TULImust 2023 konkursi finalistid

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Töö pealkiri
Growth and change through the optimal mix of branding and tactical activities with advanced analytics-case of Kristiania University College
Töö lühikokkuvõte
In 2022, Norway's educational sector faced a challenging year with a 12% decline in applications. Economic uncertainty, inflation, and prolonged decision-making post-COVID contributed to this downturn. Despite these hurdles, Kristiania, a market challenger, boldly aimed to become Norway’s first professional university by 2030 with the help of advanced analytics.
Mis oli töö eesmärk? Lisa palun konkreetsed numbrilised ja mõõdetavad eesmärgid.
To achieve the goal, Kristiania underwent significant changes, rebranding in 2022 from Høyskolen Kristiania to Kristiania.

The key question was how to efficiently navigate these changes amid a challenging market landscape. However, Kristiania proved to be also innovator in employing advanced analytics for strategic planning.

Kristiania recognized weak brand signals: lower awareness, limited knowledge of its study areas and low base applications (applicants that are expected through branding effects each year without having to rely on tactical actions to get applications). In a risk-averse category, where safety guides decisions, an unfamiliar brand breeds uncertainty, particularly among a young target audience making crucial life choices Kristiania struggled to be the top choice as young player in the market without family heritage.

2023 Objectives: Despite complexities, Kristiania aspired to grow in competitive market. The overarching goal was a 5% increase in students (+4,848) and a 9% surge in applications (15,561). Additional aims included a +4pp boost in brand awareness and a +3pp rise in awareness of subject areas, all without increasing media investments.

Kristiania collaborated with long-term transformation consultants Knowit and Analytical Alley. Leveraging over 9 years of experience in advanced analytics, they faced the intricate task of navigating the brand/sales funnel for ambitious growth. The plan involved a strategic blend of media investments, requiring a unique analytical simulation system consisting of white-box historic models and black-box predictions models. Analytical Alley crafted a tailor-made system to measure and actively plan the long-term effects of brand building, mid-term impact from profile ads, and short-term outcomes from tactical media investments. This active analytically planned media ecosystem optimized the most effective mix and timing for each investment, aligning with ambitious goals without increasing expenditure.
Kirjelda lühidalt töö teostamise etappe.
• Hypothesis together with Knowit & Analytical Alley:
o Reach application growth targets with the same total media investment as in 2022
o Allocate significant investments into brand building and informing the market about the "new" Kristiania.
o Increase ROMI for each media channel through an optimized media mix and timing.
• Analytical Alley's Statistical Model system:
o Utilized a multiple model system, conducting approximately 500 million multivariate linear regression simulations.
o Distinguished how each medium functions in different silos (branding, profile, and tactical) and assessed their synergistic effects.
o Aimed to increase the overall effectiveness of total media investments to meet diverse tactical and branding goals.
o Achieved a 98% precision level in prediction models to determine exact investment levels in each medium by campaign type.
• Strategic Adjustments:
o Increased focus on profile and branding, leading to reduced funding for tactical, study-specific advertising.
o Ensured all studies were filled while maintaining relevant and cost-effective targeting.
• Digital Transformation:
o Overhauled Kristiania's digital media, shifting from individual study promotions to more general advertisements and using social media in tactical due to its significant short term effect
o Altered paid search timing based on holistic modeling, moving investments to reach-based channels in the application start phase and increasing paid search later for higher effectiveness during natural demand peaks.
• Dynamic Media Strategy:
o Media strategy dynamically evolved in the second half of 2022, initially emphasizing long-term brand effect channels with higher ROI attributed to long-term effects. In January 2023 as the application deadline approached, recognizing the more short-term but effective impact of these campaigns.
o All media types (branding, profile, and tactical) were weighted based on natural demand, each strategy having its optimal media
Millised olid töö tulemused? Kas seatud eesmärgid said täidetud?
Kristiania achieved all of its goals and more! Kristiania welcomed 4,921 new students, surpassing the target. In contrast, the overall market showed a modest 0.9% increase in admissions. Kristiania distinguished itself with a remarkable 19% surge in applications compared to 2022, marked by substantial growth in masters and bachelors programs at 38% and 18%, respectively.

Through analytical modeling, the increase in base applicants rose from 22% in 2022 to 31% in 2023 (+41% increase). This shift underscored the growth in brand strength attributed to meticulous analytical planning.

Beyond performance enhancement, the analytical approach demonstrated a 47% increase in efficiency (from 5.4 to 8 applicants per 10k NOK invested) and quality enhancement for media investments. Despite a decrease in web visits to the application site in 2023, the conversion rate saw a massive 48% increase with a 34% reduction in investment in tactical and profile media. This highlighted the significantly more quality-efficient nature of the new marketing/media strategy in attracting high-quality applicants.

The overarching goal extended beyond new applicants; there was a strategic focus on increasing brand and subject area awareness. Notably, the branding results were substantial, with increased awareness across all main target groups. The youngest segment saw the most significant boost with a remarkable +11pp (21%), and the total segment, including parents, increased by +8pp (17%) compared to the same period the previous year.

Additionally, awareness increased for all subject areas: art & design by +11pp, technology & innovation by 7pp, health & psychology by 3pp, and HR & marketing by 6pp. These outcomes reflected the comprehensive success of the strategic initiatives in both recruitment and brand awareness.
Mis oli töös sellist, mis vääriks loomingulisuse ja uuenduslikkuse osas esiletõstmist?
Today’s “data driven” marketing hugely relies on performance marketing as that part of marketing is more clearly measurable through traditional direct marketing effects. However, like godfathers in marketing efficiency measurements Les Binet and Peter Fields, have found then when taking together the long-term and short-term effects, then it tends to show that branding can have the higher total ROI of the two. However, the problem has always been that performance is easily measurable and branding is not as the effects are long term and do not rely on easily analyzed metrics like clicks/conversions from ads.

This work has shown that with the help of advanced analytics and statistical models it is possible to look holistically all the marketing together with short term and long term effects and plan everything accordingly for the most efficient and synergistic media plans.

Kristiania’s business results clearly show how this approach can have a significant impact. Hopefully the findings in this case will motivate other companies and institutions, especially in the educational sector, to show what is achievable with advanced analytical approaches and that it inspires future leaders and specialists to increase the focus on holistic analytics for performance!