Melbourne Business School is one of Australia’s leading business schools, offering a well-ranked full-time MBA, Executive MBA and multiple annual intakes to a part-time MBA. The school sought to increase applications to its part-time MBA programme to support intake of an additional cohort each year.
The target audience for the part-time MBA was at a mid- to senior career level or on an entrepreneurial path, active within local business/commercial environments and subject to high levels of competition from other providers, making it difficult for MBS to achieve any ‘cut-through’. The more traditional MBA advertising channels were not attracting sufficient applications to support an additional cohort.
We analysed the target audience and their behaviours and identified that the traditional routes to market were not delivering growth as our audience was too busy during their working day and after-hours to actively read any form of media.
Budget constraints meant that ‘big ticket’ options such large site OOH advertising were not an option. Instead, we identified a delivery method that would reach this target segment in their moments of down-time during their working day: branded coffee cups in coffee shops in the heart of the central business district.
Melbourne has a thriving coffee shop culture: early and mid-career professionals were visiting coffee shops multiple times during the working week, offering us an untapped route to place the MBS brand and the MBA programme in front of them whilst enjoying a fresh coffee, followed by timely calls to action across online and print media channels.
This low impact, high frequency exposure increased awareness and recall of the MBS brand, and crucially of the part-time MBA. This then enabled the School to leverage this heightened awareness with complementary marketing content focussed on the practical feasibility of studying a part-time MBA delivered near the CBD at a leading business school.
The Coffee Cups campaign ran for 3 months and resulted in such an upturn in enquiries to the programme that MBS were able to expand the programme’s intake to a full additional cohort.