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"In 2016, over 44% of the leads we captured in Salesforce converted. We grew by 5.5% since launching the system."
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Marketing Intelligence Helps Aventus Recruit More Students

Vocational Education is a popular step for young adults in the Netherlands who want to prepare for their future careers. Graduates of these programs, which make up approximately 40% of the working population are widely considered as the ‘backbone’ of society and contribute immensely to the economy.

66 Vocational Education and Training (VET) colleges currently serve just under 500,000 students in the Netherlands with courses ranging from healthcare, hospitality, technology and design and more. Competition between VETs is mostly geographical, however still persists and an added pressure of a projected demographic decrease in eligible students means that VETs need to find smart ways to engage and recruit new students.

Aventus, a VET based in Apeldoorn, Deventer and Zutphen has 200 courses to fill every year and a growth target of 10% building up to 2019. To achieve this, the college invested in Salesforce. Its goal is to understand how prospective students are making course decisions and which media and materials they are interacting with. The college ultimately wants to use this intelligence to build a prospect journey that they can be confident will convert to course registration.


“In the next two years we want to know why 80% of our students made the decision to study with us, so we can move our marketing budgets towards that,” said Bjorn Letink, Marketing Communications Advisor at Aventus. “Before Salesforce, we had a lot of data siloes, now we’ve integrated it into one single platform.”

Salesforce helps Aventus track the movements and interactions of its prospects. For them, this is critical, as the data will help its marketing team drive more people to its open days, an important conversion point for the college.

“Around 70% of prospects who attended an open day in 2016 applied for a course later that year,” said Bjorn. “The challenge is not to convert more people but to attract more people to our open days. We learned that only 20% of our students have attended an open day – now we’re digging further into our Salesforce data to understand why.”

With Salesforce, Aventus has a central point at which to access this data and tools that allow them to gain intelligence and take action.

“Salesforce is our knowledge base,” said Bjorn. “For every single interaction and touchpoint we aim to gather as much information as possible in Salesforce. We then use this information to tailor our engagement; whether that’s inviting them to a workshop that fits their interest, or any other materials that matches their preferences based on what we’ve learned about them in Salesforce.”

So far so good for Aventus, as the college is already experiencing the benefits of marketing intelligence.

“In 2016, over 44% of the leads we captured in Salesforce converted. We grew by 5.5% since launching the system. Not only due to Salesforce, but it has a major effect in that growth.”