November 04, 2013
CPCE Unveils New Marketing Campaign
With the rollout of online courses this semester and the addition of master’s degree programs, these are exciting times for the College of Continuing and Professional Education (CPCE) and they want the world to know what is now available.
Beginning October 1, CPCE unveiled a series of new marketing initiatives in Boston, as well as in Manchester, N.H., Worcester, Mass., and Providence, R.I. The ads, which can be seen online and on MBTA trains, as well as heard in radio spots, convey Wentworth’s strong commitment to advancing the careers of graduates.
Utilizing contrasting images (as seen below) that illustrate moving from work boots to wingtips, or from a cubicle to a corner office, the thought-provoking ads have already raised inquiries 60 percent when comparing October 2012 to October 2013. Pat Hafford, interim dean, CPCE, and Keith Lewandowski, marketing manager, CPCE, spoke with the Wentworth Communications (WC) team about the new marketing campaign.
WC: CPCE campaigns in the past had already proven successful. What made you decide to change things up?
CPCE: We needed to cut through the noise. Other schools are taking a standard approach–one that we did before–of using a testimonial followed by some bullets about the program. We wanted to get away from that rational approach and go more for the emotional appeal.
WC: What is the objective of the advertising campaign?
CPCE: We want to maintain the rich history of the school. The reason the founder started Wentworth was to provide education to working people. But you can go well beyond that and the kind of education that CPCE is offering will take you there.
One thing that we’re trying to show is how we’re continuing to evolve what we do here at Wentworth. We prepare people for professional roles. We’re not deserting the students that we’ve always had, but we are saying that we can take you to the next place.
WC: How did you arrive at these ads?
CPCE: We did a competitive analysis. We looked at ads, but also went to many continuing education websites to get a sense of what everyone else was saying. Our inquiries were strong last year with using that traditional type of ad, but to really get to the next level and continue to grow inquiries we felt we had to do something different. The testimonials are affective, but they’re used by all continuing ed. programs. We wanted to set ourselves apart.
WC: What is the one takeaway that someone seeing your ad should have?
CPCE: That Wentworth can greatly enhance your career prospects and, consequently, your life. To an adult learner, we’re talking about earning credentials.
WC: How long is the campaign?
CPCE: We have it planned to run until June of 2014.
WC: What kind of feedback have you received thus far?
CPCE: It’s been very positive. People have said it really catches their eye. The work boots, for instance, really stand out. We had someone on the T who told us, “Wow, I saw your ad,” where before I’m not sure it would have been noticed at all. These ads are clean and they command attention.
WC: Why are you advertising in other markets outside Boston?
CPCE: It’s obvious that Wentworth has an incredibly strong awareness in Boston among employers, employees, and students. We gather our students, traditionally, from within driving distance, so we wanted to move a little outside of that 25-mile radius into a 75, perhaps 100-mile radius and continue to grow. By doing ads in these other markets, it benefits people continuing to come to campus, but it also helps to build our new online components. We really want to illustrate that we’re online and on campus.
We’ve noticed since we launched the ad campaign that we’ve had much stronger online inquiry than we had before. We’re receiving three or four inquiries a day right now.
WC: Talk about how you can offer students both a physical, brick and mortar location in addition to an online presence?
CPCE: For the Bachelor’s in Project Management, and Master’s programs in Construction Management and Facility Management, when we say “on campus” they really are hybrid courses. They’re very flexible in that working people can get the education they need, but not have to come to class two nights a week like they used to do. With our model, people can take the online courses, but there is also the option, in several areas to take classes in person.
The future is in providing education to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
- Dennis Nealon