Create and Capture Brand Awareness with a Full-Funnel Approach

The Story

The institution set aggressive growth goals for 2015, requiring a full-funnel approach that created as much demand as it captured. Specifically, this would involve an increase in TV presence, which the university had not consistently emphasized.

About the Partner

A Keypath Education full-service partner, this institution is a nonprofit, faith-based university with more than 6,000 students and growing online programs. The university offers strong academic programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels with highly regarded MBA and law programs in particular. 

The Strategy and Execution

We not only maximized brand awareness in the university’s home market, but we also allocated budget to extend this awareness to new markets to achieve the school’s growth goals. We chose markets very carefully, applying research to segment and target the prospective online students.

We knew it would be difficult to assign directly attributable inquiries to branded TV spots. As a matter of best practice, we used an attribution model that incorporated quarter-over-quarter digital performance data from Q4 2014 to inform and optimize our TV flight buy for Q1 2015.

The Results

We measured the impact of traditional media on digital performance by isolating branded traffic in the pay-per-click (PPC) channel and directing traffic to the university’s main website via a tracking URL used in the TV spot.

Branded traffic saw impressive results:

  • 20 percent increase in PPC brand impressions
  • 53 percent increase in PPC brand clicks and traffic to the site
  • 64 percent increase in PPC brand inquiries

For the university’s .edu site, we also saw positive results:

  • 25 percent increase in direct traffic
  • 37 percent increase in search traffic
  • 18 percent increase in inquiries

The Takeaways

  • Expand awareness efforts to new markets to achieve growth goals
  • In determining lift in an awareness-driven, cost-per-point (CPP) buy, review results based on a blended attribution that incorporates digital performance rather than emphasizing performance based on directly attributable inquiries 
  • Include top-of-funnel brand awareness in your KPIs
  • Augment TV buy with digital awareness executions (online video, display ads, etc.)

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