George Washington University’s advertising department was in need of an agency to develop media campaigns for dozens of graduate programs that encourage prospective students to fill out a request for information (RFI) form.
These campaigns need to reach niche pools of prospects for programs ranging from an MBA to a Master’s in Paralegal Studies to advanced degrees in Nursing.
Each campaign also needs to be highly targeted for each program, optimized in real-time and able to display results in an easy-to-consume and actionable format.
Since each of GW’s programs has a different audience (e.g. IT professionals vs. government employees), media planning required an understanding of the specific traits of a large number of varied behavioral groups. Using our suite of media and marketing tools, including Scarborough, ComScore, Kantar Strategy, and analytics from social networks, we researched prospects’ job titles, locations, social behaviors, interests and the organizations they follow on social media. With this research, we were able to develop a strategy and plan media buys that target and convert prospects to leads.
Our strategy was a hyper-targeted digital approach, using tactics such as paid search, paid social media, and display advertising. We chose tactics where we could leverage very specific targeting — down to job titles, company industries, and seniority level. This ensured we focused on the actual target audience per program, rather than casting a wide net, eliminating waste and gaining efficiencies.
The key performance indicators (KPIs) for these campaigns are conversion rate and cost per conversion, where a conversion equals a completed request for information form. We are able to continuously optimize toward these goals, often in real-time, and make optimizations to partners, placements and creative units mid-flight. We use a third-party ad server, Sizmek, to track the prospect, showing impressions, clicks, conversions, campaign pacing, and media spend. Third-party tracking keeps publishers accountable, offers unified reporting and ensures our team (on GW’s behalf) owns and controls the campaign data.
With so many campaigns, stakeholders and KPI’s to track, LMO developed an online dashboard using Tableau, displaying campaign data on a weekly basis, including but not limited to click-through-rate, conversion rate, cost per conversion and paid search keyword performance. The dashboard has varied access levels allowing each school and department to view their own program data independently. This reporting system allows our client full oversight and transparency related to campaign progress and results in an easy-to-access format that can be shared with their leadership.
To date, LMO has helped GW create and streamline an efficient media planning, buying and optimization strategy, resulting in the successful management of 70 media campaigns for more than 50 unique programs. Some of the key FY16 campaign highlights include:
-16 schools and other academic units
-1,347,520 clicks on advertising