Data Drive Decisions ‘Done Right’
How Bismarck Boosted Enrollment with Holistic Help
What happens when a two-year technical college decides to go national … and even international? Just ask Bismarck State College, North Dakota’s only polytechnic institution and a pioneer in career technical education.
BSC was ready to turn tough challenges into out-of-the-box solutions, aiming for national and international prospects with world-class online offerings to give enrollment a shot in the arm.
It was a defining moment to align BSC’s brand with a fresh marketing plan, media buy, and rock-solid strategy to fuel enrollment, retention, and international brand awareness. Plus, the student journey was researched and remapped from application to graduation.
The result? BSC leveraged long-lasting ROI and reached more students than ever before … with record-breaking enrollment!
National Marketing, Killer Enrollment
Fall Semester 2022
Spring Semester 2023
BSC had the highest enrollment increases in the state — out of two- and four-year colleges and universities!
From North Dakota to Idaho and as far as Saudi Arabia, students flocked to learn in-demand career skills, escalating enrollment in some online programs as high as +33%!
Real Change Starts with Real Research
Interact and BSC started with research that helped the college bolster efforts with evidence-based solutions and a solid plan of action with multiple phases.
The team combed through the college’s communications and onboarding processes, as well as BSC’s brand identity and competition, building a solid foundation for a marketing plan and brand refresh.
The result was a holistic, student-centered approach of research, strategy, brand, and student onboarding that strengthened BSC from the ground up and skyrocketed enrollment for the first time since the pandemic.
“Through their research, Interact created a brand for our school that reflects and resonates with our stakeholders, community, and future students. This has helped us build consistent messaging through our marketing and communication.”
After laying the groundwork, the new college brand and tagline were born: “Done Right” forged new recognition for the college, capturing the rugged, indomitable spirit of North Dakotans while inspiring students regionally and globally.
Part of a national strategy for online programs was to understand competitors in other states.
After analyzing competing colleges and programs, the team identified areas where the competition was too high versus golden opportunities to target prospects for energy, manufacturing, and agriculture, ensuring maximum impact for effort. The results paid off:
Of all four- and two-year institutions in the state, BSC saw the highest enrollment increases in fall 2022, with a headcount of +6.26%, a +3.21% bump in credit hours, and a record-high number of part-time students.
Built on solid research and garnering wide alignment and agreement throughout the college, the brand “Done Right” allowed BSC to expand its marketing, showcasing a world-class polytechnic institution.
“Done Right” is concise, confident, and immediately comprehensible, providing the perfect anchor for messaging on fast-moving platforms. It speaks to the pride inherent in being connected to Bismarck State College and is accessible, unpretentious, and even a bit defiant, allowing for bold, powerful messaging.
A new branding suite and customizable communication templates were also crafted for responsive and easily deployed communications.
Customization, engagement, and results based on robust research commanded top notch ROI. Digital media buys were powerful, comprehensive, and agile, fueling record breaking enrollment. Over time, campaigns significantly increased performance, continually earning better results for a lower cost.
Between April 2022 and September 2022, the cost per lead for the pay-per-click campaign went down $100+, while the CTR went up 6%, and the average cost per lead went down by almost half!
Between January 2022 and September 2022, BSC earned an improved CPM of $9 and a click through rate on their display campaign of .16%.
In Spring 2023, Bismarck boomed with a 20% enrollment growth — the highest in the North Dakota University System!