The Cornwall College Group
The unification of brands, and cross-selling of products, is something our team are very much familiar with. Whether it is in retail, education or an endless list of different sectors, we can tie together all your brands to really get the most out of your offerings.
As the largest education and training provider in their region, the opportunity to work alongside The Cornwall College Group was a challenge our team relished. As a group containing four Higher Education/Further Education brands and a business training brand, and with partnerships all over the South West and beyond, the client’s marketing team were looking to really unify their brands and completely overhaul their online presence to make it suitable for 2020 and beyond.
To really bring life to the new website, we were tasked with building an online enrollment system which would pull course information from, and push applications to, their existing ProSolution system. Known as “The Career College”, there were also other big considerations to account for, including the marketing of apprenticeships and work experience vacancies, and much more.
Brand Unification & Cross-selling
This task brought on a number of exciting new challenges for our team. We were called on to create five brand websites, but bring them together to feel as though they are all under the same umbrella. To do this, we used a WordPress multi site instance with five sub-sites relying on a central theme and set of templates. This meant that the College could showcase the unique content offered by each brand, but in a way that clearly showed the relationship between the brands.
The structure of the College also provided the interesting challenge of splitting products across five websites from a single instance of ProSolution. However, this was not the only consideration regarding the course offerings. There was also the challenge of cross-selling courses across all sites, regardless of brand, to maximise the number of potential applicants. The cross-selling and cross-posting also applied to news, events and more.
The COVID-19 Effect
The year 2020, of course, threw into the mix many new challenges and unprecedented times for businesses up and down the country. Our team and our client’s team were no different. Despite having to pack our bags and leave the office for the long term, our determination to provide a quality product without a delay to our agreed deadline remained unchanged.
Communication is our number one tool, and proved vital to our ability to deliver on our promise. Daily email updates, as well as regular Skype calls with the client and internally within the development team kept everything on track.
When the coronavirus meant that the College could no longer offer in-person open days, we helped them get online within days with an intuitive new “Virtual Open Day” system. This allowed them to show off their fantastic resources and continue to promote themselves through the web, and yielded excellent results.
The “Gutenberg” Editor
With the release of WordPress 5.0 shortly before the start of this project, came the introduction of “Gutenberg”. WordPress introduced a whole new what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) block-based page editor. This essentially rendered our old page builder system redundant, but gave us the opportunity to start again from scratch. The College was our first client to get their hands on our exciting new page builder system, which integrates directly with Gutenberg.
In addition the standard block types, we integrated a large number of custom widgets and block types which added a whole new layer of flexibility to the site, beyond anything we have ever delivered before. The blocks we use also directly integrate with Bootstrap, meaning that the sites were mobile friendly out of the box. This also meant that the production of pages is easier than ever before, meaning lower maintenance requirements than would previously have been possible.
In addition to all this, we also had to take into account the usual requirements for an education sector client. This includes the compliance with WCAG 2.1 to AA standard, as well as being mobile friendly on every page and quick to load.
We are proud as a team to have built a fantastic working relationship with The Cornwall College Group, and look forward to helping them deliver even more exciting new projects in the near future.