University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus Online Case Study

The University of Colorado Denver provides online programs and degrees to nearly 17,000 students. As tuition prices and online education competition grew, CU Online needed to invest in marketing campaigns that would attract and recruit the right students. Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM into existing Microsoft products provided transparency, accountability, and data-driven decision making to invest in the right media outlets and ultimately, provide the best experience for students world-wide.

*Microsoft Dynamics CRM gives us the ability to configure the application to meet our own needs and provides clear insight into the impact of our marketing campaigns.*

Jeremy Fulbright
CU Online, University of Colorado Denver


Business Needs

CU Online, part of the The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Denver | Anschutz), was among the first in the nation to offer online courses and full degree programs. As online competition grew over the past decade, CU Online looked for solutions to modernize marketing tactics and develop efficient, data-driven campaigns that target and attract the right students and provide clear returns on the investment.

CU Online was utilizing old technology which caused delays due to manual inputs and inefficient processes. The marketing team logged high overhead costs from human hours and dated marketing practices. These practices also caused inefficient communication with prospective students and an inability to accurately allocate marketing funds. The need to automate workflow, minimize risk, and increase market presence became critical to the success of the university.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Data-Driven Campaigns

In order to compete with other online universities, reach and recruit students globally, and establish credibility as a top tier online university, the marketing team decided that the campaigns implemented needed to be data-driven from the beginning. The team chose the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform to review past campaign investments, market in various world-wide media outlets, analyze results, produce detailed reports on budget and campaign allocation, and recruit the right students, strategically.

By creating a baseline to track an individual advertisement or campaign through enrollment, CU Online is now able to directly tie marketing campaign dollars with student recruitment activities and produce reports on marketing best practices to increase recruitment. The integration of CRM into SharePoint, CU’s Student Information System (SIS), and other analytics platforms allows for automating contact with prospective students, tracking students from interest to enrollment, producing detailed reports for efficient forecasting, and utilizing clear data for more informed decision making and strategic investing.

Benefits of Change

The integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM into already existing solutions helped CU Online achieve scalability, innovation, and efficiency. The university is able to track the lifecycle of a student from prospect to graduation and tie data back to the campaign, personalize, tailor and automate marketing communications to prospects who express interest, and analyze student recruitment and campaign data.

The ability to track and analyze campaigns and proactively recruit students has advanced marketing capabilities and increased recruitment and retention rates across the campus. This implementation is step one in modernizing and evolving student recruitment at CU Denver - Anschutz.

A Bright Future for CU Online

CU Online plans to build on this implementation to further advance recruitment capabilities. Future modernization goals include automating tasks based on logic, managing events and information sessions virtually, specifying online targeting using social media, personalizing messaging to prospects with course recommendations, identifying at risk students for retention, automating notifications to remind advisors to respond to prospect inquiries, and ensuring a smooth transition of prospects to the correct advisors and program managers.

*Our technical foundation provides insights that supported cultural and process change to enable more targeted communications and service to students. With this implementation as a successful first step in advancing and modernizing our school, we are excited and eager for our future growth.” *

Bob Tolsma
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Technology and Extended Learning
University of Colorado Denver


Next Steps

Learn about Microsoft Dynamics Solutions for Education

Customer Size: Small Organization
Industry: Higher Education; Advertising
Country or Region: United States
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
  • SharePoint Online
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM
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