"We plan to vastly expand our PPC program during the next fiscal year, and we would never have been able to do that without the performance delivered by WSI and Kenshoo."

36 %
CPL
413 %
Lead Volume Increase
200 %
Budget Increase

Background

Nicole O’Connell, Director of Enrollment Marketing at Loyola University Chicago, knew she had a fantastic product to sell, but felt the pressure of budget constrictions and increased competition. She needed a more effective way to navigate the increasingly competitive and complicated search marketing landscape to drive applications and enrollment. For help, she turned to Dave Levy and Tom Kuthy, of WSI Digital Marketing, who launched Loyola on the Kenshoo Suite on December 1, 2011.

Levy and Kuthy established a simple goal: leverage the technology to maximize new graduate student prospects at the lowest possible cost-per-lead (CPL). At Loyola, leads can arrive in the form of a completed lead form, an open-house registration, or a scheduled campus visit, and CPL goals vary from one campaign and graduate school to the next.

Challenge

O’Connell knew that Loyola’s CPL for all forms of search marketing leads was trending too high, and the university needed to aggressively work to reduce costs while maintaining a healthy ratio of leads. The challenge she posed to Levy and Kuthy was to increase efficiencies and improve ROI by reducing the cost of leads from paid search.

Solution

After a review of available digital marketing software platforms, Loyola and WSI, selected Kenshoo to manage paid search campaigns. Loyola and WSI began by collecting benchmark data to ensure changes in performance could be accurately measured. Next, the team restructured all search marketing campaigns, using Kenshoo Editor and the Kenshoo Keyword Tool to add thousands of new keywords before implementing Kenshoo’s cost-per-action (CPA) based bid policies. These bid policies are based on sophisticated models that allow the Kenshoo algorithm to determine the optimal bid for each individual keyword to meet the set goal. WSI first tested Kenshoo’s CPA-based bid policies on a high volume campaign and then expanded the policies to other campaigns based on performance.

Results

Kenshoo’s CPA-based bid policies produced immediate and significant results for WSI and Loyola:

  • Month 1
    • CPL dropped 18% vs. benchmark
    • Lead volume increased 241% vs. benchmark
  • Month 2
    • CPL dropped 36% vs. benchmark
    • Lead volume increased 413% vs. benchmark
  • Loyola increased its budget more than 200 percent to take full advantage of these gains in volume and efficiency

Having met her goals in the short term, O’Connell knew she could now worry a bit less about each campaign and focus more on long-term strategy. “With the deep PPC experience that WSI’s Dave Levy and Tom Kuthy bring to the table, combined with the scale and efficiency that Kenshoo enables, we now have the winning combination for long-term growth,” says O’Connell, adding, “We plan to vastly expand our PPC program during the next fiscal year, and we would never have been able to do that without the performance delivered by WSI and Kenshoo.”