Masters in marketing

Building more than just a website for Northumbria University

Northumbria University is one of the largest higher education Institutions in the UK, with its roots dating back to 1880.

The university now supports more than 35,000 students annually, attracting scholars from more than 136 countries. In 2013, we were invited to tender for the re-development of their website. This was a big job that needed smart thinking.

The challenge

For an institution of Northumbria University’s heritage and size, our view was that they needed more than just a website. They needed internal communications, digital infrastructure planning and, moreover, a cultural change between marketing and I.T teams. We knew we couldn’t do all this without first getting to know Northumbria better and we told them so. Fortunately, they felt exactly the same way and agreed to an in depth Discovery project to help us find out more.

Our solution

We created a website that is now an effective goal based, digital marketing tool. The key objectives being a consistent content and tone, new peer-to-peer content and the creation of a lean systems infrastructure to underpin the long-term vision. To build this new marketing-focused website, we used the open source .NET platform Umbraco as it was ideal to seamlessly integrate with the University’s core systems.


A lean, mean marketing machine

The result was a lean, mean marketing machine that allowed the marketing team to do what they do best – create great content and promoting the University. Finally, to help Northumbria University’s in-house developers take control of the website after us, we created a common wiki and carried out regular walkthroughs and training sessions with them.


Making a change

Not only did we create a new website for Northumbria, we also affected meaningful and positive change in culture, infrastructure and strategy. We’re pleased to still be working with Northumbria University on advanced feature development for their website and on a strategic consultancy basis.

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Enhancing search

We increased the number of users searching for a course by 267%.

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Finding their way

112% increase in the amount of users viewing courses.


Course to conversion

60% rise in the number of users who go on to make a course enquiry, delivering a significant rise in conversion rates.

Build it better.

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