Marnix Academie uses Dynamics 365 Marketing to automate and personalize student recruitment. Strengthening relationships by sending the right personal message at the right time and via the right channel.
Strengthening relationships by sending the right personal message at the right time and via the right channel.
Every year, many students and teachers enroll at the Marnix Academie in Utrecht to train as primary school teachers or to take continuous development courses. Thanks to Dynamics 365 Marketing, the educational institution is now able to automate and personalize the process of recruiting new students. The solution has been rolled out with support from Broad Horizon.
The Marnix Academie in Utrecht is committed to improving the quality of education by training primary school teachers and helping them to develop their professional skills in the best possible way. The independent college of higher education offers a teacher training programme for primary education as well as continuous development courses. ‘We also offer courses, postgraduate university of applied sciences degrees, and Master’s programmes for teachers who want to specialize further,’ says Jeroen van Til, Head of Communications at the Marnix Academie.
Orientation and introduction
Every year, students from secondary vocational education, senior general secondary education, and pre-university education explore the possibilities of following a teacher training programme at the Marnix Academie, while teachers sign up for continuous development courses. They can discover the various options by attending the open days and taster sessions, for which they can register on the Marnix Academie website.
“The moment students register for an open day, for example, is now the first step in the customer journey…”
Previously, all communication with students was managed in an e-mail tool.However, the educational institution wanted to automate more and keep a closer eye on its students.As such, the academy decided to professionalize its marketing activities and opted to use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing.The moment students register for an open day, for example, is now the first step in the customer journey and the student life cycle.Thanks to Dynamics 365 Marketing, the Marnix Academie can now fully optimize and personalize this journey and cycle.
Personalizing the customer journey
Dynamics 365 Marketing is a solution that helps organizations automate and personalize their customer journey. By sending the right personal message at the right time and through the right channel, organizations can strengthen the relationships with their target groups. For instance, the customer journey of a prospective student is different to that of a graduate who wants to do a follow-up course. Dynamics 365 Marketing can be used to highlight a relevant service or component to a specific target group. It is a solution that supports communication with the target group by delivering relevant and personalized content.
“By sending the right personal message at the right time and through the right channel, organizations can strengthen the relationships with their target groups.”
At the Marnix Academie, the customer journey consists of the entire journey that students go through at the educational institution. In the context of lifelong learning, this is from the age of 17 to 67; from the moment they register as a school pupil for an open day, for example, to the moment they graduate and follow additional training courses later on in their careers. “Students sign up for an open day and are then registered in our system. We can then send them the information they want by e-mail,” Van Til explains. This includes things like brochures and mailings. “Deciding which course or programme to study is hugely important. Which is why we think it’s crucial that students make well-considered decisions, and that we can give them the right information.”
Knowledge of the education sector
Broad Horizon assisted the Marnix Academie with the roll-out and deployment of Dynamics 365 Marketing. “We implemented a CRM system several years ago..From there, we migrated to the cloud. Then we wanted to tackle our institute’s registration process,” says Shelby de Nijs, Portal O365, CRM Dynamics Online, and SharePoint Online project manager. She praised Broad Horizon’s knowledge of the education sector. “We had a number of inspiration sessions and looked at some examples from other institutions.”
“It was quite a challenge to figure out how we were going to set things up. Mainly because we didn’t yet have a deep understanding of what we could do with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing. The Broad Horizon consultant was a huge help,” says Van Til.The partners worked together to identify the goals that the Marnix Academie wanted to achieve with the project. And these goals were achieved using an agile approach with a DevOps board, a scrum board, and user stories.“We had our own dedicated Broad Horizon project manager, which made the whole process run smoothly,” adds De Nijs.
Thanks to this close collaboration with Broad Horizon, Marnix Academie is also able to respond quickly in exceptional situations – such as the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the Marnix Academie had planned an open day to take place last November; however, due to the lockdown measures, the day had to go ahead in a different format, with small groups. Thanks to the cooperation with Broad Horizon, the Marnix Academie was able to adapt quickly and make this happen by implementing the Event Portal Dynamics 365 Marketing.
The system offers a wide range of benefits. “If you look at what this means for the Marnix Academie, apart from time savings, we are also able to work more efficiently and effectively. We can also tap into and complement the personal atmosphere that is so important for the Marnix Academie and its students,” explains De Nijs. “And we’re incredibly keen to start using the data we now have.”
The Marnix Academie is very happy with Dynamics 365 Marketing. The solution is extremely user-friendly, which means that after a training course provided by Broad Horizon, people can start using the system themselves. You can also make small adjustments and manage the solution yourself –so you don’t always need to call on a consultant.But Broad Horizon can always take care of this for you, if that’s what you prefer.
De Nijs and Van Tijl have a few tips for colleagues considering a similar project. Make sure that the project manager involved has extensive substantive knowledge; this makes it much easier to communicate with the consultant supervising the project on the partner’s side. In addition, take your time during the preparation and implementation phase so that you can learn as much as possible. You can then use this knowledge to ask better and more targeted questions and to set up the solution properly after implementation.
If you’re curious to find out how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can benefit your organization, we’d be happy to help!Contact us by filling in the contact form below for more information.