Case Study: TargetX and University of Houston Bauer College of Business

Challenges: An old system that was slowing productivity and a discovery process that unearthed new needs

UH Bauer’s previous system was slowing staff productivity, particularly because reporting required manual data pulls.

Lenay Johnson, assistant director of admissions, explains that they were “limited on the functionalities to extract data.” UH Bauer needed a CRM system that supports more robust reporting, and allows easy data sharing between the marketing, recruitment, and admissions teams. She says, “At the time, we had to pull data manually from our old system and put it into Excel to create reports.“

The UH Bauer team realized they needed an upgrade and began working with a custom software development firm. However, they soon discovered that their challenges weren’t over.

A custom-built solution offered UH Bauer many benefits because the sky was the limit, but the solution was far more expensive than anticipated and required more resources from the college IT departments and internal staff than originally planned.

The UH Bauer staff found themselves in an unusual position. They had already completed the discovery process before realizing that a custom solution was not the right direction for them.

Dalia Pineda, director of graduate admissions and recruitment, says, “We realized that with our resources and needs, a custom-built solution was not the best fit for us. From a strategic standpoint, the time commitment was large. We have a small team and resources are limited. The company was amazing and we had honest conversations about the time it was going to take. We eventually connected with TargetX who could provide the benefits of a custom-built solution, but with a faster timeline and more affordable price.”

Solutions: TargetX Recruitment CRM provides an out-of-the-box solution that meets all of UH Bauer’s needs

UH Bauer adopted the TargetX Recruitment CRM, a solution customized for higher education that provides everything an institution needs to recruit students from prospect to application to enrollment—right out of the box. Adopting a comprehensive solution that was ready-made was exactly what UH Bauer needed. “TargetX took a lot of weight off of our shoulders,” says Megan London, graduate marketing coordinator. “When we were doing the custom build, we realized we didn’t know what to ask for because we didn’t come from a technical background. TargetX could point to other universities and how they were doing things or building reports, for example, and offer guidance.” Johnson adds, “I didn’t know how to navigate the Events system. Having the TargetX support team guide us was extremely helpful. I now work heavily in Events Manager and it’s so easy to use.” The UH Bauer team had working calls with TargetX, allowing them to learn—in real time—how to use the TargetX CRM and maximize its features. London says, “The way that TargetX does implementation is incredible. I learned how to create Workflows, and build custom fields, content fields, and objects in general. Now, I have the tools on a day-to-day basis to know that I need a workflow to do X, Y, and Z and I can do it without a helpdesk request or a support call.”

Results: Cheer-inducing internal wins make UH Bauer team more strategic

Even better than the support UH Bauer received from TargetX was the “cheer-inducing” internal wins, including the ability to connect disparate systems to do everything in one centralized place, instead of going back and forth.

Though it’s early to measure student results, UH Bauer has experienced significant improvements since the adoption of the tool. These improvements, like the ability to fastidiously track much longer student life cycles, are uniquely important to the graduate market they serve.

Johnson says the CRM perfectly supports the “6-36 month lifecycle of a graduate prospect, allowing every touch point to be documented in one place.” The staff can now “more effectively track student interactions, and make better decisions. That saves time and money.”

Another major win for UH Bauer is the ability to measure the impact and cost effectiveness of their events and paid search advertising.

“We are able to see the effectiveness of specific events by pulling reports, which then allows us to calculate the cost-to-conversion rate,” says London. “Events can be costly, so being able to pull this information is invaluable for us.” London adds, “I use the TargetX CRM to pull reports on our paid search advertising with Google Analytics. I can see that a particular student came from a Google search on a specific keyword and now they are a student with us. It helps us make key decisions from a marketing and recruiting perspective.”

Overall, the UH Bauer team agrees that the TargetX Recruitment CRM makes their lives easier, their decisions more strategic, and ultimately, saves time and money.

“We can’t manage what we can’t measure,” says Pineda. “The TargetX CRM really helps us keep a finger on the pulse of all of our efforts, combine data, and measure as we go along to make critical adjustments. We are big fans of TargetX.”

University of Houston Bauer College of Business at a Glance

  • Located in Houston, Texas

  • Offers professional MBA, full-time MBA, executive MBA, and specialized master’s degree programs

  • Professional MBA is Ranked 15th Nationally Amongst Publics by Bloomberg

  • Ranked 6th for “Greatest Opportunity for Women” (Princeton Review)

  • Ranked 2nd in “Campus Ethnic Diversity” (U.S. News & World Report)

TargetX Solutions

Goals

University of Houston Bauer College of Business needed a CRM that:

  • provides robust reporting options and functionalities;

  • centralizes data and makes data sharing easy;

  • offers out-of-the-box solutions that do not require deep technical knowledge;

  • is designed specifically for higher education institutions; and

  • comes with in-depth training and support.

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