University of Maryland, Master’s of Technology Entrepreneurship

Master's of Technology Entrepreneurship

When Programmatic

Suddenly Becomes Problematic


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

UMD engaged PBJ Marketing for a second opinion. Upon completion of an extensive audit of existing campaigns, we were surprised by what was uncovered. Programmatic, while potentially very effective, was over-sold, mismanaged and became problematic. The biggest culprit to blowing the client’s budget? In proper lead tracking installed and a mobile apps ad campaign which resulted in a 98% bounce rate and an average session duration of 5 seconds. Shame!

PBJ reported its findings and was granted a 30-day test trial. We started from scratch, pausing all previous efforts. Within 15 days, PBJ spent $4,999 on Facebook driving 91 leads at a Cost Per Lead of just $54.00.


PBJ’s Strategy

With a new, 12-month marketing contract with UMD, PBJ laid out its 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 Gen Campaigns, isolating each by various, well thought-out Targeting Methods. In addition, we optimized post conversions by syncing all Facebook leads and website conversions into a newly implemented email automation and CRM platform, ActiveCampaign. This allowed us to back into true ROI metrics and focus on the best Facebook targeting methods and creative that drive the most enrolled, paying students at a more efficient CPA.


The Results, thus far and counting:

  • $1 to $5 Cost Per Lead targeting Non-US.. potential students
  • $10 to $50 Cost Per Lead targeting potential U.S. students, depending on the type of target and the value of the leads
  • 50% of all Enrolled Students in the UMD MTech’s Master’s of Technology Entrepreneurship program now are acquired from our paid media campaigns, increasing each semester