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Lakeland College (Alberta)

Lakeland College (Alberta, Canada)

Objective

With enrolment* declining over the past three years, Lakeland College needed to rebuild its marketing approach. The college set a goal to restructure marketing efforts and to have its Web site be the number one marketing and recruitment tool for the college.

Action

The college conducted a variety of surveys to gain feedback from current students, graduates, and transfers about the college, its Web site, and marketing. The survey results allowed Lakeland to redevelop its marketing to fit the wants and needs of target audiences. Instead of sending each prospective student a single mailer with 15-20 pieces, it sent 10-12 individual pieces throughout the recruitment process, which proved more effective. Survey findings also revealed that very few people heard about Lakeland from traditional sources (television, radio, print).

Lakeland used this data to develop new, more effective marketing and communication strategies. The college decided to refocus its efforts, reducing its use of traditional media by half and putting more emphasis on Web 2.0 efforts. The college also publicized stories from students, parents, and employers, in order to build awareness of the Lakeland experience and outcomes. Feedback from prospective students, parents, faculty, and staff guided Lakeland College as it redesigned its Web site to be more visually appealing, functional, and effective. The college now has a more systematic communications flow and dynamic Web site, helping to guide communications with prospects throughout the recruitment process.

Outcome

Enrolment has increased significantly. Since restructuring marketing and overhauling its Web site, Lakeland has experienced double-digit enrolment increases: 12 percent in the first year following the project, 15 percent in the second, and so far this year, up to 25 percent. In addition, eight out of ten students say Lakeland's Web site was a key factor in their decision to attend the college.

Testimonial

"[Ruffalo Noel Levitz] consultants roll their sleeves up and get right to business. They have passion and desire, and take a personal vested interest in your success. So much that it feels like they become part of your team.

"Ruffalo Noel Levitz] is also no-nonsense. They tell you how it is and give advice based on the data. Their constant updates and attention to detail kept the project on track and heading in the right direction. They looked at the research, data, and best Web tools available, and combined them to really personalize our Web site."

Phillip Allen
Vice President, Advancement


*Please note that when discussing results for Canadian institutions, we use the Canadian spelling for "enrolment." Case study used with the permission of Lakeland College.

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