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Stevenson University

Driving increased targeted web traffic to the top of Stevenson’s recruitment funnel with geofencing and other strategic digital marketing tactics.

Getting Granular with Stevenson University’s Outreach

Carefully researched and selected target audiences and geofencing locations. Behavioral layering and niche demographic focus. Pinpoint execution of location-based marketing and deploying supporting efforts through Spotify and Pandora. These are just a few of the key digital marketing enhancements SAI Digital brought to Stevenson University.


Campaign building steps

Following a successful website redesign and development, Stevenson tasked SAI Digital with the research and analysis, marketing strategy, media planning, and creative asset partnership to elevate their existing marketing efforts for Stevenson University Online (SUO) programs as well as undergraduate recruitment. The digital partnership with Stevenson has grown over several years and so have the outcomes. The marketing strategies planned and executed for Stevenson were part of a total digital solutions approach, where we not only build a client’s website but also devise the marketing strategies that drive targeted traffic to it.

SAI definition of geofencing

"We now target undergraduate and graduate audiences in innovative new ways through location and behavioral approaches that impact our overall strategy," said John Buettner, VP of Marketing and Digital Communications. “SAI Digital enhanced our recruitment and brand awareness efforts by bringing geofencing to Stevenson’s digital marketing toolkit. Geofencing has definitely changed the way we target market.”

  • A graphic with two cell phones showing screens where Stevenson ads appeared

Research is the Foundation of a Successful Campaign

More than just pushing messages out through a media channel, we tapped into the brand and messaging research developed for Stevenson’s website and bolstered it with additional marketing research to arrive at a solid digital strategy. From personas and student outcomes, to industry and career trends, to lifestyle and cultural behavioral layers, we paired critical information with best practices (and some outside-the-box thinking) to cut through and reach prospects. We aligned target audiences with geographic locations for pinpoint geofencing efforts. We guided the messaging and the retargeting process. We analyzed daily data to inform campaign progress. The result? Several maximized advertising efforts that not only delivered targeted impressions, but higher-than-average clicks-throughs, digital inquiries, geo-conversions (visits to campus), and a significant bump in traffic to key website pages.

College recruitment funnel
Illustration of people congregating into a targeted field

Matching Message with Target Audience

In the case of geofencing, delivering ads and/or videos that communicate specific messages to niche audiences is a key part of what makes them work. One geofence ad campaign for Stevenson’s online nursing and healthcare management programs focused on healthcare employees at specific hospitals where the school’s representative was visiting. We mapped out the effort to include pre-visit ads as well as post-visit and retargeting ads. This way, even if a prospect missed the on-site visit they could still follow through and request information, talk with a representative, and even apply – all through the campaign’s landing page. The digital campaign generated significantly more inquiries than the in-person visit would have alone.

Tracking Initial Engagement into the Funnel

Our partnership with Stevenson links their web and analytics team members with our digital strategists. Together we shared real-time data from Google Data Studio and Google Analytics to evaluate performance. We were able to identify ads within campaign sets that were outperforming others and determine why. We ensured that “next action” web pages beyond the landing page (i.e. Financial Aid, Apply, etc.) received campaign-generated traffic as anticipated. We even accounted for stealth activity, when geofenced prospects who took no digital action at all came to campus, because we geofenced the Stevenson campus and traced people back to their original geofenced location to underscore campaign efficacy.

Example data from Stevenson's geofencing efforts

The Results

A look at Stevenson's undergraduate geofencing recruitment campaign reveals top-of-the-funnel success.

  • Mouse cursor arrow icon 4,000+ Verified Targeted Click-throughs
  • Tablet and cell phone icon 143 Website Conversions
  • Map point with a check mark icon 141 Geo-conversions (Came to Campus)
“SAI Digital enhanced our recruitment and brand awareness efforts… We now target undergraduate and graduate audiences in innovative new ways… Geofencing has definitely changed the way we target market.”
Stevenson University logo
John Buettner, VP of Marketing and Digital Communications Stevenson University