Ellucian B2B Demand Generation:
The Winning Combination

Context + Challenge: logo
logo logo gradient gradient

Bypassing Gatekeepers



Ellucian’s CRM Advance is expertly crafted to bolster the connection between universities and their alumni. However, the actual challenge lay not in the product’s capability, but in accessing the gatekeepers of its success: the VPs of Advancement. These key figures held the power to decide, but Ellucian’s sales executives were often met with closed doors and unanswered calls.


Cutting through this barrier wasn’t just about finding a direct line to the VPs. It was about understanding the intricate dynamics, hierarchies, and gatekeepers (shout out to their secretaries!) within the universities that Ellucian was keen to serve.


Design Thinking as a Tool for Decoding University Dynamics



Embracing a design-thinking approach, we delved deep into the mindset of the VPs for Advancement to empathize with them.


Through insightful interviews with different stakeholders such as sales, product marketing, clients, prospects and even steering committee, two truths emerged: gatekeepers, often sidelined, were central decision influencers; and VPs, in general, undervalued sales reps. Not an easy pill to swallow.


On the other hand, the insights we gained shaped our understanding of the VPs of Advancement in a new light: they viewed themselves as VIPs in a domain that was crucial to the university’s financial health and had an insatiable intellectual curiosity.


Armed with these revelations, our strategy evolved to engage these crucial gatekeepers, amplify the role of Luccian’s representatives, and pinpoint the optimal channels for execution.


The Winning Combination:
Bridging Offline and Online Marketing Tactics



Recognizing the VPs’ behavioral patterns, we quickly realized that traditional channels weren’t going to cut it. VPs weren’t about to attend webinars, click on Google Ads, or pick up random calls. So, we turned our attention to an often-overlooked approach: direct marketing.


For our pilot campaign targeting 100 universities, we anchored our message around the concept of “The Winning Combination”.


  • Handcrafted Safes: Each with a unique combination lock, insinuating that inside lies the secret to unlocking untapped potential (and by extension, funds).
  • Strategic Wordplay: Employing ‘cracking’ and ‘unlocking’ not just for creativity but to subtly drive the point of accessing financial resources.
  • Personalized Landing Page: This featured a video explaining the creative concept, a brief intro to Ellucian’s solution, and other pertinent content.
  • Final hook: After their digital exploration, users were presented with an opportunity to schedule a meeting at their convenience.


Mastering the Art of Prospect Appointments



In the academic halls of university advancement, where closed doors were once the norm, we’ve chalked up numbers that resonate louder than any call.


  • +$26M USD pipeline revenue.
  • 75 marketing quality appointments.
  • $4.2M USD sales realized.
  • 38x ROI.


logo logo
gradient gradient