Cambridge Judge Business School

Social Media Case Study

Cambridge Judge Business School: Targeted social media campaign achieves six times the standard industry engagement rate

The University of Cambridge Judge Business School worked with Touchpoint Digital to run an innovative social media campaign promoting its brand-new Islamic Finance programme. The campaign, which used Twitter Promoted Products to enable precise targeting of the most relevant audience, achieved a measured engagement rate of 6.45 percent, versus a higher-education industry standard of 1 percent. By running the campaign to overlap with the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), Cambridge Judge Business School was able to maximise interest in the target topic. What’s more, the campaign paid for itself indirectly attributable sign-ups for the School’s first Islamic Finance programme, as well as building a strong pipeline of leads for future programmes.


Attracting the right applicants
The University of Cambridge Judge Business School is a world-class provider of business-focused higher and further education. Its Executive Education division helps professionals and senior managers from all industries develop their knowledge and skills via a range of more than 25 open programmes, and also designs custom programmes that address specific needs for individual clients.


In the Executive Education area, there is constant pressure to hit time-sensitive admissions targets: Cambridge Judge Business School must find the right audience and convert leads into programme applicants as rapidly as possible. When it launched a new programme in Islamic Finance, the timelines were shorter than usual – instead of six to nine months of lead time, the marketing team had just two months to promote the first-ever programme and sign up the required number of attendees.


Tim Landucci, Marketing Director of Executive Education, says, “We set ourselves three key objectives: to generate high-quality applications for the first programme; to build a strong list of future prospects; and to highlight Cambridge Judge Business School as a thought leader in Islamic Finance. Across all three, we needed to rapidly generate interest in a completely new executive programme, and to inspire our target audience to re-broadcast the messages to their contacts in turn – effectively creating a community of interest around the new Islamic Finance programme.”


Finding the best platform
To ensure that it maintains its global reputation as a centre of excellence for executive education, Cambridge Judge Business School wanted to attract the best and brightest applicants. In addition, the organisation wanted to position itself as a thought leader with journalists, editors, commentators, analysts and academics in the field of Islamic Finance.


“Based on our requirements for speed, cost-effectiveness, global reach, precise targeting and a sustainable community, Touchpoint recommended a campaign based on Twitter Promoted Products,” says Tim Landucci. “We opted to run the campaign in two stages: first, using Promoted Accounts to create a large base of high-quality Twitter followers; and second, using Promoted Tweets to convert leads into participants for our first Islamic Finance programme.”


Fast and precise global reach
The Twitter campaign for the Islamic Finance programme at Cambridge Judge Business School ran from mid-September to mid-November 2013 and was supported by a broad range of direct marketing, blogs, vlogs, emails and LinkedIn promotions (including display advertising and sponsored content).


“The target audiences for our campaign were determined by geography, industry, seniority and interest in the topic,” says Tim Landucci. “Touchpoint conducted research to identify the best @ handles and keywords relating to Islamic Finance. By cross-referencing the response to initial tweets with Google Analytics data on visits to our website, Touchpoint was able to help us adapt our tweets and targeted @ handles for maximum impact.”

Cambridge Judge Business School worked with Touchpoint to build up a list of keywords, testing them to see which worked best in terms of generating interest and re-tweets among high-quality prospects. The Twitter analytics dashboard enabled the joint team to analyse campaign performance almost in real time and adapt tactics accordingly.


Rapid results…
The Touchpoint campaign for Cambridge Judge Business School achieved both its primary and secondary goals. First, it helped ensure sufficient admissions to make the inaugural programme a resounding success. In doing so, it produced an immediate return on investment: the directly attributable applications for the first programme exceeded the combined cost of Twitter activity and Touchpoint’s consultancy fees. And second, analysis of PR outcomes showed that the campaign helped to raise the profile of Cambridge Judge Business School as a thought leader in Islamic Finance.


In quantified terms, the campaign delivered a total of 9,254 clicks on tweets, 213 re-tweets, and 39 replies. Some 109 people favourited the tweets, and 5,500 new people followed Cambridge Judge Business school. During the previous year, just two or three people who contacted the Executive Education area identified themselves as coming from Twitter. Since the start of the campaign, that figure stands at 50.


“We saw a measured engagement rate of 6.45 percent for the Touchpoint Twitter campaign, which compares extremely favourably with the industry-standard engagement for higher education of approximately 1 percent,” says Tim Landucci. “We were not expecting anywhere near the levels of engagement we achieved – it was the most cost-effective and successful channel we have used for this type of campaign.”


He adds, “By timing the campaign to overlap with the World Islamic Economic Forum and name-checking that event in our Promoted Tweets, we gained widespread coverage. We even received a mention in a senior UK Government Minister’s speech at the Forum – though this may not be solely attributable to the digital campaign.”


… a lasting impact
“Touchpoint’s help in securing a large number of high-quality followers on Twitter has driven more relevant traffic to our website,” concludes Tim Landucci. “It has also generated significant PR activity, further raising our profile and positioning us as innovative thought-leaders in the Islamic Finance space. These benefits will deliver a more significant return in the longer term for Executive Education – not least because they give us fresh opportunities to cross-sell other education programmes.