Australian private education provider Navitas is embarking on a project to find more uses for the technology stack that has underpinned its marketing operations for the past decade.
In this week’s iTnews podcast, head of marketing services Charlsey Pearce and head of technology and systems for global sales and marketing Richard Eason discuss the new project, which is focused on the company’s university partnerships division.
The specific division recruits international students and puts them through the equivalent of the first year of a degree, with additional support services such as language assistance and extra tuition.
It calls these ‘pathways’ into university and says that most students transition into a regular degree program with the partner university at the end.
Pearce said that studying overseas is a big decision for students and their families, and for that reason, engagements are particularly long.
“It can be years and years that we have these conversations digitally,” she said.
“Education is a large investment for most people and there's a heavy amount of decision making that goes into that, especially if you're an international student, or a parent and you're going to send your child across the world.
“So people tend to start looking years in advance of their child or themselves actually making the move just to commence with an institution.”
For the past decade, the company has used Adobe’s Marketo Engage product as “the workhorse” of its marketing stack.
It is now hoping to find broader uses of the Adobe stack in its operations, particularly to drive a greater degree of personalisation into the student engagement process.
Navitas is also looking to standardise all its operations on a single content management system (CMS), for example.
“We've been with Adobe for a number of years, especially in the Marketo space, so this is really looking at what else we can do with those products stack,” Eason said.
“Where we do have various different systems in the content management space, we're looking at bringing that together.”
The project will see Navitas start using other elements of what Adobe calls its ‘experience cloud’; up to 60 staff worldwide will directly use the tools.
Some of the concepts have been tested over the past two years under a “digital customer experience project”, which enabled Navitas to pilot how personalisation might work in the organisation.
“We're really focused on delivering the best experiences for our students, whether that's online or on campus, or a hybrid of the two,” Pearce said.
“From the second they inquire [about study] right through to the minute they graduate, we want to be able to provide more personalised, more supportive experiences to help them get wherever it is they want to go.”
It is also envisioned that Navitas will use Adobe’s Sensei - its machine learning and artificial intelligence construct - to translate knowledge base material into multiple languages when prospective or enrolled students search for information.
Eason said there was “so much opportunity” to create new digital experiences for students.
“The more we use data, the more we use tools, the better architecturally we get, the more we know that we can [improve],” he said.
“We've seen that already. We've had proof-of-concept and that. We know that we can get better experiences for our students that will flow on to our [university] partners.
“It's a really interesting initiative to be part of but we also need to keep our heads down.
“We've got to make this work.”