In 2001, Connections Academy was one of the pioneers of the virtual education movement. Initially working with the accrediting boards in just two states, Wisconsin and Colorado, we needed to uncover how to help more families take greater control over their children’s education by expanding across the U.S. But, without a comprehensive enrollment strategy, a powerful brand narrative or an activated parent ambassadorship program, Connections Academy’s initial growth was slow.
In-person meetings were the best way to communicate the importance of the educational opportunity at Connections Academy. Our target audiences were parents who were looking for more ownership of their educational experience, such as military families, families with devout religious values, or families of children with health challenges. Our opportunity was to show these families there was a school that would allow them to maintain a flexible schedule, preserve their household values, and the safety of their children, without sacrificing quality.
Ad Mechanics created a unique, inspirational event experience capable of assuring parents of the quality of the education and engaging them in a totally new educational opportunity. Simultaneously, our team worked to expand their presence through local marketing in communities that would be best suited for online education. Finally, our biggest win was being able to engage the voices of our student’ parents in an advocacy group called “Club Orange”. Club Orange members were not financially compensated, but were so passionate about the opportunity Connections Academy offered that we engaged them to tell other parents to share their authentic experiences.
- Massive expansion from 2 states into 28 states in 19 years
- Evolved from unknown, non-traditional education program to more of a mainstream educational option for families
- Success led to Connections Academy being sold to Pearson for $400 million