About Thomas More
Thomas More is the largest university college in Flanders, offering a wide variety of Dutch-language bachelor degree programmes, with 13,300 students and 1,400 employees. The college follows the philosophy of the English humanist Thomas More. The word “more” also refers to more course programmes, more regional spread, more co-operation agreements as well as more, and widened, horizons.
The goal was simple. Thomas More wanted more new students. The focus was on all 46 degrees offered, with a primary focus on those courses that were hard to fill. They wanted – and we agreed – to use Google Adwords, remarketing and display, plus Facebook – which they ran. Furthermore they wanted to know if advertising had an impact on the amount of students applying for Thomas More.
Our Translation of the Goal
Recruiting new students is seasonal. August and September are key: that’s the money time – and that’s when the campaigns had to happen. We initially focused on search engine advertising (SEA) through Google Adwords, because Thomas More contacted us quite late. Search engine optimisation (SEO) could have had an initially negative impact on results before going positive, too late for the season.
Through SEA we could attract traffic from people showing an active interest in degrees. These search campaigns were supported by remarketing campaigns – through banners for instance – and display campaigns. We targeted websites accessed by students, such as YouTube.
The school’s site already has high traffic from existing students. We had to cut them out of the campaigns. We wanted to steer the campaigns towards acquiring actual new paying students. We devoted most resources to degree courses running behind recruitment goals, and worked in close collaboration with Thomas More on this: budgets were re-allocated every three weeks, depending on results.
- Registrations: we measured the amount of students registering.
- Enrolments: we measured the actual amount of students enrolling.
- ROI: constant monitoring of the Return-On-Investment for Thomas More.