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Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?


The Role of Programmatic in the
Educational Marketing Cycle

Programmatic campaigns are good for certain types of educational marketing tasks and are of more limited use for others. Here are some educational marketing considerations of the power and the limitations of this channel.

On targeted smaller outreaches (< than 20,000 individuals) the ability to saturate and sustain aggressive banner ad traffic to your audience is significant.  If your targeted educator audience was 20,000 educators, you could target 10 ads a week to each educator for 4 weeks a month for a maximum potential cost of around $5,000 to $8,000 a month.  The reality is that not every individual on that targeted list will get served an ad (those that are not ever online, for example), so your cost would likely be closer to maybe $4,000 to $6,000.  A sustained campaign like this for say 4 months could create significantly improved brand recognition of your company.  In a 4-month campaign such as this, some individuals on the list might see up to 160 ads served and all for an investment of $20,000 to $24,000.  This is around the cost of a single tradeshow booth staffed for a 4-day conference and that would typically only reach a few hundred of these same targeted individuals at best.

Fast hit announcements for an event can also see big benefits with aggressive use of this advertising channel.   Let say you want to let all school-based Technology Directors know that next month your company will be offering a free technology certification class on a new Federal security requirement.  A quick and aggressive digital campaign can be built that drives technology directors to your site for registration.  The targeted list can easily be served 20 or 30 ads each, at an affordable price, and stopped once you reach your desired registration number.

This channel works best with larger numbers of targeted individuals sustained over extended periods of time.  One impression will do little to move the needle.  Humans need to see patterns and awareness before they move to an engagement action (like clicking on an advertisement).  Direct sales of educational products is a bit more difficult with this channel as the banner ad format limits what a targeted recipient will see.  Concise targeted messaging and free offers work best to drive potential click throughs.  On average a .2% click through rate is common on longer sustained programs.  But ranges between >05% to 1% are also common depending on the call to action.  Marketers can count on 30% of the click through to be accidental leaving 70% to respond to a call to action.

Smart educational marketers fine tune their audience to the best / most likely to need. Hitting a best-case audience hard over extended time will likely lead to better results than targeting a much broader outreach but with a more limited scale or repetition. Programmatic requires repetition and sustained pushes to be most successful.  Educational marketers should count on sustaining a campaign over many months to help generate action.  Bid prices can usually be lower in these campaigns to help stretch them out over a longer period.  The number of targeted ad impressions need to be enough that they start to register with any engaged audience.

Programmatic is not a replacement for other marketing channels but a new channel that will help all the other channels perform better if done properly.  Creating more brand awareness takes time, but it has long term benefits once a brand is established and recognized.  Marketers should keep doing email and direct mail and test whether they see a lift in these campaigns when a sustained programmatic campaign is layered on top.

This technology is proven and used by thousands of companies in the consumer marketing world.  But this is still new in the B2B world and getting in on the ground floor could have great advantages.  With the high match rate and less competition on pricing, early adopters that perfect their positioning and use of this channel will reap the early adopted rewards.  Branding is not typically an activity that educational marketers drive as hard as lead gen and other areas.  But Programmatic Advertising at these costs makes this a real option and the companies that invest early and stick with it will benefit from the brand recognition this potentially creates over time and the leads it generates.


Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?

Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?

Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?

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