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How Louisiana State University Online & Continuing Education Drives Data-Backed Decisions with Marketing Cloud Intelligence (Datorama)

How Louisiana State University Online & Continuing Education Drives Data-Backed Decisions With Marketing Cloud Intelligence success story

Louisiana State University Online and Continuing Education (LSU OCE) is a critical facet of the LSU family of institutions.  Leading the charge toward innovations in distance learning, LSU OCE’s mission is to help accelerate students’ career goals with quality, affordable online degree and certificate programs.  These programs are purposefully designed for students to earn the same degrees they would on-campus in a convenient and flexible online format.  Since no two educational journeys are alike, LSU OCE aims to provide a one-of-a-kind learning experience to all students.

Automated Reporting Provides Consistent Metrics for Success

The LSU OCE Digital Marketing team supports over 150 online and continuing education programs across five distinct campuses and required a technology solution to continue to scale effectively.  The team sought a more efficient way to analyze, track, and optimize marketing campaigns and advertising spending, as the process had become too manual and labor-intensive.  With a foundation of Salesforce for enrollment and retention already built by Cloud for Good, LSU OCE set out to gain better insights into the student life cycle, reach more potential students, and increase efficiency with Marketing Cloud Intelligence.

Formerly known as Datorama, Marketing Cloud Intelligence (Intelligence) is a powerful analytics solution paving the way for customers to optimize marketing spending and value through automated reporting and a unified view of marketing data.  When it comes to marketing metrics and data, Intelligence was the natural choice for LSU OCE, given how it could integrate into the existing Salesforce framework.

The LSU OCE team wanted to know how specific programs within certain colleges were performing from a marketing and advertising perspective, but this data was inaccessible due to siloed analytics and difficult-to-share performance data.  The information came in from multiple spend and analytics platforms, all rolling up into ReportDash before the LSU OCE team could manually pick apart the data and make sense of it.  “We didn’t have set documentation and our processes weren’t consistent across the team,” said Digital Media Manager Kate Benedetto.  “It became very clear to us that we didn’t have the assets we needed.”

Making Data-Backed Decisions with Marketing Cloud Intelligence

LSU’s annual advertising budget was being managed via manually produced spreadsheets that gathered data points from various tools (ad networks, Salesforce, and Tableau, among others).  “Efficiency is a huge part of our job,” Benedetto elaborated.  “We didn’t have the tech to bring our CRM data together with our spend data, so that was where Intelligence was the magic piece for us.”

Since rolling out the solution, LSU OCE has gained a significant amount of previously unavailable insight into true KPIs (key performance indicators).  Indicators like the cost per application or the costs associated with each sub-stage in funnels and student lifecycles were suddenly made crystal clear without the hours of manual processing and guesswork the team had grown accustomed to.

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“[Marketing Cloud Intelligence] is opening us up to more analytics, allowing for more meaningful revenue conversations, and allowing us to position the marketing investment in a way that really makes sense,” said Christina Bourg, Executive Director of Marketing, Partnerships and Business Development.  And it’s making the day-to-day efforts of the digital team much easier: “Something like pulling one program’s performance over 90 days takes me 15 minutes, where it used to take one to two hours,” says Digital Marketing Manager Maryann Rowland.  Intelligence’s real-time performance insights into the return on investment of budget spent, and the way it helps build a unified marketing investment visualization, is helping LSU OCE leverage the solution to the great benefit of the institution’s enrollment efforts, specifically.

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Increased Efficiency to Focus on Recruitment and Admissions

From lead generation to campaign construction, Intelligence is unlocking a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness simply unattainable for LSU OCE before Cloud for Good’s implementation.  “We’ve built out specific charts with the help of Cloud for Good that allows us to look at trends in our cost per application, which is a key metric we utilize for lead generation that directly correlates to recruitment success,” said Rowland.

Intelligence will also help LSU OCE improve pipeline performance and the overall return on advertising spending.  The team can now monitor the performance of spends and campaigns far earlier on in the funnel than they could before, which gives the team greater control on how to tweak and configure the strategy to maximize effectiveness.

This added level of ease and performance insight has illuminated data, such as conversion rates, campaign spends, and costs per lead, in a much easier fashion.  Seeing this data more clearly has allowed for better data-backed decision-making, which leads to more qualified leads and increased enrollment.

The Best Is Yet to Come

“A huge benefit of this shift is going to be felt over the next six months as we move from reactive-type steps and strategies to immediate shifts and changes,” said Bourg.  “To be scalable, we needed the tech to support that goal.”

Through a tool that promotes both instant action and scalability, LSU OCE can quickly identify key areas that would benefit from a shift in strategy, then make immediate changes to maximize effectiveness and allocate budgets more intuitively using clear data and transparent metrics.  The results have been night and day for LSU OCE since implementing Marketing Cloud Intelligence with Cloud for Good.

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“I’m extremely proud of the digital marketing team and the work that was made possible by Cloud for Good,” said Bourg in closing.  “The project was on scope, on budget, and on time.  That’s almost unheard of to get all three!”  Suddenly, the days of strenuous, manual processes and sorting through difficult-to-decipher data are but a passing memory.  Now, the possibilities are endless.

“There is no way we would have been able to do this without Cloud for Good.  They made the impossible possible,” concluded Benedetto.

For more information on LSU Online and Continuing Education, visit

Written by Blake Becker

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