For any educational institution, digital marketing and social media outreach are essential to student recruitment. However, the challenge is spending both time and money effectively. At Business School Lausanne, one of the oldest private business schools in Switzerland, Acting Dean David Claivaz counts on HEM Educational Marketing Solutions to lead the way.
“Working with Philippe Taza of HEM has allowed me to earn the equivalent of an MBA in digital marketing,” says Claivaz. “It has enabled us to gain a deeper understanding of the data that we manage and to improve our student recruitment.”
The school, founded in 1987, offers a wide range of business programs, including at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. It also delivers shorter ones, such as an executive MBA and corporate training. Students come to the Lausanne school from more than 40 different countries across the globe.
Business School Lausanne has just 160 students, giving learners the opportunity to work closely with faculty. However, its small size means that it can only conduct limited marketing.
As a result, BSL has a smaller marketing budget and team than some of its competitors with bigger enrolments. Claivaz wants to keep it that way. “We are committed to focusing our budget on teaching and learning. It’s not fair to students that their tuition should go to marketing instead of the classroom.”
That requires being savvy. “HEM has helped us to understand that each program has its own logic,” Claivaz notes. “Every one has a particular season for recruitment and this can vary by the countries where we are reaching out to potential students.”
HEM’s vast experience in higher education allows the school to target markets and spend its advertising budget effectively. “HEM has a solid understanding of how and when to market each type of program – there are big differences between them.”
The quality of leads is just as vital as the quantity. “It’s important that we attract applicants who have the buying power to study in Switzerland, which has a relatively high cost of living. We don’t want to raise impossible expectations if it’s not going to be a good fit.”
The BSL team regards having a diverse student population, from countries in the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia, as essential to its success.
“We address questions, such as equity, sustainability and the growth of Artificial Intelligence, at a global level and go beyond thinking about just one country,” Claivaz says. For example, faculty and students consider whether the causes of startup success are different in Asia compared to the west.
For Business School Lausanne, collaborating with HEM has been a very positive experience. “We plan to continue working with HEM for two reasons. First of all, they can do magic in digital marketing. Secondly, they have a deep understanding of student recruitment data and we can tap that in our recruitment efforts.”