Grano helped the Diakonia College of Finland increase its number of applicants in the joint application round in spring 2020. The campaign was carried out across multiple channels.

The Diakonia College of Finland is a multidisciplinary vocational institution that has campuses in Helsinki, Lahti and Oulu. The institution trains professionals to work as practical nurses, playgroup instructors, youth and community instructors, beauty therapists, cleaners and cooks, among others.

Grano has previously supported Diakonia College in clarifying its main messages and brand identity and putting these messages into practice in different marketing channels. With help from Grano, the Diakonia College of Finland has gained a clear and consistent marketing approach.

In autumn 2019, the Diakonia College of Finland was in need of a partner to implement the communications and marketing for the joint application round in spring 2020. They naturally turned to Grano.

“Like all educational institutions, our objective for the joint application was to attract good applicants. Another objective was to avoid a decline in application numbers seen in previous years. In the joint application round, the ideal end result is that every available student place is filled when training begins in August,” the college explains.

Joint application boosted by a multimedia campaign

Each spring, the Diakonia College of Finland requires motivated applicants who select the institution as their primary application target. The design of the 2020 joint application campaign began in cooperation with Grano in autumn 2019.

“The overarching objective was to attract a great number of good applicants in relation to the intake capacity. The objective of advertising was to attract, motivate and convince – offer a valid option for families thinking hard about a school for their child or a young person comparing the best alternatives,” explains Key Account Manager Pia Heinsola from Grano.

The solution was to carry out a multi-channel campaign in three carefully planned stages. We determined shared indicators for the effectiveness of advertising and created a landing page for web traffic.

The first stage of the campaign included printed direct marketing to target group households in the Helsinki, Lahti and Oulu regions. Also, in order to increase brand awareness, we carried out printed advertising, such as bus decals and bus bench ads in the target areas, as well as poster and roll up ads in different facilities and events.

In the second stage, the campaign advanced to targeted advertising, where the Diakonia College of Finland was supported by Grano Diesel.

“At the turn of the year, we expanded the campaign into digital environments. We performed targeted Facebook advertising in the three campus cities and nearby areas,” says Jani Kukkonen, Grano Diesel’s head of digital marketing.

In addition to targeted Facebook advertising, the second stage of the campaign included digital display ads at metro stations, shopping centres and cinemas.

The targeted advertising at the third stage of the campaign was carried out in SnapChat, a popular service among young people.

The results and indicators of targeted digital advertising were monitored closely. The key indicator for the joint application is the number of primary applicants in relation to the intake.

“In advertising, we relied on our message to speak to our target group and direct interested people to our landing page,” explains Jani Kukkonen.

Centralised services save time

Working in multiple channels was familiar to the Diakonia College of Finland, since, apart from traditional direct marketing, they have carried out similar advertising measures in the previous years. In autumn 2019, however, they wanted Grano to bring more expertise and agility to their marketing – not forgetting clear processes and accurate indicators.

“We also wanted to reap the benefits of centralised services. Grano offers a wide range of services, meaning that customers can receive all they need from a single provider. Centralising our purchases to Grano has made our work easier and quicker.”

Grano’s project management tools also receive praise:

“Prior to the joint application period and throughout the turn of the year, educational institutions are extremely busy. It can be hard to keep track of everything that needs to be done. We liked Grano’s project tool where materials also move smoothly. Comments are saved in one place, which reduces unnecessary emails,” the Diakonia College of Finland explains.

Grano’s graphic designer responsible for the Diakonia College of Finland project was Art Director Pekka Palonkorpi. Pekka also receives praise from the Diakonia College of Finland.

“Pekka is very clever and quick to understand our ideas. He knows how to turn our views into images and messages.”

Results speak for themselves

The Diakonia College of Finland achieved its goals with the campaign performed in cooperation with Grano. The landing page received a great number of site visits during the campaign, and the number of applicants increased. Social media advertising worked well and guided interested visitors to the landing page.

“In terms of primary applications, we reached our campaign target: we received on average 1.6 primary applicants per available student place, which is an excellent result. All in all, our application numbers increased by 8–10% compared to the previous year,” Diakonia College of Finland says.

“We can state with confidence that the entire project was a success. In our view, Grano’s greatest assets are quality, agility, speed and skill,” the Diakonia College of Finland summarises.

“The campaign helped us achieve our target, receiving on average 1.6 primary applicants per available student place, which is an excellent result,” the Diakonia College of Finland summarises.