Case Study – How We Reduced Advertising Cost of A Nursing College by 90%

If you still advertise in newspapers or even worse, don’t advertise at all, this case study is for you.

I am not totally against newspaper ads but that is a story for a different time. Let me tell you how we helped a nursing college client move from traditional advertisements to the online advertisement and reduce their advertising cost by 90%.

About the Client

This client is a large education brand based in Kolkata but they’re affiliated with several other colleges throughout India. The Nursing college that we were running ads for is based in Bangalore.

They have various courses like nursing and they also had programs where they sent students abroad for MBBS, MBA, and other courses. As we onboarded the client, I had several discussions with them regarding the platforms they were advertising on.

They were convinced that an Educational Institution like themselves had to mandatorily advertise in newspapers. They were advertising in newspapers like Times of India and local newspaper in Bengali.

In a city like Bangalore or Kolkata, a half page ad costed them approximately Rs. 80k to Rs. 1 lac depending on the day they’re advertising. They mentioned that they had spent around Rs. 80k for an advert in Anand Bazar Patrika on a Sunday in Kolkata which generated them 150 calls and only one of the leads converted.

One student acquisition had cost them INR 80 Thousand, it was not at all a comfortable situation!

Client’s End Goal

Their goal was to find students for nursing college and the target area was West Bengal (except Kolkata), Jharkhand, Bihar, North East and Kerala. Hence the budget was constantly stretched and without an encouraging ROI. Their pain point was clear and severe and the strategy was not sustainable.

Things were worse when they targeted neighbouring states, the leads were inconsistent and the ROI even lesser.
We noted the following shortcomings and took it up with the client.

  • The costs in print marketing were unlikely to come down.
  • There was no way to segregate and sell to their target audience.
  • The Quality of leads, the enquiries were often irrelevant. This put undue pressure on the sales team.
  • The Same newspapers advertised competitors at almost the same time. This confused the prospects and slowed down sales.

Getting Them Online

I worked with them to set up a solid sales team and even trained those sales people to prepare them for the influx of calls.

We studied the states of India that has maximum number of nursing students. To begin with, we started targeting the rural states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, North East states and Kerala.

The Client soon agreed to allocate a decent budget for online marketing and we started addressing the concerns one by one

  • Targeting the correct audience
  • Nursing as a career is most popular in Kerala followed by some northeastern states and Andhra compared to West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bihar.
  • Targeting geography alone won’t deliver the best results, we found out that students in bigger cities were less inclined towards a career in nursing. It was mostly the students in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Also, one of the biggest motivations for nursing students was to move abroad, which fortunately was encouraged and facilitated by the client.
  • We made a list of cities where nursing was most popular, these cities could be targeted with a single ad, unlike print advertising. This saved huge costs.
  • Retargeting Ads were strategized which was not an option with print marketing. These Ads were compelling and saw way higher ROI.
  • Pre-qualifying the leads was important because irrelevant enquiries not only caused stress for the sales team but could also adversely affect the quality of the response and sales.

Retargeting People Who Saw the Ad

Do you know that 97% of people who see the ad in the first attempt, they never take any action. With newspaper ads, they just flip the page and it’s so easy to skip your ad. You have no way to reach out to those people again, without advertising a 2nd time by spending another hefty amount.

With Facebook ads, we can retarget people who visited our landing page from the the ad. We showed them an irresistible ad that had huge conversion.

Pre Qualifying The Leads

We were not just generating random leads, we prequalified the leads with questions like

  • What’s your score in class 12?
  • Were they comfortable studying online until the colleges opens?
  • Were they looking for educational loans or were they sponsored by parents?

These questions would help in offering partial scholarships and other time sensitive incentives etc.

Bringing Marketing and Sales Together

Marketing and Sales are often pitched against each other to compare budget and results. The truth is that they aren’t competitors, they should complement each other for organizational goals.

  • The next step was to come up with the offer was reviewed and fixed because no marketer can sell a bad offer. We removed unnecessary details and highlighted benefits like “assistance in placement in India and abroad.”
  • Writing ad copies and making creatives that connect with the target audience, their thoughts, pain points, dreams, etc was the next step.
“Advertising is all about reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.”

Once these things are nailed down, you will definitely see results.

In the first month, we had 1209 leads. We implemented several time sensitive strategies, which resulted in 37 students enrolling in their program.

Generated leads and conversions were over the target and the cost was reduced by a whopping 90%.

Did I make it sound simple?

Yes, because it is simple.

It is not easy but it is simple. At every step of the process, you need to research, observe and infer.

If you are an educational institution who is looking to take your institute to the next level, we can help. You have a broken system that is not generating leads or your sales team is unable to convert the leads or is it something else that is just not working.

We would love to discover how we can add value to your business.

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