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Digital Marketing Promotes Language Development: BUS 441 and CELLTR

April 08, 2016
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The collaboration between CELLTR and students in the BUS 441 Web Analytics course this spring was a great success, and one that exemplified best practices in project and case-based learning.  With CELLTR as the ‘client’, the overarching objective for the BUS 441 class was to create digital marketing campaigns through three digital communication channels: campaign websites, Facebook Ads, and Google AdWords in order to raise students' awareness about CELLTR and Student Learning Commons workshops.

Students used this opportunity to rethink a new value proposition for English language learning development at SFU, increase awareness of existing English learning services at SFU, drive traffic to a survey designed to address English as an Additional Language (EAL) students' needs for English support and resources at SFU, and bridge the gap between academic and social learning for EAL students.

The class was split into six teams and each team had a different target audience and different goals. They first interviewed and identified target audiences' key motivations in attending English workshops, then created ad messages that focused on the themes of cultural integration, building confidence, and developing proficiency in conversational English. By linking Google Analytics to campaign websites, students were able to monitor the evaluation phase of the target audience and how well campaign websites engaged with those target audiences.

Throughout the digital campaign, BUS 441 students found that EAL students wished to develop relationships in a supportive and comfortable academic environment where they can practice their English reading, writing and speaking skills. One team that sent out the student survey to students in the applied and natural science faculties concluded that "in-person promotions and connections might be more effective at appealing to students. Doing this well can help students associate CELLTR with being a safe, welcoming, friendly place for students, and a digital campaign can be used to supplement in-person communication.”

The BUS 441 students also learned that marketing efforts and platforms used must align with the organization's strategy and positioning in order for campaigns to succeed. Overall, the entire class collectively received over 150 "Likes" on CELLTR's Facebook page and the campaign reached over 28,000 people.

CELLTR is very fortunate to have been able to work collaboratively with BUS441 students in building stronger relationships with EAL students, and to be able to support their transition into and throughout their post-secondary studies in English.

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