Winning, One Program at a Time: A Systemic Approach

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At 10:00am On 11/8/16 I attended Winning, One Program at a Time: A Systemic Approach presented by Kay Zimmerman & Adam Schultz at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Winning, One Program at a Time: A Systemic Approach

When formulating the best way to invest marketing dollars into DE student recruitment initiatives you can ‘wing it,’ or you can look to the numbers to build a value-driven system. By utilizing a unique sequence of university and program-based marketing support, you can meet your online and DE student enrollment goals on a budget! This presentation should show us a simple but highly effective online and DE program level marketing system, showcase real life case studies and lead attendees through a collaborative Q&A session to guide them through the thought process for how to apply these concepts to their own programs.

This session was basically a show-and-tell coupled with a large advertisement :(. It started with this:

Press Release


Verified Studios today announced that it will share the results of its multi-year partnership with NC State University’s Distance Education Learning Technologies Applications (DELTA) office during the November USC Aiken National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) Virtual Conference.
Over the last two years, the Durham-based digital marketing agency has guided deployment of a scalable, low-cost, high ROI program-level marketing system across 18 NC State online and distance education programs. At the Distance Learning Administration (DLA) Conference in June 2016, CEO of Verified Studios Adam Schultz joined Kay Zimmerman, Associate Vice Provost DELTA-Marketing & Partnership Development Marketing and Partnership Development, to share the results of this partnership and the resulting paper, “Winning One Program at a Time: A Systemic Approach,” won the Conference’s Best Paper Award.

“The results of the partnership between NC State and Verified Studios are a perfect fit for this year’s conference as our theme is Practical Applications towards Building Quality Online Courses,” said Dr. Veronica Outlaw, coordinator of the 2016 USC Aiken NDLW Virtual Conference and Director of Distance Learning at the University of South Carolina Aiken. “The only way to continue to offer quality courses is to have the enrollment numbers that prove return on investment in distance learning.”

“At Verified, we’re focused on not only helping our individual partners leverage digital marketing to meet their strategic goals but also on establishing best practices that can guide the higher education industry as a whole,” adds Adam Schultz. “We appreciate the opportunity to share the results of our program-level strategic marketing project with an extended audience.”

Verified Studios has worked with many institutions of higher education, including Duke University and Appalachian State University, among others. Learn more about how the Durham-based agency helps its partners leverage digital marketing to meet their strategic goals at

This showed some information for the services provided by verified studios, but Came to a divisive point when Kay asked “Would this work for you and help you meet your enrollment projections?” There was a pause, which caused one teacher to ask in return: Could you use any of these in your courses?

Short thereafter, Kay asked “Do you presently meet the online and DE program/courses enrollment projections?” another large pause occured, and the woman from earlier said what was on many of our minds “@Kay, How would we know the answer to your question?”.

In all honesty, I wouldn’t know the answer, and I have been teaching here for over a decade. What are our projections? Do we have projections? Do we have a department which handles this? Do we have a strategic marketing and student recruitment plan? I’m not exactly sure. I certainly hope that if we do, we are beating those expectations.

While this was mainly a case of how verified studios was able to help NCSU, I think it did open up some good fodder for discussions here.