College of Charleston School of Business: MBA Program Marketing


The team at the College of Charleston’s School of Business recently asked us to help put together a digital marketing campaign to increase regional awareness of their one-year, accelerated MBA program, along with increasing the number of prospective students.

We worked with them on five specific tasks:

  1. Develop a solid reporting framework to track key events on their current site and a soon-to-be created landing page
  2. Research the decision-making process for students and develop clear value propositions that differentiate the CofC MBA experience from their competitors
  3. Develop a new marketing landing page that highlighted the value propositions from #2 and generated new student inquiries
  4. Use the Google Adwords platform to acquire new prospective students and raise awareness of the program
  5. Perform a technical SEO audit of their existing mba.cofc.edu subdomain – to help them improve their rankings in the organic search results

We’ll dive into each of these points in later posts. Today we wanted to highlight #2 and #3 – the thinking behind and then the implementation of the landing page.

Step One: User research

Deciding to pursue an MBA degree is a complex process. We wanted to dive deep into how it all worked. What are the key questions prospects are asking? What is the perception of one-year vs traditional two-year MBA programs? What differentiates the College of Charleston experience from other one-year (and two-year) programs? We used keyword research, in-person interviews with current students and faculty, and site surveys to dig deep and set the stage for the development of our messaging and user experience.

Step Two: Value Propositions & Wireframing

Based on our research we identified four core value propositions for the program, and the supporting proof points behind each. Using these points and our research, we started (as always), with wireframes of what the landing page experience would be. Our goal was to immediately state the value proposition, and then support each of the supporting value propositions with proof points and visual details, finishing with a couple call to actions: download a brochure, contact for more information, or apply online.

Here’s the most recent design; skip below for a few examples of how we wireframed a few key sections and what the finished product looked like.


Value Propositions

Immediately below the main statement, we feature the four supporting value propositions, with links to their supporting content below. We originally wireframed this as a basic grid, but our designer decided to build off of it and make it more visually appealing.


One Year Calendar

Our research process uncovered some questions and potential stumbling blocks to the “One Year.” It’s easy to state, but there are a myriad of questions that follow that you need to address. Is it really one year? Some schools it’s really 13 or 14 months. What’s the schedule like? Similar to other schools? When are my breaks? When do you travel?

So we developed a fun way to visually display the full year, and allow students to dig a little deeper into each portion of the schedule to learn more.


Mentor Program

It’s one thing to say you have a mentor program (most schools do), it’s another to back it up with real people and examples of how mentors have shaped the lives of students. So for this section we wanted to do both – using negative space and some nice info graphic-y type to showcase CofC’s commitment to finding great leaders and matching them up with students.


Top City

Charleston has been winning awards left and right. And while that’s certainly something no other school can match (besides the local competition), we wanted to pair that with our success as a growing international business hub. We used some key stats from our partners at the CRDA and did a nice visual showcasing the businesses located here.


So what’s next? We’ve been adding to the landing page recently – and we also have plans to test a totally different layout to continue improving our conversion rate and bringing more prospective students to the team at the School of Business MBA program. We’ll cover some of the other pieces of this project in later posts.

Thanks to Zach for programming and Nicola for design, Jenny for copy. Conversion rate experts for great articles and ideas around the CRO process.