Crown College

Higher education marketing: How programmatic advertising engaged 3,200 prospective students with a strategic geofenced ad campaign.

Crown College, established in 1916 as a small Bible college in Saint Paul, Minnesota, now stands 40 minutes west of the Twin Cities. For over 100 years, Crown has prepared students to live out their faith, offering on-campus, online, and graduate programs that integrate a Biblical worldview into every class.

Objective & Goals

Our collaboration with Crown College aimed to:

Services We Offer

Challenges & Opportunity

When Crown College approached us, their primary challenge was to improve the application yield rate in a competitive educational landscape. They were searching for a partner who could create an effective ad campaign strategy to successfully market their sponsored events and retarget attendees. 

One challenge we identified was the need to market 25 one-day events, which limited our advertising channel selection. Our goal was to retarget attendees post-event to advance them through the pipeline. Based on this discovery, we developed a strategy centered on programmatic advertising.


Our team developed a comprehensive programmatic campaign strategy, focusing on targeting a specified geofence around each event. By leveraging the IP addresses of individuals who attended Crown-sponsored events, we were able to retarget these high-intent leads with tailored ads promoting degree and purpose opportunities at Crown College. 

Utilizing first-party data, such as IP addresses, is significant in programmatic advertising because it allows for highly precise targeting. First-party data provides direct insights into the behaviors and preferences of our audience, enabling us to create personalized and relevant ad experiences. 

This level of precision increases the effectiveness of our campaigns, as we can engage with individuals who have already shown interest in our offerings, leading to higher conversion rates and more efficient use of the advertising budget. For example, by understanding the specific interests and needs of our audience, we can craft messages that resonate more deeply, creating more meaningful ad campaigns. 

The deliverables encompassed content strategy, creative concepts for ad campaigns, ad copy, desired audience targeting, and KPIs for tracking campaign results. Each aspect was defined with actionable steps, enabling our team to successfully launch the campaign.


When deciding on a creative strategy for this programmatic campaign, we landed on building native and display ads for a few different reasons. Programmatic native ad creatives are “non-disruptive” to the user’s eye, making them seamlessly blend into the user’s page itself. Native ads compliment the content that a reader is already engaging with, making it more likely that the user will pay attention to them.

Native ads are commonly seen in social media feeds or on web pages. With 30+ native advertising integrations from a total of 40+ supply partners, programmatic advertising provides one of the highest levels of exposure to quality placements for organizations.

Programmatic display ads consist of static text, banner images, or interactive media elements. Display ads are used to help build awareness with your target audience while showcasing a clear call to action for the user.


Our campaign achieved impressive results, demonstrating the effectiveness of our programmatic ad strategy. We generated 3,200 conversions, with 3,184 of those conversions reflecting the users clicking the “Apply Now” button on the landing page. Additionally, we achieved 2,489 ad clicks, a CPM of $7.28, and 1,203,416 impressions, far exceeding our initial expectations.

These outcomes not only highlight the success of our targeted programmatic ad campaigns, but significantly reflect the importance of leveraging programmatic advertising within the higher education industry to help drive enrollment and execute retargeting efforts. Our client continues to see exponential success with these ad campaigns.








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