Digital Marketing Intelligence Center
Two years ago, Lone Star College–Montgomery realized that its usual strategies for retention and completion were not enough to meet its goals for improvement. The college leadership encouraged exploration of the use of analytics as a tool for accelerating improvement. The result was the formation of a Data Team that began leveraged internal expertise in analytics, developed its members in predictive analytics tools and techniques, and eventually coalesced into a cross-disciplinary, cross-functional group that tackled specific issues with increasing nimbleness. The first two years saw the development of hundreds of interventions and culminated in the development of the Digital Marketing Intelligence Center.
The Digital Marketing Intelligence Center (DMIC), housed in the Office of Public Relations and Marketing Communications at Lone Star College-Montgomery, is a creative suite enabling faculty, staff and students to monitor millions of online conversations about organizations, brands, products and services, in addition to the college’s social media channels and digital marketing campaigns. The center has six large display screens showcasing current data and conversations across the web, similar to a small network operations center. A graphic display summarizing social media content conveys sentiment, share of voice, trend information, geolocation data and more. In addition to marketing support, the center offers educational and research opportunities to faculty and students.
The DMIC plays a critical role in cross-disciplinary collaboration, merging predictive analytics and marketing to boost student engagement, success, recruitment and retention. In the center, staff utilize Civitas Illume and Microsoft Power BI, among a dozen other tools, to analyze current and past student data and determine likelihood to persist. Various campaigns are launched to targeted students, depending on specific demographics, GPA, living radius to campus, and likelihood to persist percentages. For campaigns, staff first identify target populations and segment for maximum return on investment. Nudges are mindful, short and personal and are sent via the mobile application push notification system, the college online portal, social media marketing, Google AdWords/Display, text, email and phone calls. Staff also have access to college specific data to pinpoint at-risk students hiding in plain sight and develop personalized predictions that are timely, accurate and actionable.
Cross functional teams continually monitor opportunities to improve services, intervene when students have challenges, prompt specific actions such as going to tutoring, applying for financial aid, and registering. Some examples from the more than 1000 successful campaigns launched due to the collaboration of cross-disciplinary staff within the Digital Marketing Intelligence Center include:
- ‘What’s your excuse?’ campaign: Staff targeted 1,000 students with a high GPA, within a 15-mile radius, financial aid approved, enrolled in fall, but not spring (three days before first day of spring semester). An ad was created with a current student pointing and expressing ‘what’s your excuse?’ and hyperlinked to registration. The campaign targeted the identified 1,000 students on social media with an ad budget of $238. Within the first three days of the campaign, 226 students registered (22.6% yield rate) providing a $188,936 financial yield. The total conversion cost per student for this campaign was $1.05.
- ‘Finish strong’ campaign: Staff targeted 306 students struggling in Math and sent personal nudges via online and mobile inbox notification, mobile application push notification, online portal ad, and a targeted Facebook ad. Twenty-one of the students targeted visited tutoring in the first three days of the campaign for a total ad spend of 60 cents. Additional students responded in subsequent days.
- ‘English for Nursing’ campaign: Staff targeted 142 pre-nursing students who had not taken ENGL 1301 and sent nudges via the online and mobile inbox notification, mobile app push notifications, online portal ad, Google Display/Video ad and Facebook. The campaign was launched three weeks after fall 2018 enrollment began and the professor of the class visited Public Relations and Marketing Communications for assistance since class enrollment was at zero. Within the first three days of the campaign, the class made with 12 students enrolled. Enrollments continued to build following the first three days. The total ad spend was $57.
The overall impact of merging predictive analytics and marketing via cross-functional teams over the last two years includes:
- 15% enrollment increase
- Increased class density
- 16% increase in FAFSA submissions
- 32% increase in awards over the last two years
- 30% increase in students enrolling in 15 credits or more
- 48% increase in financial aid awards (869) compared
Ideas and Execution
PR MarCom staff innovate, implement, and evaluate. The Digital Marketing Intelligence Center is a creative suite for collaboration and innovation.
Brian M. Mullen, Executive Director, 936.273.7224
Brandy Beucler, Marketing Manager, 936.273.7436
Samuel Negrete, Marketing Specialist, 936.271.6376
Kim Hester, Graphic Designer, 936.273.7209
Reba Harris, Graphic Designer, 936.271.6303
Gail Smith, Special Events Coordinator, 936-723-7432
David Cox, Event Specialist