SMU Cybersecurity Campaign

SMU Professional and Online (SMU PRO) launched a brand-new online master's program for cybersecurity. Despite the timeliness of the topic and an expanding job market for trained cybersecurity professionals, SMU just wasn’t attracting enrollments at the rate they expected. They invited us to help them revitalize their outreach to prospective students and rebuild their enrollment systems technology.

The playbook

After analyzing previous efforts, we hypothesized that enrollments were more sluggish than expected because they lacked:

  • A full-funnel content, marketing and media strategy
  • Own-able, compelling visuals and messaging
  • Processes for ongoing campaign optimization

In order to test our hypotheses, we helped SMU rebuild their enrollment program essentially from the ground-up.

The program, as it stood, included a very loosely defined marketing funnel. They had a handful of content assets used for basic awareness as well as an admissions representative who was able to reach out to prospective students. However, they were missing a clear strategy for moving those who were merely interested in cybersecurity as a broad topic onto application and, ultimately, enrollment.

The outcome

We helped the SMU team define coherent steps from awareness to enrollment in order to facilitate building more elegant communications strategies and tactics. We also provided a content roadmap aligned to those stages so they could start developing a more diverse and compelling array of content subjects and types.

We helped them re-design most of the campaign elements—from website to emails to ads to content templates and even billboards and connected TV spots—aligned to concept and re-defined funnel stages. We also created a schema for ongoing iteration and optimization designed to amplify the effectiveness of the work.