer Petty came to the university focused on content strategy, but over time, her role expanded to support the growth goals outlined in the university’s strategic plan. Working closely with the Enrollment Management team and the Admissions Office, Petty was tasked with creating the first Enrollment Marketing team in the university’s history.
Knowing the importance of reporting, Petty implemented HubSpot in December 2015 to set baseline metrics that could be tracked as the team expanded the scope of its work. She had previous experience with their tools and knew that the platform would accommodate their structure, as well as help them modernize their marketing model. One of the biggest concerns at the time was that marketing was not gathering information to make data-driven decisions. Petty knew that HubSpot’s features could help her do just that.
“The dashboard and reporting capabilities provides us with the ability to tie our advertising dollars directly to landing page conversions, so when we report to leadership, we can say, ”This digital advertising has resulted in this many students in the funnel.”
Aside from choosing the tool based on its data-gathering capabilities, the team needed a platform that could provide continuous support and training. “The ability to teach our team inbound marketing with all the resources HubSpot provides was really key. Whenever we have a new team member, one of their first tasks is to take the inbound certification. Everybody is understanding the methodology and we’re all on the same page of what we are trying to do,” Petty adds.
Boosting enrollment and awareness by using HubSpot
The university started with a simple blog, as well as a few landing pages. The scalability that HubSpot provides has allowed them to do more and more every year. Being a content-rich environment, the marketing department has been experimenting with blogs over the past couple of years and has even involved their students in the process. Petty is able to showcase their user experience and knowledge through internships in which students create pieces that become part of the content strategy. “Students have amazing stories so I knew that we needed to up our game when it comes to the content strategy and HubSpot let us do that,” she says.
The content strategy, along with all their other marketing activities, has been proven to be successful, thanks to HubSpot. The institution is tracking everything from top-of-the-funnel prospects all the way through to confirmed students. “Last year 60% of the incoming class came through a HubSpot landing page at some point,” Petty says. They have even been experimenting with gated content and were able to see that an initial experiment, “The Guide to College Value,” performed extraordinarily with a conversion rate of 37%. Additionally, 14% of the converted contacts ended up being confirmed students.
HubSpot has enabled a shift in the way the marketing team is viewed by other departments. They are now considered a strong team and have the opportunity to work closely with the Admissions team – acting as a strategic partner.
The biggest reason why Petty would recommend HubSpot to other higher-learning institutions is “the ability to make your case for modern marketing because marketing is still an art and science, but I really lean on HubSpot for that data piece. Measurement helps us communicate the power of marketing.”
Taking into account that the main goals of the University of Wyoming for the future are increasing enrollment and awareness, Petty and the team will be using HubSpot to help continue building their marketing activities. This includes the implementation of a lead scoring system to get into more detail and continue specializing the funnel. “The more strategic we can be with our budget and the more reporting we can do, the better we can serve the university and the students who choose to be Wyoming Cowboys.”