The Open University builds a long term audience strategy with Affectv to beat targets by 160%

The Open University tasked Affectv with driving prospectus downloads targeting Postgraduate and Undergraduate audiences in an on-going campaign, in order to drive the most cost-efficient downloads. Through using their rich set of browse, search and share data, Affectv were able to prospect a lookalike audience based on The Open University's existing audience. They used the data and insights to create custom audience strategies around key behaviours and audience triggers, serving the relevant individuals with the relevant ads, at the appropriate times. Affectv beat The Open University's expectations significantly by surpassing the Undergraduate prospectus download target and driving Postgraduate prospectus downloads by 160% higher than the target set.


Summary Circle

The Challenge

Online advertising has been a boon for the education sector, with many opportunities to reach new audiences in a cost effective manner. However, motivations for higher education differ widely for prospects, so matching the right course with the right prospective student is key to successful targeting strategies, and also reduces media wastage.  The Open University tasked Affectv with driving prospectus downloads targeting Postgraduate and Undergraduate audiences in an on-going campaign, to drive the most cost-efficient downloads.


The Solution

Affectv tackled the finding of these key audiences in two ways. Firstly, using browse, search and share data, Affectv algorithmically identified audiences that looked like existing Open University students. This provided a large audience pool of consumers, automatically scored as relevant, to target with compelling creative.

And secondly using insights from the client and data gleaned from existing customers, Affectv’s trading team created custom audience strategies, around key behaviours and audience triggers. These included:

  • Undergraduate - Student financing & funding consumer interests: browsing, searching or sharing content around student loan management, services & support, browsing student & charitable grants & government benefits.
  • Undergraduate - Career advice & education comparison: searching for degree information reviews, browsing student forums, university ranking & comparison content.
  • Postgraduate - Career & education research: popular postgraduate courses, searching salary comparison sites, browsing, searching & sharing business qualifications.
  • Postgraduate - Parenting information & advice: searching and browsing parenting blogs, researching day care, nursery content & working parent sites.

These and other audience groups were made available in the Affectv ad buying platform for targeting and ongoing optimisation. Affectv’s trading team were then able to bid for these consumers in brand safe, high quality online environments.


The Result

Affectv worked closely with the client and agency to drive a successful online recruitment campaign. They exceeded the Undergraduate prospectus target, achieving 105% of downloads forecasted. And they beat the The Open University’s expectations significantly by driving Postgraduate prospectus downloads in excess of 160% of the target.


Summary Circle

“By implementing a sophisticated targeting solution to identify key audience segments and over-delivering against both PG and UG targets, Affectv have become an integral part of the University’s display strategy and look to go from strength to strength.”

Sam McDonald
Marketing Manager - Digital, The Open University