CASE STUDY:
UCSB EXTENSION

UCSB
Extension Program

Challenge

The University of California, Santa Barbara’s Extension campus focuses on satellite programs and courses for working professionals, current UCSB students, and international students. While the UCSB Extension program competes against other local colleges and universities, its flexible scheduling and established faculty allow the university to provide excellent education opportunities outside of the traditional “college campus” environment. In order to build awareness and increase enrollments, UCSB Extension’s campaign wanted to engage their target audience with different types of print and digital media.

Strategy

The media team at the VC Star built targeted display ad campaigns to run 4 times a year for 8-12 weeks at a time, structured around quarterly enrollments to create buzz and awareness for potential students. The advertiser wanted to highlight a quality University of California education in your backyard, as well as the flexible nature of classes, course materials, and programs in the ad copy itself. The VC Star media team and UCSB Extension devised a strategy to monitor click-thru rate (CTR) paired with website traffic analytics (page views, pages per session, time on site, etc.) to assess the efficacy of the campaign.

Execution:

R

Tested Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer creative sets with unique messaging to determine the client’s strongest season for potential student interaction.

R

Recommended use of “University of California Excellence in your Backyard” to emphasize the strength and credibility of the Universities’ programs.

R

Implemented creative sets with testimonials from working professionals mentioning the importance of scheduling flexibility that allowed these individuals to pursue their personal and professional educational goals.

Results

R

Switched from a previously print-heavy run to digital focused campaigns ensured UCSB Extension greater exposure and website traffic per each advertising dollar spent.

R

By pairing geographic and demographic targeting, UCSB Extension was able to reach new, untapped audiences outside of their initial scope.

R

Monthly reporting meetings guaranteed the advertiser and account executive worked collaboratively to update ad copy, geography, and run dates to create a smooth-running yet dynamic campaign.

R

The spring months of April and May saw the best click-thru rates (CTR) of 0.35% and 0.37% respectively, which corresponded with more website traffic and engagement.

Best Practice

Always run and compare creative sets with different colors, ad messages, and styles; analyze what performed well in comparison
and then implement bits of previously successful elements into new builds.