Capital City College Group

Summer Campaign Case Study

Capital City Group (CCCG) is a group of further education colleges, spread across eight campuses that are located – predominantly – in North London. These include City & Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London.


CCCG face fierce competition from other London further education establishments. CCCG have an extended catchment area and are also targeting a diverse range of distinct audiences.


What was the Client’s request?


CCCG commissioned Touchpoint to create a campaign that would drive applications for their courses during an extended period across the Summer of 2018. In addition, they wanted the campaign to help convince potential students to continue to enrol for courses in the later part of the campaign, once the term had already started. The client requested we target three different audiences during the key periods. These audiences included: 16-18-year-olds, 19-45, including parents, and adults for part-time courses.


CCCG were looking to increase their learners by 5% from 2017 across the group in the London market. CCCG were specifically interested in our ability to respond quickly to market conditions and optimise campaigns accordingly, in addition to providing quick turnaround times in terms of our overall responsiveness. Additionally, CCCG wanted to know how we would assess the size of their target audiences and how we would maximise return on investment. Their overall emphasis was placed on online media, with overall coverage requested via Out of Home 6 sheets within the larger catchment area. They were also already running local radio adverts in-house.


Our Solution and how well it met the client’s request


Our tailored client approach ensures we always deliver on specific requirements and needs, underpinned by when and how to push the boundaries of both traditional and online media. In this instance, it was key to the overall campaign success that we defined a framework of response protocols determining turn around times and response times to ensure all were handled in an agile manner. We proposed a three-phase campaign consisting of: Build Up, Enrolment and Course Boosts.


We suggested this strategy to allow us to adjust the messaging/platforms/tactics and operate within specified budgets to deliver the optimum return on investment and increase in campaign performance against CCCG’s business objectives. This approach enables us to adjust the platforms and messaging at key recruitment periods such as GCSE results day. To effectively monitor what was working and what wasn’t during the campaign, we had agreed key performance indicators (KPIs) running throughout the project which are detailed in our service and delivery response in Q4.


On the run up to GCSE Results day on the 23 August our focus was concentrated on cost-efficiencies over that key weekend. On the 28th of August, our KPI changed to course boost and the focus was on applications, ensuring that the desired 5% increase across CCCG applications was met. Touchpoint’s strategy for CCCG was to take reach and frequency into account when planning. This ensures that we balance overall audience size with the number of messages they receive. Knowing that frequency drives action, it was imperative to speak to CCCG’s target audience throughout the recruitment cycle and not just on key recruitment dates.


Campaign Structure


Phase 1 – Build Up (1st July – 21st August 2018)

Within the Build Up phase of the campaign for CCCG, we recommended running specific messaging that provides students with useful and engaging content, such as how to prepare and apply during this period. It was also recommended that a specific landing page would be designed to host this content, which could include previous student testimonials.


Phase 2 – Enrolment (22nd August – 11 September 2018)

From our experience, we knew that GCSE Results day had become the most important day in the student recruitment cycle for the majority of colleges. For this reason, this phase of activity had a large share of the marketing budget allocated to it. We recommended messaging focusing on attending enrolment sessions as well as including messaging of why they should join the college, through short engaging video content, which was user-generated to encourage higher engagement.


Phase 3 – Course Boost (1st September – 11th September 2018)

Course Boost was an extension of phase 2 but with a lower media investment across this period. Remarketing played a key part in this phase including remarketing to visitors that have engaged with specific subject pages. We also set up campaigns for all courses in advance to ensure we were able to adapt quickly to the changes in availability, to place on hold courses that become fully subscribed and pushing struggling courses.




In terms of the overall success of the summer recruitment campaign for CCCG, the increase in learners for 2018 was up 12% from 2017 in a market where the 16-18 demographic in London is down by 1%. Following the success of the summer campaign, CCCG has been shortlisted for the College Marketing Network Award “College Team of the Year”.