Andrew Perry

University College at Washington University--now known as the School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS)--has been providing continuing education and programs since it’s founding in 1931, however, by 2016 there they have seen a 5% decline in enrollments year over year for several years.  Frustrated with diminishing returns from traditional open-house and remarketing methods, Jon Hinderliter—Director of Marketing & Communications, needed to make a change in the way he was marketing to their prospective students. “We needed to turn the corner on our digital marketing efforts to become more data-driven while increasing both inquiries with lead generation and raising brand awareness ,” says Hinderliter.   University College sought the expertise of  An independent trading desk and lead generation media company, differentiates itself through its high-touch engagement and integration with client teams.   Without an infinite source of funding, reaching a new prospect with a lack of brand awareness was a challenge; and finding a different approach from previous years’ efforts was also tactical challenging.

“…they shared the burden of inquiry and enrollment outcomes with us.”

Jon Hinderliter, Director of Marketing & Communications and University College worked quickly to identify a series of four personas representing its adult learner population: Degree Completer, Advance Career, Brand Builder & Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical—the latter representing a niche group of folks looking for a degree of the same name. “These personas not only helped in our media efforts but made their way to WashU’s leadership showcasing valuable audience intelligence insights to pinpoint targetable groups more efficiently and budget effectively. It proved to us that wasn’t just another media company waiting to ‘run ads’; they shared the burden of inquiry and enrollment outcomes with us.” The persona development project unearthed the channels and tactics these different groups of potential students are more likely to consume.   With a combination of progressive and tried-and-true digital only tactics, deployed University College’s creatives across thousands of online publishers, Connected TV’s and OTT devices, Hulu, and Spotify. Through constant optimizations, team members we able to be nimble and manipulate budges and tactics on the fly. For example, towards the end of the campaign, Connected TV ads were used as retargeting assets instead of only being used as awareness. This way, any website visitor that did not convert to a lead was deliberately served TV ads through streaming devices and Hulu inventory.


About University College at Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University has offered outstanding continuing education and professional programs since 1908. As the needs of their students increased, University College, the professional and continuing education division, was founded officially in 1931 and has been serving the St. Louis region ever since. With more than 40 programs of study, adult students can find degrees and certificates that will help them advance their career, explore new fields, and grow personally and professionally. Even those who aren't seeking a degree will find their place—our open enrollment policy allows students to take evening undergraduate courses on a non-degree basis while exploring their interests.  


About is driven every day to deliver a better quality of life – for clients, for consumers, and for one another.  Through omnichannel programmatic advertising, powered by AI and smart marketers, delivers and optimizes media based on how consumers consume it.  Its people are curious marketers, passionate learners and humble in their approach. Smoke and mirrors don’t exist. This is marketing, reimagined.    

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