CULTURAL EXPERIENCES ABROAD

What gets measured gets improved

CEA Study Abroad is a national leader in study abroad programs, providing end-to-end support for students who want to spend a semester studying in places like Barcelona, Paris, Florence, Shanghai, and others. At $50M+ in revenue, it’s a mature and robust organization, with a complex set of stakeholders including university provosts, study abroad and financial aid offices, enrollment, and of course the students themselves. In 2018, CEA turned to Skyhook for some consulting around some particular challenges they were facing, primarily because of our interactive capabilities, our analytics expertise, and our experience in higher ed.

The Challenge

In the beginning of our engagement, CEA identified two main areas of focus:

  • They needed a way to measure marketing effectiveness, providing valuable feedback to the investments they were making in advertising
  • They needed guidance on how to improve the website experience, particularly on mobile devices

How Skyhook Helped

Because CEA already had a robust internal marketing team, they didn’t need our technical help designing interfaces or implementing code. Instead, they needed help steering and directing the work of their team toward better outcomes.

We started by getting to know each team member, interviewing them to better understand capabilities/competencies as well as efforts they were undertaking. We also talked extensively with the executive team about organizational strategies & priorities, seeking to identify gaps between leadership and technical teams. As we identified gaps, our “next steps” began to take shape.

To solve the first problem, we facilitated a workshop between stakeholders of relevant departments to get alignment on (a) what needed to be measured, (b) how it needed to be measured, and (c) how to report and act on those reports. Having established a vision for reporting at CEA, we led a deep dive to clean up analytics data and to create dashboards that the various teams could review together at appropriate intervals.

To solve the second problem, we provided a mix of group and individual training to staff members, showing them how to extract user experience insight from the data. Then we led them through a usability audit, identifying and prioritizing a host of tasks that needed doing in order to improve the website

The Results

Our work with CEA is ongoing, but there are a number of “wins” we’ve been able to celebrate so far:

  • Significantly improved the user experience on mobile devices
  • Reduced site loading time by 75%
  • Fixed CEA’s attribution model, giving clarity with a 98% accuracy into where leads are coming from
  • Established alignment on a reporting framework between the marketing, FP&A, and executive teams, and led the team to document that framework
  • Guided the implementation of data controls that would ensure clean and proper reporting between Salesforce and Google Analytics
  • Created reporting dashboards that are now used as a regular and valuable part of marketing & executive team processes

Good marketing data leads to good marketing decisions. As a result of our work, CEA has much better data, and is now in a much better position to improve the quality and speed of their marketing decisions. There’s no doubt among CEA’s executives that this shift will lead to a strong competitive advantage for them in the future.

“The Skyhook team were consummate professionals willing to accommodate our every request.  Not only did they provide CEA with incredible insight and training on how to interpret our website data, they were able to seamlessly merge it with our CRM.  The analytic dashboard they built for us will undoubtedly increase efficiencies for our marketing team and provide cost savings for years to come.”

Lee SutherlinSVP University Relations & Marketing, CEA Study Abroad