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Case Study

How We Helped John Carroll University Increase Part-Time MBA Admits By 27%

Increasing enrollment in a part-time MBA program is now more challenging than ever. With a continued influx of online offerings and growing competition from other local, regional, and national institutions, attracting and admitting a diverse mix of candidates with the requisite amount of real-world experience and academic credentials requires a cohesive online and offline marketing strategy. We worked with the team at John Carroll University’s Boler School of Business to improve overall marketing effectiveness, generate more inquiries from prospective MBA applicants, and convert those prospects into enrolled students.

Identifying Key Priorities & Quick Wins

We kicked things off by meeting with key stakeholders including the MBA program’s senior leadership team, faculty, current part-time MBA students, Boler MBA alumni, Integrated Marketing Communications, and staff to understand the MBA admissions process from the eyes of a prospective student and also to uncover the program’s unique value proposition. We quickly distilled those insights and reported our initial findings back to the group to level set and help guide marketing recommendations.

increase in Admitted Part-Time MBA Students
increase in Part-Time MBA applications
Significantly Increased Web Inquiries

Defining a Targeted Marketing Strategy

Based on the comprehensive audit of current marketing efforts, benchmarking against a mix of regional/local Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited and non-accredited MBA programs, and input from the Boler School, we identified specific strategies and tactics that would generate quick wins and also position Boler for success going forward.

We helped uncover the part-time MBA program’s core strengths, refine the prospect engagement and admissions pipeline, and create a comprehensive marketing strategy designed to increase the quantity and quality of MBA applicants.

Deep Varnish was a great strategic partner and provided valuable insights to shape our MBA enrollment marketing strategy. Their understanding of higher education marketing resulted in recommendations that helped fuel our admissions efforts. We are already experiencing an encouraging improvement in enrollment and the overall MBA grad experience. Alan Miciak Dean John Carroll University's Boler School of Business Alan Miciak headshot