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The Battle for Brand Recognition in the Online Ed Market

Today, nearly 70 percent of chief academic leaders in the U.S. say online learning is critical to their long-term strategy. Norwich University, the country’s oldest military college, is among those vying for its share of the growing online education market.

Launched successfully in 1997, Norwich’s online graduate school came to face increasing competition from name brand schools. So OHO Interactive helped Norwich map out a strategy to address its primary objectives to grow online enrollments and position the heritage, values, and history of this nearly 200-year old university to appeal to working professionals.

Norwich knew it needed greater flexibility and operational efficiency in order to support marketing efforts, increase lead conversions, and implement a modern CMS that could support the needs of non-technical content editors.

To address these goals, we began by conducting a national branding study to determine how students select a master’s degree program. The research revealed prospective students need key pieces of information on programs, faculty, and return on investment before they apply.

We focused on providing in-depth content that highlighted the University’s innovative programs, the caliber of the faculty, and created a new section, “Norwich Impact,” that includes video, testimonials, and alumni profiles highlighting the impact of Norwich’s graduate programs.

We also created “action buttons” throughout the site that provide students with the opportunity to engage with Norwich through chat, email and phone. Along with rich content, we also provided a new visual design.

Underlying all of this was an essential new site architecture, which we were able to deliver through our partnership with Acquia. We provided Norwich with a robust Drupal-based site, including the Acquia Cloud platform and support services through the Acquia Network. The result is a well-architected site that is highly reliable and designed to meet the unique needs of Norwich University.

Norwich has been thrilled with the results. In less than two months of the site being live, Norwich received more than 300 requests for information submissions, increased visit time to 4:04 minutes (twice the industry standard), significantly increased recruitment inquiries, and received a positive response from internal audiences.

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