In 2011, Cornell University and its academic partner, Technion, won New York City’s Applied Sciences NYC competition. The award paved the way for the creation of Cornell Tech—an entirely new institution devoted to graduate-level technology education. By establishing itself as the hub for world-class research, innovation, and commercialization, Cornell Tech will not only redefine New York City as a global technology capital, but it will also help power regional economic growth for generations.

In preparation for Cornell Tech’s move from its temporary home at Google’s Chelsea headquarters to a new 12-acre campus on Roosevelt Island, university leadership needed an experienced and capable partner to plan, develop, and execute a series of aggressive awareness-building and enrollment activities that would meet their aggressive goals to:

  • Increase class size for all programs
  • Improve yield
  • Increase diversity

All while maintaining the quality of applicants befitting an Ivy League institution.

Cornell Tech partnered with Stamats to coordinate a comprehensive awareness and enrollment-building campaign. Targeting nontraditional prospective students, the messaging needed to powerfully—and emotionally—communicate the potential of Cornell Tech’s ambitious enterprise. In addition to touting the close interaction between faculty and students, the campaign had to motivate a new generation of entrepreneurs and inspire well-established business owners and tech visionaries to push their professional boundaries and take a chance on Cornell’s new venture. To help achieve these goals, our team developed and launched a full suite of digital advertising and paid search campaigns that:

  • Geo-fenced specific neighborhoods in New York City where prospective students lived, worked, and socialized
  • Geo-targeted companies that employed prospective students
  • Targeted digital publications and sites that prospective students were likely to visit

All campaign respondents were delivered to a conversion-oriented landing page where they could download free e-books and access other content tailored to their interests. Each respondent’s information was captured as they were funneled into a nurture stream that led them through each step of the enrollment journey by providing relevant and important content when they needed it.

In effect for less than a year, Stamats’ carefully orchestrated awareness and enrollment-building campaign has been a resounding success. With the campus move imminent, Cornell Tech has surpassed enrollment goals for every program offered—all while improving quality of the classes for each of its programs. In the words of Christine Sneva, senior director of enrollment, “It’s really been a miracle given our resources, our timing, and the level of awareness about Cornell Tech. Working with the Stamats team, we were able to deliver an exceptional class at a very reasonable cost per student.”

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