Stay agile


Delivering campaign success for Anglia Ruskin University during 2019 Clearing

He who shouts loudest, isn’t always getting through

Like many universities, Anglia Ruskin University rely on Clearing to deliver a significant proportion of their annual undergraduate intake.

As part of our strategy we agreed that creating an agile, targeted and carefully curated media plan would yield far greater results than simply attempting to deliver frequency and reach.

It was time for Anglia Ruskin to change their approach, and with our help, they changed for the better.

Engaging the right potential students

In 2019, Anglia Ruskin University needed to attract more undergraduates to the University through Clearing.

If you know where, how and what your audience wants to hear, then you can utilise this information by creating an agile and optimised plan. Our approach consisted of using impactful creative to raise awareness amongst our audience during the three months leading up to results day, delivered through a combination of the most relevant offline and online channels.

In total, we delivered content across 14 channels ranging from outdoor to online and even digital radio.

Starting in August, the primary metrics we were optimising against were response driven, we wanted to see what people were clicking and what rate of conversions there were on-site.

During this period, our optimisations increased the projected reach by over 20%, and our video views increased by 25%. We were seeing a clear improvement on the results from 2018. With the help of our work on student segmentation, we were able to see which postcode areas were more likely to attract students with a higher conversion rate and this helped us to focus budget here.

Choosing the right channels

There were three key channels in our strategy, they were paid search, out of home and social. Our approach to search was to be competitive throughout, and to build ARU’s presence ahead of results day. We made sure to stay agile throughout the process, with regular contact to confirm changing strategies, so we could stay relevant in the trends we were seeing appear.

On results day itself, we increased bids to make sure we were competitive when the greatest volume of students were looking to find their place at university.

When it came to out of home, we wanted everything to be created with purpose. Activity started during A-level results week, and the week afterwards, as we knew that an uplift in all channels would soon happen.

We used all digital OOH formats, meaning we could deliver the impressions when specific audience reach data (identified using GPS) showed that our target audience of students would be in that space. Digital outdoor meant we were able to buy a significant number of impacts quite late in the planning cycle, when many of them had already been sold.

Again thanks to our recent student segmentation research, we were able to identify the right streets, towns and cities that we needed to target in order to reach ARU’s core audience, as well as reaching new markets.

The results speak for themselves

We saw the University surpassing both application targets and its 2018 enrolment numbers after being 5% down at the 15th January (like for like).

  • 221,000 click throughs
  • 10,692 conversions of all types
  • 1,430 calls from the campaign
  • 311 completed applications (direct)
  • 3,221 of the tracked conversions related to the user providing contact details to ARU (ie enquiries, applications etc)