Campaign Building Steps
Digital marketing practices allow associations to target potential members at conferences and symposia where attendees closely match their ideal member prospects. CASE came to SAI Digital to develop two geofencing campaigns in February and March 2020 aimed at getting their membership message in front of international education professionals – attendees at the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AASIE) and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) conferences. Both events traditionally attract potential CASE members, but the cost of exhibiting and physically attending these conferences were somewhat prohibitive. However, geofencing the conferences and retargeting geo-captures in a mobile-first digital campaign satisfied both budgetary and outreach requirements.
Geofencing in a Nutshell
Geofencing puts a virtual boundary on areas identified by the GPS/location technology present in smartphones and other digital devices. When a prospect enters the boundary created, your ad is triggered. You don’t need to have a physical presence at a location or event—in this case, a conference—to reach people there. Since most people have their device set to “location enabled,” Geofencing lets you serve up digital display ads or videos as people browse online in the defined area. And best of all, the ability to stay top-of-mind with those you have “captured” is enhanced through serving retargeting ads after they leave your Geofence zone.
A Successful Campaign Rooted in Research
Before a single ad was developed or pushed out, we researched the conferences, profiles of likely attendees, and the cities where they were being held – including identifying the conference hotel and other nearby lodging. For instance, the AAIE conference took place at a New York City hotel, while the NAIS conference was hosted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Each conference presented different geofencing parameters. While it was likely the New York conference hotel would serve as primary attendee lodging, the Convention Center in Philadelphia would not. In addition to the conference’s named hotel, several others within a reasonable walking distance to the conference were also targeted. Other campaign research included identifying professional and lifestyle interest behavioral layers, paired with keywords and likely online properties typically part of the audience’s online journeys. Combined, this data provided optimal ad placement properties within the digital ad network. We guided the messaging and the retargeting process. We analyzed daily data to inform campaign progress. The result? Targeted impressions and a bump in traffic to CASE’s campaign webpages.
Matching Message with Target Audience with added Frequency
One strategic advantage geofencing presents is presenting ads and/or videos that deliver audience-specific messages at a time and place where they are most likely to be more receptive. Therefore, the ad is less likely to be perceived as an intrusion. We developed the CASE campaigns to launch “first-touch” ads as well as post-conference and retargeting ads. Over the course of each campaign CASE’s message became more familiar with targeted audience members than it could have become from exhibiting at each conference alone. Several digital ads were developed for each specific conference audience for both first-touch impressions and retarget marketing.
The CASE AIEE and NAIS campaigns drove 254 site conversions. Of these conversions, 179 of them (71%) were from the Conferences & Training page. This demonstrates a deep level of interest from the population targeting. Upcoming conferences and available training appear to be a valuable resource to the visitors driven to the CASE website. This is the type of value that can convert visitors into members through a strong CRM funnel workflow. Retargeting drove in almost every one of the total site conversions, which makes sense since these users were previously introduced to CASE through first-touch ads and were familiar with the CASE brand message.
- 567 Targeted Clicks
- 254 Site Conversions
- 71% From Same Page
While clicks are fundamentally important to any campaign, engagement is a much more telling statistic. Combined, the campaigns generated 567 targeted clicks, of which, nearly 45% of these clicks (254) engaged through webpage conversions. Engagement like this, along with other data points such as page session duration, paints a more detailed picture of how prospects are interacting with key webpages and content. CASE presented SAI Digital with a unique opportunity – the ability to provide marketing solutions for a global association that was also rooted in supporting education, two industries where we have a good deal of experience. At its core, the ability to attract potential members at an ideal time and environment saved CASE conference travel and exhibit expenses without sacrificing the opportunity to put their brand and message in front of a highly desirable target population.