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Digital Marketing Case Study:

Survey Data For Digital Strategy


In a recent study, the University of British Columbia (UBC) has identified a correlation between familiarity with the campus and an increase in donations. The level of familiarity is measured through online surveys, specifically gauging respondents' knowledge of recent studies and research conducted by the university.

However, the current media campaigns face challenges in targeting a broad audience, resulting in media wastage. Moreover, our restricted access to UBC's government data limits our ability to identify an accurate target audience. 

We need to find an innovative way to build our own data set that could be re-purposed for future campaigns.


The primary objective of the campaign was to optimize media targeting to reach influential individuals who are more likely to donate to UBC. By leveraging survey data and refining audience modeling techniques, the aim was to reduce media wastage and increase the campaign's overall effectiveness. Furthermore, we sought to measure the campaign performance using real-time brand lift studies to fine-tune targeting strategies but also expose the creative which resonates the most within our target audience.


The strategy involved harnessing the use of survey data to identify philantropists and alumnis with a minimum level of familiarity with the research from UBC campus.

We investigated on a wide range of survey providers with strict requirements including a minimum of 1000 respondants, within the demographic, located in British Columbia and having a direct integration with media platforms such as Linkedin, Meta and Google.

We've also identified media partners such as LoopMe or Lucid but also additional platform features such as targeted polls to measure the audience sentiments in real-time. In parallel, we would did request a monthly donation report to measure corellation


In close collaboration with Dynata, a division of ResearchNow, we worked together to develop and distribute surveys to our targeted participants. Building the comprehensive data set required approximately 3 months to meet the minimum threshold. Once the data was collected, we utilized advanced modeling techniques to create highly targeted segments for media activation, focusing on 2 primary objectives: (1) increasing interaction and identifying engaging content for low-interest audiences and (2) driving donations from high-interest audiences. Additionally, we implemented a series of story-telling videos in both short and long formats to assess the effectiveness of different types of assets. The campaigns were then activated across platforms on Linkedin, Meta, and Youtube, delivering tailored messages to the specific segments we had identified. The messaging emphasized UBC's recent accomplishments and encouraged donations.


Through the utilization of survey data to develop modeled audiences, we successfully mitigated media wastage, particularly on YouTube where excessive layering of audience segments can be onerous. It's important to note that brand perception is a long-term process, and we observed significant results only after 45 days of campaign activity. Google Analytic audiences played a crucial role in expanding our donation group by 23%. Although we were unable to directly tag the donation page of the site due to data privacy concerns, we managed to create additional segments based on metrics such as dwell time and bounce rate. In combination with the client's internal studies, real-time brand studies provided valuable insights for measuring the campaign's long-term performance.


The quarterly brand study displayed consistent improvement in familiarity and ad recall among the targeted group. As of 2023, UBC has established itself as the 2nd most renowned university in Canada for its research and development, ranking above McGill University in Montreal but trailing behind the University of Toronto. Interestingly, Meta polls yielded mixed results compared to LinkedIn and YouTube, despite a higher response rate. Consequently, we will reallocate our budget towards other media platforms, with a focus on business news and podcasts. While significant efforts were made to collect participant data, changes in data privacy regulations resulted in modifications to the lifespan of identifiers provided by our data collection partner. Therefore, regular updates are essential to maintain the accuracy of our modeled audience. Furthermore, when comparing media platform audience segments with our own data set, we discovered an 80% overlap, further validating the efficiency of building custom audience segments.


The partnership with the University of British Columbia proved to be a successful endeavor as we leveraged survey data to effectively enhance donation numbers. Through our approach, we successfully identified influential individuals who exhibited a higher likelihood of contributing. Despite the evolving data privacy landscape, our strategy demonstrated superior cost efficiency when compared to standard media platform audiences. By reducing media wastage and implementing personalized messaging, we accomplished our initial objectives of increasing donation numbers and engaging key business influencers.

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