Odisee: a 3-step plan to get started with personalization

How to attract more students in a competitive landscape? Odisee is ready to start delivering a digital, relevant, and personalized journey for its audiences.
Students walking together



To attract more students in a very competitive landscape.

To turn their website in a clear, relevant and personal experience for a diverse group of stakeholders.



A three step plan: strategic approach, personalization based on gained data and a clear plan of actions.



 A clear overview of the online behavior of their visitors.

A plan, ready to start personalization for their main audiences.

The struggle of a competitive landscape

Odisee, a college in Belgium, wanted to attract more students in a highly competitive landscape. With a diverse audience, many different stakeholders with diverse needs (students, staff, jobseekers, grade schools, researchers,...), 6 widespread campuses across Flanders and Brussels, and various fields of study, they needed a solid plan.

A three-step approach

1. Strategic approach 

In the first step, we defined the goalsdata culture, and data maturity. An important preliminary process to make the team aware of the importance of a strong data culture and how they need to think about personalization to address it from a well-founded strategy. The focus was mainly on defining key personas: students looking for higher education, current staff, and others like high schools, job seekers, and companies. Among the student persona, we distinguished 2 types of students:

  1. generational students, graduating from high school
  2. lateral students, adult students who are reorienting or doing a side course and thus often study and work at the same time

An important finding to keep in mind is the significant rise of the second type, the lateral students. An audience to target with relevant personalization.

What is relevant personalization? To make sure visitors get the right information, relevant to their profile, content is personalized for their specific needs. If you’re labeled under the category ‘lateral student', the website is adjusted with information to your profile. For example, you’ll automatically get extra information on work-student facilities, exemptions, educational leave… that regular students don’t see.

2. Data magic for personalization 

To set up the personalization for Odisee, no structured or historical data is needed. Via a script in Google TagManager, a tracking script is activated. The data capturing can now begin! There are 2 kinds of data:

  1. Device Data: screen size, location, language, touch, OS,...
  2. Behavioral data: pages, clicks, text selected, traffic source,...

Next to that, the AI algorithm of our platform, Dropsolid Experience Cloud, also detects behavioral patterns. Cool, right?!

The marketing team of Odisee can now build segments to use for personalization across all owned channels of Odisee based on the insights of the data they’re now collecting. These segments are either proposed by AI algorithms, on rules they define themselves via a user-friendly UI in the platform, or a combination of both.

The setup and the script can be set up in just one day, and the first AI learnings can be captured after only two weeks.

3. Take action

Step three is to take action, directly in the CMS and via Analytics. The real magic happens when the data is analyzed, conclusions are drawn, and actions are executed. The marketing team of Odisee can now start personalizing their content in their CMS (Drupal). The platform is designed this way so that it can be set up directly into Drupal without any barriers.

Next to that, the marketing team also gains insight into the behavior of key segments in Google Analytics and can, for example, build reports to track conversions and engagement by segment and compare it with the general visitor population.

To make it a bit concrete: the sign-up form for new students can be personalized on the website, so it’s more prominent for students. Yet, for staff and researchers, it won’t be the main eminent CTA.


The result?

Results were achieved in a very short time: within three weeks. Phase one took just one week (workshops 1 and 2), and phase two took two weeks.

In the case of Odisee, the period just after the summer holidays is particularly interesting. The moment when students can register for their courses. Therefore, data were monitored for the first two weeks of September. The ten most frequent keywords within all sessions were collected, after which some segments were generated by the AI algorithm.

We noticed that three of the key personas are reflected in the generated groups!

Sidenote: Within this case, phase three - collecting the browsing behavior of all website visitors over a predefined period of time - was not executed because it was a research project.

AI algorithm
Odisee logo

About Odisee

Odisee College proudly calls itself the co-high school of Flanders. Why that co? Because as a college they want to work together as much as possible. Co-creation. Tackling your studies together. Becoming your personal coach. Your internships are not just companies, but connections. Your campus is not just a campus, but a place where comfort, meeting, and innovation go hand in hand.

At Odisee, you can choose from 25 undergraduate programs in seven areas: Business, Digital, Education, Environment, Health, Social, and Tech. They also offer eight graduate programs, all very practical courses that bridge the gap between secondary education and a bachelor's program.

Gezinsbond - dropsolid

Gezinsbond: Drupal content hub

When complexity meets organization: 1.000 websites for Gezinsbond

Lotus - dropsolid

Lotus Bakeries: distributed CMS

Faster time-to-market in a competitive global landscape.

Soudal header with a couple doing home diy

Soudal: multi-site experience

DIY or professional? Tailored product info in just a few clicks.