University of Maryland Case Study

University of Maryland

David Bosley

Case Studies

The University of Maryland

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When Programmatic Becomes Problematic

Renowned for its business school and a leader in entrepreneurship graduate studies, the University of Maryland hired two well-known programmatic marketing agencies to promote its Master’s of Technology Entrepreneurship degree program through a programmatic advertising campaign based on target demographics. Their campaign spent $25,000 over the course of 3-months and generated 21 leads at a Cost Per Lead of $1,190. This, UMD was told, was good. UMD engaged PBJ Marketing for a second opinion.

After an extensive account audit, we were surprised by what we uncovered. Programmatic, while potentially very effective, was over-sold, mismanaged, and became problematic. The biggest culprit to blowing the client’s budget? Improper lead tracking installed and a mobile apps ad campaign resulted in a 98% bounce rate and an average session duration of 5 seconds. Shame! We reported our findings and were given 30 days to prove we could do better.

PBJ’s Strategy

Right out the gate, we paused all previous efforts and began building new campaigns from scratch. In just 15-days, our assumptions were proved correct PBJ’s digital marketing team spent just $4,999 on Facebook alone driving 91 leads at a Cost Per Lead of just $54.00.

With one impressed client and a new 12-month contract in hand, we laid out a new plan of attack. While programmatic can be cost-effective and efficient, it’s no off-the-shelf solution. Each client, first, requires a hands-on, grassroots campaign to uncover the ideal target audience and proper marketing channels.

Our custom strategy, supported by proper research and analytics, focused on running Web Conversion and Lead Generations Campaigns. We isolated each by various, well-thought-out targeting methods. In addition, we optimized post conversions by syncing all Facebook leads and website conversions into Active Campaign, a newly implemented email automation and CRM platform much more powerful than what the client was previously using. This allowed us to back into true ROI metrics and focus on the best Facebook targeting methods and creativity that drive the most enrolled, paying students at a more efficient CPA.

The Results…

1 Month



91 Leads








Within Just 15 Days…

$1 to $5 CPL

Targeting Non-US potential U.S. students

$10 to $50 CPL

Targeting potential U.S. students depending on the type of target and value of leads


Of all enrolled students are now acquired by our paid media efforts, a number that continues to increase with each semester.