University of Auckland proves the power of digital connection during Covid lockdowns and international student restrictions.
The University of Auckland has been recognised globally for digital marketing excellence, securing a finalist position in this year’s Oracle Markie Awards.

The Markie awards represent the highest standards in marketing innovation and customer experience, and bring together some of the biggest brands worldwide. The University of Auckland was recognised as a finalist for the Upshot Award which honours the compilation and integration of data and analytics to garner insights and achieve a strong return on investment.

While Covid provided a challenge for almost every New Zealand industry, Higher Education was hit especially hard, because of the need for international students to cross borders no longer open to them and domestic students in and out of lockdown and level-specific restrictions for much of 2020.

With traditional marketing tactics no longer viable, the University of Auckland had to adapt to a digital-first marketing model to reassure existing students and secure the next intake for 2021.

Together with Marketing Automation partner Marketing Cube, the University quickly adapted their flagship on-campus Open Day event to deliver an interactive digital experience. Leveraging the integration of Oracle Eloqua, Oracle Analytics, Oracle CX Service and the ON24 event management platform, they achieved this in just ten weeks.
The new, purely digital approach enabled the University to capture more data than ever before to learn more about their future student and personalise the experience of everyone who engaged with the Open Day Online site. Results were impressive with 90% lead pool growth, over 275,000 minutes consumed online and $234 returned for every $1 spent.
Dianne Head, Director of Communications and Marketing said that the online experience provided a personalised experience for people engaging with the platform and allowed data capture that provided better understanding of customer behaviour.

“Online Open Day allowed us to build a highly improved view of our customer journey and decision funnel, allowing us to demonstrate direct value from an end to end perspective.

The data we were able to capture has given us new insights into our customers’ behaviour and consequently, we have reviewed our entire approach to how we blend our online and in-person engagement” she said. 

Marijke Timmers, Marketing Cube’s New Zealand based Consultant said this was an example of an organisation making the most of the roadblocks thrown up in 2020. 

“While the conditions caused by Covid presented a number of challenges in terms of coordination and urgency in rolling out a digital-first approach, it created an opportunity for enhanced, centralised data and measurement of ROI”.

"The University’s lean, centralised marketing team took advantage of this opportunity and delivered a new model quickly and successfully, with significant returns and a benchmark for future digital events. It is wonderful to see them recognised for this achievement.”

For more information on how the University of Auckland delivered Open Day Online and their results, please watch this video. Markie award winners will be announced 27 July 2021.
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