Testing the appeal of personal enrichment education

The brief was to deliver a recruitment campaign that could be used as a test bed to establish interest in the courses.

Testing the appeal of personal enrichment education

The brief was to deliver a recruitment campaign that could be used as a test bed to establish interest in the courses.


The client

The Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) is Cambridge University's best-kept secret. ICE provides a variety of part-time courses, from an MSt in Genomic Medicine, through to personal enrichment undergraduate certificates and diplomas in a multitude of subjects.


The challenge

Due to the changes that have occurred in education, with ever more people studying for qualifications to enhance their careers, ICE wanted to understand the demand for their certificates and diplomas that focus on learning for personal enrichment.

Our brief was to deliver a recruitment campaign that could be used as a test bed to establish interest in the courses.


Expertise provided

  • Advertising
  • Campaign strategy
  • Social media

The Honest approach


We developed a digital strategy that enabled all interactions with potential students to be tracked, as well as test different messages to establish which ones resonated with our audiences.


Real people already attending ICE courses were photographed for the campaign, and a selection of ads, both static and animated GIFs were created and ran across multiple social media platforms as well as sent out in emails. 

Social media marketing


We strategically targeted an audience of a specific demographic via social platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Cambridge Evening News. A dedicated landing page was also created to integrate their website with the campaign and improve the user's journey.

The campaign was fully optimised with extremely selective targeting to enable testing of the variable messages.


Results

The 9 week test campaign was a real success, with results knocking our predictions and average industry statistics out of the park!

The results included increased engagement and traffic to the ICE site, including a stronger level of information requested once on the site and total applications up 40% from the year before. Click-through rates peaked on social media, Facebook reached 2.4% and Twitter reached 2.7%, and client interaction with their audience via comments boosted engagement.

Continuing support


We are now currently running a lower level of digital marketing alongside an outdoor campaign in the Cambridgeshire area. It is evident to see from the results analysis that outdoor advertising has positively affected the click-through rates for ICE and impressions are continuing to grow, specifically on Twitter, as the campaign is reaching an 8% click-through rate. 

Honest helped us to think about our strategy and messaging in a clear and focused way. They took time to understand our customers and business needs, producing a campaign that really spoke to the audience we were trying to reach. Honest were responsive and helpful throughout the project, and we very much appreciated their social media expertise, which has helped us to develop our own in-house skills.

Paul Ireland - Communications & Marketing Manager, University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education

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