The Cutting Edge of Digital Marketing: Three Questions for Grant Sabatier, Vice President & Principal, Digital Strategy

by Brian Coughlin on June 23, 2016 , No comments
  1. How has “big data” changed how search campaigns are managed?

There is now more data available than ever–massive amounts we couldn’t have imagined even a few years ago. There is also a flood of new tools, platforms and ever-improving Google Analytics available to optimize campaigns. But more data in this case does not necessarily yield better campaign results for, say, one particular business school or another. For Eduvantis, it’s about more data with context. We now work with such a critical mass of business schools and management education organizations that we are the first to see trends across the sector. This helps us to not only set benchmarks, but also uncover opportunities for both a specific school and that we can also leverage across our entire business school client base. It’s a form of collective learning – where each individual school can get better because of the learnings we derive from the whole. We’ve created a truly one-of-a-kind database and resource for business schools.

  1. How, specifically, does this help?

The data we have allows us to implement new learnings quickly – through better targeting, bidding, placement, and lead generation strategies. For example, we discovered a really effective targeting profile we used to identify EMBA prospects on LinkedIn and it was so successful that we took that unique profile and were able to leverage that profile for another school in a different competitive market. The campaign quickly started generating almost double the number of new prospect inquiries generated from LinkedIn.

Also, all of the new digital data we are able to gather is telling us more about the prospect, so we have more information which leads to more effective targeting. We are able to uncover what individuals in the market are interested in (search), their career history (LinkedIn), their interests (Facebook), how they engage with the brand (user experience), and what websites they visit. Better targeting leads to better campaign performance.

  1. Where do you see the digital marketing process headed?

Well, it’s the age of growing complexity. Digital marketing has truly become a science and the increasing complexities, increasing cost, and increasing competition make it necessary to have some pretty sophisticated experience in order to generate ROI with your digital budget. Individual schools struggle with this. The level of precision now required to design and run a high performing PPC campaign (not to mention SEO, social, etc.) requires a special skill set – someone who is very detail oriented, highly curious, analytically driven, can manage a lot of data, and can make a lot of complex choices based on deep digital marketing experience. It has truly become a specialized field and our greatest advantage at Eduvantis is that we have merged the necessary technical skills and experience with unique industry data, which makes us better at targeting, reaching prospects, and generating results.

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Brian CoughlinThe Cutting Edge of Digital Marketing: Three Questions for Grant Sabatier, Vice President & Principal, Digital Strategy

The Top 5 Business School Websites

by Grant Sabatier on October 10, 2014 , No comments

Institutions are challenged to balance the needs of the various stakeholder groups (prospective students, current students, alumni, business community) and prioritize content based on institutional goals. But the main goal of most institutions is to recruit students.

So here is our pick, among many great examples, of 5 standout recruitment-focused websites. We used the following criteria to determine our picks: intuitive navigation, accessible/clear content, and prominent calls to action.

1. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Chicago Booth

Chicago Booth Programs Homepage

The University of Chicago Booth School of business website has a clean design with excellent navigation. The programs overview section highlights their four campuses and does a standout job of summarizing Booth’s program offerings.  This is a great example of providing meaningful content that address prospects that may be in the early stage of evaluating programs.

Once the user selects a program, Chicago Booth provides meaningful content tailored around each program format. For example, the Full-Time MBA program page includes quick program and class snapshots that highlight the location, length of program, how many classes per quarter, and other essential pieces of program information. The content is presented graphically and through dynamic media (photos and videos) making it easy to digest. The Booth website is a great example of the right balance of content (most business school websites have way too much text and are too dense). We also like the vibrant red calls to action and the invitation to “Engage” with the institution.

Chicago Booth Full Time MBA

Chicago Booth Full Time MBA

2. Boston University School of Management

Boston University MBA

The Boston University School of Management website is a great example of an institution focusing on targeting prospective students and highlighting key interest areas front and center on their homepage. Website visitors expect key program information to be clear and accessible. Boston University has gone a step further and represented key information graphically and made it accessible via icons on the homepage. At Eduvantis we have seen very few institutions highlight prospective student information as prominently as Boston University, which ultimately signals to the prospect that the institution values the prospect.

Once a visitor navigates to the graduate section of the website, the various Boston University business programs are showcased graphically encouraging prospects to learn more without a page cluttered with text. From a user experience perspective the easier an institution can make it to navigate their website the more effective it will be at both creating a positive brand impression and encouraging inquiries. At Eduvantis we recommend eliminating everything but the essential content to encourage easy browsing and information gathering.


3. Arizona State W.P. Carey School of Business

The Arizona State W.P. Carey website is a standout example of intuitive navigation and a website with the perfect balance of text and images. On all of the pages Carey have prioritized the most important content and cut everything else – leaving only the essential information. On most business school websites the content is overwhelming – text is too dense and difficult to read and visitors are unclear where to click next. This is not the case with the Carey website – the focused content makes for a positive user experience – because information is easy to digest and visitors are encouraged to contact Carey to learn more.


As you can see, Carey has 3 primary calls to action at the core of the website: request info, apply now, and visit campus. These three calls to action are perfectly placed above the fold to encourage immediate engagement. On all additional pages calls to action are also bright yellow and prominently featured – signaling to the prospect what the institutions wants them to do. Once the user clicks any of the call to action buttons, they are placed into a funnel that leads them to a simple inquiry form based on their selections – making is easy for prospects to inquire, sign up for an event, or apply. It is a simply seamless experience.


4. Rotman School of Management at The University of Toronto

The Rotman School of Management has a unique, but very effective website strategy. Visitors to the homepage are greeted with a simple call to action inviting them to engage with the website through defined points of entry – ultimately allowing Rotman to funnel visitors through defined user paths with the goal of encouraging visitors to inquire. Calls to action are prominently and strategically placed throughout the website making it easy to engage with the institution.



Rotman has taken a unique approach on their program pages as well which we really like. Even though there is a lot of content it is organized incredibly well through a tab based structure with simple titles – such as “Getting In” and “The Program.” The sidebar margin is also organized incredibly well encouraging prospect so “Explore, Connect, and Apply” in a wide variety of ways.



5. University of California Berkeley: Haas School of Business


Finally the Haas website has the best in class example of a program page – the navigation is simple (it is very easy to access program pages) and each program page has a simple inquiry form located in the right column of the site making it very easy for prospects to inquire. The content on the website is also appropriately calibrated to the needs of a prospect – content can be easily consumed in 30 seconds or less and prospects are encouraged to inquire to learn more.



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Grant SabatierThe Top 5 Business School Websites