Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Techteam | June 21st, 2022

The TCU Neeley EMBA program used being ‘personal, connected, and real’ to leap forward in the global rankings


The TCU Neeley EMBA Program was on the rise in the global and national rankings. Alumni engagement was at an all-time high and students enjoyed learning from the globally recognized faculty. Yet, the program experienced a dip in enrollment. Competition in the Texas market and among more recognized top-ranked programs proved to be fierce. Other programs had more staff resources and invested more in marketing. The program needed a cost-effective solution to maintain momentum and its personalized approach to recruiting EMBA candidates.


TCU Neeley leveraged persona development work to improve the admissions process and the student academic experience.

GPRS first completed an audit of the program, interviewing alumni and students, analyzing the pre-existing audience targeting, and reviewing the marketing strategy and digital tools the program was utilizing. GPRS applied the research results to form five personas, or profiles of different student types that represent the best fit for the TCU Neeley EMBA program.

With the personas in place, GPRS developed a segmented remarketing strategy across all paid media and social platforms to move leads into the inquiry phase of the funnel. Drip/nurture email campaigns were also employed and added to the touchpoint data captured in their Salesforce CRM platform. Multivariate tested ads addressed the themes that resonated best with each persona.

TCU was our first client to take the personas and incorporate them into their curriculum. Their objective was to ensure students received their expected ROI. To meet this objective, the program created different learning tracks for each persona in their leadership development course. Executive coaches were assigned that specialized in working with leaders in each persona to position the program to deliver the expected outcomes for its students.


TCU Neeley Executive MBA Program increased the number of leads by 300% after three months of working with GPRS. In the second year, the EMBA program surpassed its diversity goals by enrolling a cohort with 31% female students and 50% of the class being from ethnically diverse backgrounds. In addition, the EMBA program ascended to #13 in The Economist global rankings and was rated #5 in program quality.

TCU pennant


YOY increase in leads generated


of the Class of 2022 was ethnically diverse