Delivering a future state alumni strategy for Southern Cross University

Southern Cross’ Alumni division identified that there was an opportunity for Student Garden to help them better connect and form long-lasting relationships with their alumni.

A 12x month roadmap that set Southern Cross up for success.

Forget what you think you know! We ensure marketing decisions are rooted in understanding students and alumni.

In partnership with our friends at Southern Cross, we delivered a strategy that:

  • Connects the uni with its alumni by creating experiences and content addressing their wants, needs, and pain points.
  • Developed 4-6 primary personas of Southern Cross alumni.
  • Devised a content strategy specifically targeted at engaging with the alumni audience.
  • Integrated multiple touch points into the strategy, including paid, email, and organic social media content.
  • Defined the short and long-term roadmap to execute on the strategy at play.

Marketing Automation
Focus Groups
Content Strategy

“Over the past 2+ years, we have done some epic work with our partners at Southern Cross. This alumni strategy was one of my favourites because we got to speak directly to groups of alumni and the strategy is really driven by them.”

— Rosie Brown,
Head of Student Garden

Key drivers of success for our Alumni Strategy

Alumni Focus Groups

We asked SCU’s alumni a huge range of questions via a Survey, and in 2x focus groups. The goal was to really understand the audience and compare this to what SCU staff had to say. This helped us to identify what was most important to the students, and what the current barriers are for SCU to execute a future state strategy.

Sector-Wide Alumni Engagement Analysis

We also reviewed what education providers are doing, globally, to engage with their alumni. We then presented some of these to SCU alumni and got their thoughts on what was most desirable to them including volume of comms, types of content, channels of engagement. When we provided these insights back to Southern Cross, we were able to use the alumni voices to back up our recommendations.

Personas And Content Pillars

We then provided SCU with 4x key alumni personas & content pillars for them to align with going forward. This ensures their content speaks to the interests of their community. We also provided information on each personas mindset, key decisions & pain points, along with quotes directly from their alumni to reflect on as they produce content.

12 Month Future State / Action Plan

The final part of this strategy was a future state action plan which identified quick wins, a 12-month timeline, key recommendations, and a calendar of activity for the Southern Cross team to work through. Some of this work is managed in-house and some of which Student Garden has got stuck into!

Letting the alumni drive the strategy.

With a key focus on bringing alumni back to further study (through postgraduate, HDR, or short courses), or moving them into the next chapter of their SCU journey through mentoring, giving, or community engagement it was really important that we spoke directly to SCU’s alumni.

We interviewed and surveyed groups of SCU’s alumni to pull out insights and data. We also sent them surveys which allowed us to quantify some of the key statements that stood out to us in the sessions.

This has allowed SCU to make student-led decisions, leading to better marketing outcomes and confidence in producing content alumni want.