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University of New Hampshire

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Through a two-part media campaign strategy, Media Works gave UNH a high-impact boost to its higher education applications and enrollments.

About University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) ranks among the top-tier research institutions nationally, and serves more than 12,500 undergraduate students and 2,200 graduate students across three campuses.

The Marketing Objective

Prior to the 2013–2014 school year, UNH successfully recruited students from the Northeast, with a high concentration from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. However, UNH recognized a growing need to offset several years of state funding cuts by pulling in a higher percentage of out-of-state enrollments. UNH turned to Media Works to expand its target market across a broader geographic footprint and generate an increase in total overall applicants.

Media Works’ Approach

Leveraging our experience in higher education, Media Works developed a multi-phased approach using digital and social media to reach potential students — and their parents — throughout New England (MA, CT, ME, RI, VT) and in key mid-Atlantic states (NY, NJ, PA, MD). To maximize cost efficiencies, we created a media strategy with demographic- and interest-targeting tactics that worked to influence both target audiences in each geographic area.

The first phase was timed to raise awareness during the application stage of the admissions process, and included a combination of transit, outdoor, music and video streaming, online display, Google search and social media. Phase two, implemented during the enrollment stage of the admissions process, added yet another layer of digital and social media coverage to the phase-one media mix. This second wave worked to both reinforce the UNH brand message for those who already applied, and increase awareness among high school juniors just starting the college research process. We also negotiated added value through bonus units and digital impressions to increase UNH’s media presence and stretch their advertising budget even further.

Outcome

The strategy’s success is showcased by across-the-board increases in UNH’s in-state and out-of-state applications and enrollments for the 2013–2014 academic year. Total applications went up 2.7% and total enrollment saw a 13.6% lift. Most notably, out-of-state enrollment shot up by 17.3%, showing tremendous growth in the sought-after New England and mid-Atlantic states.

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