What was the scope of their involvement?
We’ve been building out and testing their new all-in-one admissions CRM platform. The admission cycle is live for us, and we’ve been on the platform since July working in a new capacity with them beyond student search.
We launched the first events module in July which allows students to register for open houses, campus tours, and interviews. We also use it for advertising off-campus activities like college fairs and high school visits. Students don’t necessarily register, but it is a platform where we can announce our presence while traveling.
By August, we had the data feeds from the common application we use here at Drew. We were writing a custom integration between it and our student information system, Banner®, to have that data flow from the app to the CRM. We insert variables such as student application and visitation history into our marketing initiatives and then use that data to send bulk emails through Element. We can also send SMS messages directly to students. The data drives all of these functions.
Ultimately, the app’s data is pushed to our student information system so we can do standard higher-ed business processes like financial aid and admissions.
What is the team composition?
I’ve been working closely with their CRM team which is comprised of most of the company at this point. I have two people on my team who are my points of contact and heavily involved on a daily basis. I also regularly speak to the CTO and the chief data team members on various things. They have at least 4–5 offices with maybe two dozen developers working on this CRM all over the world.
How did you come to work with Sparks451?
Steve [Principal, Sparks451] was involved in another company we used.
Sparks451 was our marketing partner when I arrived at Drew a little over five years ago. They conducted student search, email marketing campaigns, and other general marketing services for us. They’d find prospective students throughout the country who might be interested in our school.
During a rebidding process last spring, they offered Drew an opportunity to be a beta site for their new higher-ed CRM platform, Element451. Given our prior relationship with them, we had a lot of confidence that their CRM could offer more than our previous platform.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent around $50,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in June 2017, and the project is ongoing.