Coursera Prepares for the Future of Education by Implementing Marketing Cloud

In late 2020, Coursera found itself facing a new and welcome problem. Amid an e-learning boom, a rising tide of students threatened to overflow the company’s existing CRM framework. Between March and September, the remote learning giant accumulated no less than 21 million learners and reported a 444% increase in course enrollments(1).

Coursera needed to boost its growth capacity and attain a 360° view of its customers. The means to do so seemed obvious: the company would implement Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud to better meet its burgeoning outreach needs. The e-learning platform was motivated to do so, as it had recently transitioned over to Sales Cloud and seen the benefits Salesforce products could provide firsthand. 

However, implementation is no small feat — which is why Coursera brought on Gerent as its Salesforce implementation partner. 

Salesforce solutions tailored to your needs

Gerent collaborated with Coursera to develop and deploy a program management structure that would ensure the efficient delivery of work streams across all internal and external business stakeholders and teams. The Gerent team also designed optimal enrollment journeys to bolster the company’s student acquisition efforts. 

During implementation, Gerent’s solution architects established core Marketing Cloud solutions such as Email Studio, Web Studio, Automation Studio, Journey Builder, and Marketing Cloud Connect. Once implemented, they further connected Coursera’s Marketing Cloud with its sales cloud, external data warehouse, and learning platform. 

Coursera’s implementation process occurred in phases. First, Gerent’s solution architects created static emails so the e-learning platform could transition from its former marketing software and begin learning how to operate the Marketing Cloud system. Then, once Coursera’s team felt comfortable with the framework, the solution architects enabled Marketing Cloud’s full dynamic capabilities — a switch that enabled Coursera to take their scalability to the next level. Since achieving these action items, Gerent has continued to provide support for Coursera’s digital growth initiatives. 

The results speak for themselves: by using Marketing Cloud’s tools to facilitate full dynamic emails and automate marketing processes, Coursera was able to reduce the number of campaigns it needed to create and drastically improve employee bandwidth. 

Implementation guided by decades of industry experience

Coursera specifically chose Gerent as its implementation partner because of our team’s experience in the education sector. April Bollwage and Will Shu, who lead Gerent’s Education and Technology practices, have well over three decades of collective experience working in the education and training industry. Bollwage and Shu’s ability to weave their boots-on-the-ground industry experience into a high-level Salesforce implementation strategy was a selling point for Coursera. 

Under their guidance and direction, Gerent’s team gave Coursera the framework it needed to accommodate post-pandemic growth and meet a new era of online learning head-on.  

(1) Coursera 2020 Impact Report. (2020, September 23). Retrieved from

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