Marketing Case Study – Brown University


In the summer of 2012, Brown University began marketing for a new degree program with the first cohort scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013. To raise awareness and generate interest, Brown developed a robust marketing strategy, including radio, trade publications and digital advertising. Because this program was new and relatively unknown to the target audience, a key part of this strategy was to ensure ads appeared for any individuals using major search engines to search for graduate degrees for executives in healthcare or related fields.


Brown built the original Google Adwords campaign in June of 2012. During the first 8 months, this campaign yielded a cost-per-inquiry, which Brown recognized as unsustainable. Brown then reached out to another vendor to try and improve the cost and performance. Unfortunately, the results were worse. Realizing a different tactic was needed, Brown decided to re-engineer the campaigns and engaged JMH Consulting.


JMH used a variety of strategies to improve the campaigns effectiveness, including, but not limited to:

  • Expanding and improving the targeting for Google AdWords
  • Expanding marketing to include Bing Ads
  • Adjusting bid amounts for each ad group (and some keywords) based performance
  • Launching custom landing pages


The overall impact of the re-engineered Google Adwords campaign was astounding. In the three months after the new campaigns launched, inquiries increased by 200%, while the cost-per-inquiry dropped by 66%! In addition:

  • Clicks (visits to the website) increased by 114%
  • Click-through-rates for paid search increased by 722%
  • Click-through-rates for display ads doubled, from 0.07% to 0.14%

“JMH did an excellent job of quickly understanding our audience, interpreting our targeting needs, and designing an effective Adwords strategy for us.” – Geoffrey Chisholm, Director of Marketing, Brown University