The A. James Clark School of Engineering at UMD is an internationally recognized leader in engineering education and research. The Office of Advanced Engineering Education (OAEE) encompasses the school’s graduate-level programs for working engineers and technical professionals. With courses offered online, on-site, or in hybrid formats, OAEE’s innovative alumni span all parts of the globe.
"LMD has partnered with us to create a successful digital strategy. We have seen an increase in inquiries while reducing our cost per lead."
Vinette Brown-Darlington, Associate Director, Academic Outreach
OAEE wanted to raise global awareness and generate a larger, more qualified pipeline of interested leads for 10 of its highly specialized graduate engineering programs.
What We Did
LMD partnered with OAEE to inform, create, and integrate an ongoing, multi-faceted digital advertising initiative that targets and engages unique audience groups—on a global scale—at different stages of the decision process.
Activities & Deliverables
- Primary and secondary research, including student/faculty interviews, student/alumni survey, and competitive analysis
- Graphic design and sizing of digital ads across 10 programs
- Copywriting and message development for advertising and landing pages
- Design and development of responsive program landing pages
- Marketing and media strategy
- Media planning, placement, optimization, and reporting
- Automated lead notifications for recruiters
Uniting Perspectives for a More Informed Strategy
OAEE needed a marketing and creative strategy that was rooted in research. LMD led a research effort that triangulated data from three sources: students, faculty, and the market. Through surveys, interviews, and a competitive analysis, LMD gleaned key findings that yielded both confirmations and surprises. The data played an integral role in crafting a resonant, data-driven campaign.
Driving Interest in Context
OAEE’s 10 programs span unique audience segments with different backgrounds, interests, online behaviors, and decision drivers about what makes a graduate-level education appealing and valuable. LMD crafted key messages and distributed digital creative across the targeted online platforms that held the most popularity and trust among working industry professionals. Reaching them while in this career-focused mindset created stronger brand credibility for OAEE and more effectively turned visitors into prospective students.
Using Social Media to Make the World a Little Smaller
Finding and forging new relationships with those few who are both qualified and interested in advancing specialized fields of engineering can be quite the challenge. LMD used the power of social media, including Facebook and LinkedIn, to reach exactly those people by using layered targeting parameters, including education level, fields of study, years of experience, job function, and relevant interests. We then implemented ad types that worked cohesively to break through the clutter, drive click-throughs, and give current students and alumni a platform to become influential brand champions. Specific tactics include immersive Facebook Canvas ad units, as well as personalized LinkedIn InMail messages.
Making “Learn More” a Desire, Not a Request
Turning impressions into clicks is only half the battle. LMD helped OAEE win the conversion war with landing pages for each program that made it hard to not want to become a student. We set a foundation for success with a design that aligned with University of Maryland’s iconic branding elements and behaved responsively across all devices. After digesting bold and resonant messages, action-oriented student imagery allowed visitors to picture themselves making an impact in the classroom and beyond. All new leads from form completions were automatically synced with a marketing automation solution and reported to recruiters for follow-up.
new and highly qualified program leads
increase in Facebook followers
global digital impressions