Faaez Samadi
Dec 15, 2016

How INSEAD overhauled its digital strategy to personalise its global education network

CASE STUDY: INSEAD turned to VML Singapore to completely revamp its website and digital offering to provide a personalised, connected experience to stakeholders.


Graduate business school INSEAD offers a global educational experience, with campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, and alliances with other institutions.

In January 2014, VML was appointed as the digital agency, tasked with restructuring the INSEAD website to enhance the user experience; execute creative concepts and design; and develop and integrate technology and SEO to help reflect INSEAD’s proposition of “The Business School for the World”. 

It was imperative that the digital experience not only connected users, but also enabled customisation according to individual needs. This led INSEAD to rethink its entire digital engagement strategy, starting with the website.


VML Singapore worked closely with various internal stakeholders across departments, to collaboratively define the digital vision for INSEAD. The process included digital transformation workshops, user-centric design studies, stakeholder interviews and consumer research, and following through to the user experience design and platform development.

Launched in April, the site showcases aspects of the INSEAD experience to a diverse audience including prospective students, corporations who hire from campuses, potential donors and partners. The website provides visitors with an interactive, responsive and personalised experience.

Apart from programme recommendations, the platform allows logged-in users to track previous actions, such as application status and bookmarked content. This ensures user continuity, allowing INSEAD to drive existing users further down the conversion funnel. Through a four-level content hierarchy, the revamped site ensures that users are able to discover relevant content in six clicks or less, no matter which audience segment they fall under.

On the back end, utilising Drupal’s CMS, VML Singapore created a cutting-edge platform experience around the core pillars of personalisation, segmentation, and a modular approach to content and functionalities.


Post launch, the INSEAD website saw a:

  • 35 percent increase in conversion rates for the Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) programme 
  • 58 percent increase for the MBA programme
  • 182 percent increase for the Tsinghua-INSEAD Dual Degree Executive MBA (TIEMBA) programme.

Conversion rates showed a huge increase of more than 50 percent the first month after the relaunch. A study across the next six months also found that visits grew by 140 percent and the bounce rate went down by more than 10 percent.

By integrating the platform with social networks, the platform also enabled users and internal stakeholders to experience more than one touch point, as well as shortcuts to connect with other INSEAD members/students via LinkedIn.

In October, INSEAD was recognised as one of the finalists in the Higher Education category at the Acquia Engage Awards 2016. In November 2016, INSEAD was also awarded two silvers at the W3 awards in the Websites-School/University, and Website Features Structure & Navigation categories.

Axel Tagliavini, Director of Digital Communications, INSEAD:

It is extremely exciting to see the vision of the school come to life in the digital experience we now provide to our stakeholders and audiences. It’s a fitting showcase of being 'The Business School for the World'. And, VML has been a true partner in making this happen alongside us.

Tripti Lochan, CEO of VML, SEA and India:

It has been an absolute honour to be appointed as INSEAD’s digital partner, and to work together on realising the vision that we both strongly believed in. To see that vision brought to life has been gratifying, and its work like this that makes us believe what we do is making a difference in peoples’ lives.


Gary Teo, Regional Technology & Projects Director, VML SEA & India
Nick Pan, Regional Head of Strategy & Planning, VML SEA & India
Ishan Chatterjee, Client Solutions Director, VML SEA & India
Will Lee, Head of User Experience, VML SEA & India
Fala Sharil, Consultant User Experience, VML SEA & India
Allan Edmond, Technology Team Lead, VML SEA & India
Jon De Santos, Senior Front-end Developer, VML SEA & India
Sherwin Anos, Front-end Developer, VML SEA & India
Kez Lee, Front-end Developer, VML SEA & India
Sachita Sharma, Front-end Developer, VML SEA & India
Dhayasindhu Devendhiran, Senior Back-end Developer, VML SEA & India
Shawn Choy, Interactive Designer, VML SEA & India
Ron Lin, Senior Designer, VML SEA & India
Axel Tagliavini, Director of Digital Communications, INSEAD
Frederic Leclere, Head of Project management, INSEAD

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