For Enrollment Marketing Folks
Do you care about getting enrollment and admissions numbers up for your school? How about marketing your campus as the best first choice of any prospect? Then this is the case study for you.
Seamlessly integrating virtual tours to enhance the student experience
James Madison University, nestled in Harrisonburg, Virginia, is fiercely dedicated to its students. The team knows that a good first impression of campus can positively impact a prospect’s decision to attend their school. However, when the pandemic made it difficult to get students to see the campus in-person, the JMU team knew they needed more virtual visit options. That’s why they chose two of Concept3D’s virtual tools to meet their challenges head-on.
James Madison University is committed to adequately preparing their 20,000 undergraduates for the workforce. In fact, they are the best school in Virginia at getting students connected with careers after graduation. Plus, with a dreamy campus surrounded by mountains and a rich history, there are a lot of benefits to visiting and attending JMU.
“We have a really strong academic experience but we also emphasize the social component of a growing person and being a contributing member of society.”
The challenges JMU faced
The decrease in on-campus visits posed a challenge, which the JMU team knew could potentially impact enrollment and admissions goals down the line, especially without any robust virtual options for students. Their previous print PDF map and individual panoramic tour videos on their website had almost no flexibility and lacked an immersive user experience. Chris Meyers, the Director of Enrollment Marketing, saw an opportunity to implement both an interactive map solution and a virtual tour that provided a 360° view of anywhere at the school.
“A virtual tour had been a growing need for us and because of the pandemic, we were able to push that forward and get a lot more people on board.”
“Our enrollment numbers have not dipped since the pandemic, but our visitation numbers have – which does pose a threat to meeting enrollment goals in the future.”
Why JMU chose Concept3D
After researching virtual map and tour solutions since 2017, the JMU team decided on Concept3D. Not only are both Interactive Maps and 360° Tours more affordable, but they also provide a better overall user experience compared to our competitors. Concept3D’s tools are customizable to JMU’s specific brand, tie seamlessly to each other, and allow all users to have an immersive view of the campus.
“The digital map paired with a virtual tour experience is what sold Concept3D for us … it effectively serves both purposes. As a user, the Concept3D CMS is very intuitive and I got it pretty quickly, which was nice. The platform’s great; it’s super customizable. I love how branded we can make it, too.”
How JMU is using their Interactive Map and 360º Tour
JMU’s Interactive Map and 360° Tour are both helpful for lead generation, as they help create opportunities to get more students interested in the campus and easily navigate the school once they get there.
“A lot of tour providers really are only focused on admissions. Being able to utilize [Concept3D’s solutions] for orientation, for alumni, for athletics, for accessibility and disability services [garners] a lot of interest across campus.”
Since launching in January of 2022, JMU has put a lot of hard work and time into their virtual map and tour, and it shows. Within the school, various departments are excited to get involved with the project and manage their own content because they know what a great impact these tools can make.
“Everyone thinks [the Interactive Map] is beautiful, especially just having that illustrated model of campus. Everyone loves the [tour], too. Once we get fully published and implemented, I think every office is really excited to just be able to manage their portion of the map.”
On the 360° Tour side, the JMU team checks daily to see which tour stops are most popular in their Google Analytics, so they know how far students are getting through the tour. They’ve embedded a Request for Information form (RFI) so they know who is interested. In the upcoming months, they are planning to take this one step further and track prospects’ enrollment statuses after they fill out the form.
“We’ve found a way to use both [the tour] and the map that are going to be effective. Ultimately, seeing how students use it themselves will be the ultimate decider.”
“We’ve been really happy about the service that’s been provided by Concept3D and the way it’s been customizable from the start.”