Case study #5

The one with the orchestra, and the origins of NEO

Case Study

5

An orchestra, as you know, is more than a group of musicians. To create a symphony, there must be uniformity of purpose, but also each player must perfectly understand the part they have to play. That does not happen overnight. 

And so it was that perhaps our most complex involvement began with an international  higher education institution based in Europe. Our CEO had actually been involved with this institution through her own research on increasing revenue generation while maximizing the student experience, when the institution asked her to apply the scope to their programs directly. 

Things started with a light touch, with NEO supporting the admissions department in improving internal processes, but it soon became clear that this orchestra had several independent bands and the sound was unpredictable. 

We stepped things up by working to unify the marketing and admissions departments between two key campuses, and integrating a commission scheme among admissions team members to incentivise performance.  

With Salesforce already properly embedded, this should have been straightforward, but one team was already more tech-savvy than the other, so a gap between teams began to emerge. When two sections are playing at different speeds, the audience will soon hear discord, and so NEO stepped up our role to that of conductor. 

It was time to rethink the setup so that key players came in at the right point, according to their own strengths, and built a more resonant process that simply sounded better to everyone. 

We divided the admissions department into two. The B2C team dealt directly with potential students, while the B2B team built the agent network strategy with one manager for each key territory.  Each manager was supported by student interns, who not only flourished through  hands-on experience, but also shared their journey with potential students among their peers. The funnel strategy was therefore adapted so that interns could first filter and engage with new students, while managers were able to apply their expertise to the  conversion stages. 

Next came the marketing department, and their alignment with admissions to ensure seamless communication and commonality of purpose and process. The same structure of interns supporting key managers was replicated here; broadening the opportunities for students to gain valuable experience, taking care of the simpler notes to free up managers for the more technical arrangements of branding, communication and media. 

With everyone playing their parts at the right time, and according to their own level of skill, this particular orchestra was able to hit the right notes, and achieve a long List of successes (sorry). 

Our CEO was asked to take up a role as campus manager in a new market, but understood this was not NEO’s area of expertise.  Reflecting back on this, we really did learn a lot in a short time here. There are things we have taken forward in our work with many others since, and things we have learned are simply not our core drivers.  

We will always honour the trust you have in us and, because we have learned exactly what our key strengths are, we can be straight right from the start.

The challenge

  1. Need to reorganize the team in departments with a person in charge of each group
  2. Need of centralizing the admission team in one Campus
  3. Improve marketing and admissions performances
  4. No paid media campaigns

The solution

  1. NEO assumed a strategic role, first supporting the admissions department, and then creating the “architecture” of the different teams and departments.
  2. NEO took care of training the team members to implement best practices and increase marketing and recruitment performances.
  3. Rebranding actions have been undertaken to give a fresh and new face to the institution.
  4. Optimization of education portals to boost lead generation.
  5. Automation of CRM to enhance admissions processes.
  6. Implementation of paid media campaigns.

key Outcomes

  1. Reorganization of marketing and admissions departments’ structure that led to high performances results
  2. Increased brand visibility, and students engagement
  3. CRM automation, resulting in an improved and automated lead management process, therefore less manual work
  4. Improved staff retention

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