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the ohio state university

college of arts and sciences

Salesforce CRM & Marketing Cloud Implementation


The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences CRM and Marketing Automation


The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences (ASC) consists of 38 Departments and Schools, 20+ Centers and Institutes, 2,000 Faculty and Staff, 81 Majors, 100+ Minors, $284Million Budget, $86Million Research Expenditures. They provide instruction in 30 Languages.


The ASC Marketing Department provides creative solutions to help staff connect with their audience and successfully promote their department, center, initiative, program or event.



The ASC Marketing Department is tasked with marketing to prospective students with the goal of getting them to apply to OSU and major in one of the majors offered by ASC. After a student applies and has been admitted, ASC Marketing is also challenged with ensuring an admitted student pays their fees, attends orientation, pays tuition and ultimately enrolls in classes. The reality is a certain percent of students that are admitted never enroll for classes, thus creating a problem referred to as “Summer Melt”.


ASC Marketing wished to have the ability to track their results within the prospecting and recruiting cycles as well as across multiple academic years. They wanted to be able to establish an analytics platform of reports and charts to visualize their prospecting and admit funnels and track the efficacy of their efforts.


ASC Marketing also wanted an enterprise-grade multi-channel marketing solution connected to a CRM to create marketing content and engage prospects and admits intelligently and dynamically through multiple channels including SMS and email using a journey builder.



Summit Technologies analyzed the data coming from internal systems and architected a data model in Salesforce Sales Cloud CRM to house prospects in the Lead object and Admits with their application information in Contacts and Opportunities. Hundreds of custom fields were created to house the data imported into the system. Custom stages were created to track prospect and admit progress through the recruiting and admit process.


As the data is coming from the OSU Admissions department on an as-requested basis in a flat file, and an ETL solution is not feasible at this time, Summit Technologies devised a solution to load the data into Salesforce quickly and easily. The solution consists of a MS Excel Power Query spreadsheet to automate the numerous data transformation steps required to re-format the data to one that would be accepted by Salesforce. The Apex Data Loader command line interface was leveraged to reduce the process of data loading to copying and pasting a couple commands to a command prompt.



Summit Technologies created 15 different reports and charts that allow ASC Marketing staff to visualize their funnels by data such as gender, in-state or out of state, regions of the world where applicants were located and other criteria.


Salesforce Marketing Cloud was connected to Sales Cloud using the connector and a custom domain hosted by OSU was provisioned to send email. Data extensions were created in Marketing Cloud to house prospect and admit data for the purposes of utilizing the Journey Builder to create comprehensive engagement plans.


Summit Technologies provided training to ASC Marketing staff for the CRM solution, the data loading process and introduced the team to Market Cloud Email Studio and Journey Builder.



The OSU ASC Marketing Team now has a highly scalable CRM and Marketing Platform that allows them to engage prospects and admits through multiple channels using journeys that allow decision points to be injected into the marketing process. Rather than all prospects and admits getting the same emails, dynamic content may be employed to tailor the message to the audience. As statuses of prospects and admits change, the frequency and content of the marketing messages can change, creating personalized marketing journeys that engage the audience.


Marketing staff can view reports and charts to see their data in ways never before possible, allowing problems and opportunities to be surfaced and addressed that previously were not visible until it was too late to act on them.


Historical data is now stored within the CRM allowing the Marketing department to compare results from one year to another to identify trends.


The OSU ASC Marketing Department also now has a platform that can be extended to other departments and schools within the College, allowing them to share department-specific data about recruiting and admissions with others within their College who would like to better understand current status and engage with admitted students prior to their enrollment.

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