Vovia Client Feature – The University of Calgary Faculty of Science
One of my favourite things about working at an agency is being able to work on a diverse range of projects. Whether that’s in the form of promoting different types of clients, products or industries, there is never a shortage of different things to dig into. Of all the different projects I get to work on, few are more fun and rewarding than those that present the challenge of getting new products/programs/offerings off the ground and generating the first signs of interest. One such project came to Vovia four years ago from the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary.
Back in 2018, the UCalgary Faculty of Science added a new post-graduate certificate/diploma program to address the workplace’s growing need for skills in data science and information security. Working on an initial 3-month campaign, they approached us to help them promote the program and drive applications. It was an exciting opportunity to introduce a brand-new program to UCalgary’s offering, and together we exceeded year 1 application targets by 44%. Our campaigns have since evolved to include lead generation formats, remarketing, and various website changes as we’ve continued to learn how to reach our prospective students most effectively.
We have continued to work together over the past four years, which has been enough time to see the diploma programs evolve to include a fully-fledged master’s degree program for each subject. Along with this accomplishment, we’ve seen plenty of tangible measures of growth throughout our time together. For example, we have observed significant year-over-year search-demand increases for relevant terms after pushes on awareness channels, and we continue to see growth in application and admittance numbers each year as our relationship continues.
I sat down with our client partner Erin Guiltenane, the Communications Advisor at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Science, to talk about our relationship and some of the results we’ve been able to drive so far. Read on to learn more about what our organizations have been able to achieve in our 4-year relationship.
Tell us about your role at UCalgary and how it has changed over time.
I’m a communications generalist, so my role in the Faculty of Science has reflected that since I started there seven years ago – I do a little bit of everything, from writing about research to producing collateral for student recruitment, to web work, and much more. When the professional graduate programs came to be in 2018, I didn’t have a lot of experience in digital marketing (especially not to the extent and detail that Vovia is able to do), but now an annual lead generation campaign with Vovia is a regular part of my portfolio. I feel lucky that I get to reap the benefits of Vovia’s extensive knowledge and technical abilities.
How have the graduate programs in Data Science and Information Security changed throughout your time at UCalgary? What are your goals for the programs moving forward?
The Data Science & Analytics and Information Security & Privacy programs are professional master’s degree programs – they incorporate an internship or a capstone research project, and help students prepare for a career in tech (which is becoming so important in Calgary and Alberta). While they started as “stackable” graduate certificate and diploma programs, the master’s degree options for both became available in 2020. Each program has areas of specialization, so students can tailor their education to their career goals. Our hope is to give students educational options that work for them and to produce program graduates who find truly meaningful careers here in Alberta and beyond.
What have been your biggest challenges, and even opportunities over the last few years dealing with the pandemic?
Our domestic application deadline is always mid-April, which means our 2020 lead generation campaign with Vovia was in full swing by the time the COVID pandemic was declared. While we all had to turn on a dime and quickly re-think our messaging, the teaching and staffing side of the programs were really tested. They had to figure out how to do all of the recruitment and admissions remotely, and also set up and get better acquainted with holding online classes. I think that part of the team deserves some serious recognition for navigating it so well. We were actually really impressed by the number of applications we received – perhaps because people were spending more time online so we were able to reach them in that manner. I think that also speaks to how well Vovia was able to help us target our messaging to potential students.
Is there anything new and exciting on the horizon for yourself or the faculty?
We are looking forward to introducing some new professional graduate programs in 2023 – I think it’s too early for me to be able to confirm the details just yet, but the Faculty of Science is heading in a really exciting direction and continuing to help make sure our graduates are prepared for careers of the present and future.
Tell us a bit about your relationship with Vovia and the work you’ve done together.
My director and I started working with Vovia as soon as we knew that our professional graduate programs were going ahead. Vovia came highly recommended to us by colleagues in another faculty, and we can definitely see why. I remember being pleasantly surprised to see a Vice President (Heather Ilsley) on calls with us. Our account manager, Evan Lowe, always took the time to explain everything to us, consider our feedback, and even made himself available to describe the tactics to our clients to help us gain buy-in. And we absolutely love the detailed reports we get at the end of each campaign.
Vovia put together a lead generation campaign for us using LinkedIn Lead Generation, Google Display and Google Search that helped us get thousands of leads; it was a vital part of our recruitment process. With our professional programs being brand new, we knew that challenges lay ahead of us. We were also targeting a new audience – mid-career professionals rather than undergraduate or graduate students – and had to learn how to reach them as well. Vovia helped guide us so that we were reaching the right people with the right messages.
If you had to describe Vovia in one word, what would it be?
It has been an exciting and rewarding experience working on the University’s Data Science and Information Security programs, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. Be sure to check out the Master of Data Science and the Master of Information Security if you’re looking to up your skillset in high-demand subject areas!