Saxion University of Applied Sciences

How a university connects with future students

With the use of Digital Marketing
View the case

A new recruitment strategy for Saxion

Organizing open houses with trial classes and campus tours is how many universities try to attract new students every year. An approach that proved to be succesful in recent years, also for Saxion University of Applied Sciences. However, the situation has started to change. Driven by demographic decline, the battle between universities for new students has intensified significantly. Despite online campaigns increasing the number of open days visitors, universities continue to see decreasing enrollment numbers. Adwise has created a new digital marketing campaign with Saxion to promote their studies among potential students. The result? A brand new, long-term recruitment strategy that matches Saxion's brand promise 'Get ready for a smart world' and resulted in an almost 10% increase in sign-ups for Saxion's open days.

Awards & Nominations
Dutch Search Awards: Best Social Advertising Campaign


Start a conversation with potential students.

Competition in the HVE (higher vocational education) market is increasing. A general impression of a study no longer suffies. Connecting with generation Z is essential to keep generating enough new university enrollments. Saxion's brand promise Get Ready for a Smart World offered sufficient points of departure to use technology to get in touch with students and start a conversation with a chatbot within marketing campaigns.


Responding to the target group's style of communication .

In collaboration with Morskieft Designers, we developed a communicaton concept called 'jobs of the future' to encourage generation Z to think about their future. The campaign circled around futuristic jobs such as Emoji therapist, Data archeologist and Fake news detective (obviously with a wink). Saxion tried to stimulate students to start a conversation about future studies using eye-catching gifs. In addition, a chatbot was developed to enable the target audience to engage in conversation when and where they wanted. 

The chatbot made it possible for the target audince to start a conversation at any time of the day. These conversations took place on the online platforms used by the target group itself (e.g. Instagram, Facebook). Both the chatbot and the associated chatflow were completely designed to correspond to the target group's communication style. Emoji's, slang and abbreviations were all incorporated into the chatbot's way of talking. During the chatbot conversations, essential data was collected about the interests and customer journey of the student enabling Saxion to help these students find their perfect study. 

Get Ready for a Smart World

Discover how we connected with potential students .

Get Ready for a Smart World

Discover how we connected with potential students .

Get Ready for a Smart World

Ontdek hoe wij in gesprek gaan met potentiële studenten.

Get Ready for a Smart World

Ontdek hoe wij in gesprek gaan met potentiële studenten.


Huge impact on Saxion's long-term recruitment strategy.

The social media campaigns and the chatbot already makes a huge impact on Saxion's recruitment strategy for years to come. It proves that steering on study counselling is more succesfull than only steering on applications for open days. In the end, 273 chatbot conversations were held which is 241% more than was initially expected (at least 300 conversions). Almost 10% of those converstions led to a next step, for example : a student welcome day, contact with the information centre or an open day. The chatbot is being further developed because of these results in order to give it a more prominent role in the recruitment strategy, including deeper integration and automization with CRM, e-mail and websites. 

“We have to keep innovating to stay in touch with our 'always-on' target audience. Young people are used to organizations being available 24/7. The use of a chatbot fits that expectation perfectly. We are proud of the achieved results with our first pilot and we see great opportunities for the future.

Michel Doetjes - Online Marketeer, Saxion University of Applied Sciences

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Emerce100 Best Fullservice Digital Agency '24

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