Interactive Marketing Campaign Case Study June, 2007
K12 Marketing Challenge K12, a leading provider of home school curricula and online academies, asked Tangible Impact to launch their first-ever interactive marketing campaign. The “e-school” product is complex. Home and e- schooling are defined by state-specific regulations. And all marketing & execution is state-specific. The commitment is highly considered. A decision to home school or e-school is a life-changing commitment of time, energy and money. The K12 metrics are well-quantified: Cost Per Lead and state-by-state total number of leads. Results from this pioneering program to be compared to the strong performance of the established marketing channels of direct mail, print and SEM. http://www.k12.com
Project Parameters Tangible Impact determined the K12 marketing challenge to require: Campaign Strategy Target Audience Profiling Media Planning and Buying Creative Design and Development Media and Creative Testing Analysis and Optimization Change Management Measurable and Meaningful Success
Target Audience Profiling K12 offered a broad definition of the target audience: Parents with kids. Key characteristics of the target audience were unknown. Gender? Age? Income? Interests? Activities? Influences? Attitudes? Affinities? Tangible Impact discussed, considered researched and documented a target audience strategy. We developed a target audience profile and identified when, where and how these individuals might be engaged - and receptive to communications - online. We applied this target audience profile as a guiding principle in our media and message strategy development.
Media Planning & Buying Tangible Impact structured an initial media plan, spanning a spectrum of publishers, placements and targeting techniques, at statistically significant levels of budget and impressions, and including: Publishers: Broad Reach Portals and Ad Networks Related Interest Sites (Parenting, News, Casual Games) Relevant Content Sites (Home Schooling, Homework) Placements: IAB Standard Ad Units Text Links & Logo Buttons Newsletter Sponsorships Targeting Techniques: Geographic Demographic Psychographic Behavioral Standard Ad Units
Media Planning & Buying We leveraged multiple forms of targeting across a spectrum of sites.
Creative Design & Development We conceived of the initial messaging strategy, and designed banners to effectively initiate the conversation with the target audience. All banners were infused with our proven creative and copy best practices. All banners faithfully foreshadowed the K12 landing page look, feel and content. All banners were efficiently developed according to publisher specs, for streamlined, trouble-free operations.
Creative Design & Development We designed interactive campaign landing pages to both convey critical information and capture qualified leads. Landing pages incorporated proven composition, creative and copy best practices. Landing pages were synergistic with the campaign banners and consistent with the overall K12 website. The information/education role of the landing pages was important to maintaining cost efficiencies for K12’s outbound call center team.
Media Testing K12 media testing has produced key learnings and supported impactful optimization decisions throughout the first year: Broadreach inventory - coupled with behavioral and demo targeting – has proven to be far more effective than content-specific inventory. Based on this learning, we’ve aggressively optimized K12’s media allocations to leverage these focused, friendly and highly frequented placements. Demographic differences - Further media testing demonstrated dramatic performance differences across demo target age ranges. Based on this subsequent learning, we refined our targeting selections, and further boosted results and reduced CPLs. We continue to test new publishers, placements and targeting techniques, to both refresh and expand the K12 campaign.
Dramatic Demographic Differences Across MSN and Yahoo we targeted 2 female demographics, and tested them head- to-head: age ranges 25-34 vs. 35-49. In every media placement and across all 5 states, the 35-49 age range was far more efficient in cost per lead, by as much as a actor of 4 ($112 CPL vs. $26 CPL). Media Testing – Demographic Targeting
Creative Testing - Banners This seemingly simple banner creative test drove down CPL by 223%. Banner creative testing has addressed core messaging, calls-to-action, branding, use of animation and now, incorporation of testimonial video. We’ve established a control banner for each state school as well as for K12’s national positioning.
CPL was 26% lower for this landing page Landing Page 2 Landing Page 1 Banner 1 Test 1 Test 2 Creative Testing – Landing Pages
Landing Page creative testing has addressed key factors such as: page layout, page content and single vs. multi-page construction. Testing has spanned both display and search results landing pages for incremental gains in performance. Next landing page test will focus on the impact of video testimonials.
Insightful Analysis & Continual Optimization We monitored data on a daily basis immediately after campaign launch and continued with weekly monitoring throughout the campaign. Optimization milestones were identified at launch, and optimization recommendations made – and acted upon - on an ongoing basis, as media and creative results became statistically significant. Continual, well-informed optimization is a proven means to drive down cost per lead and build net responses over the life of a campaign.
Change Management K12 debuted an all-new brand midway through the first year of the campaign. As a result of deliberate testing and documented learnings, we knew how to effectively and efficiently introduce the new brand, while maintaining campaign response. Our online execution and results provided direction for other K12 marketing channels.
Campaign Results – Year 1 Success Over the first 12 months of K12’s interactive marketing campaign, cost per lead has decreased by 163% And the rate of form-to-lead conversion has increased by 165% We’ve established state-specific cost per lead benchmarks, as well as control banner and landing page positions for future campaigns. Successful interactive creative test results have been applied across multiple K12 marketing channels.
Year 2 - A New Challenge Based on the success of year 1, Tangible Impact was awarded management of K12’s consumer interactive marketing program for year 2. Tangible Impact also won the assignment to launch K12’s first ever professional interactive marketing program. To date, this new K12 marketing program has surpassed all expectations.
Tangible Impact Services Interactive marketing campaign management Campaign Strategy Target Audience Profiling Media Planning and Buying Creative Design and Development Media and Creative Testing Continual Analysis and Optimization Change Management Measurable and Meaningful Success
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