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Bluffton University

Digital advertising enables Bluffton University to improve admissions goals.


After hiring a new president and completing a strategic plan, Bluffton University was in need of a marketing partner to assist with a marketing framework built on the University’s existing brand. Specifically, the university wanted to increase brand awareness, brand positioning, and conversions.


TMC conducted research, reviewed the existing brand, and developed a verbal plan platform document that the in-house marketing department can use as a launching point for clear, consistent messaging and design.


TMC then used this foundation to design and implement a customized digital marketing campaign to engage with and inspire users to learn more, request a tour/site visit, and ultimately apply to attend Bluffton. 


The highly targeted digital campaign generated more than 24 million impressions and more than 162,000 clicks in 2021. After optimizing the campaign, we achieved a 305% increase in impressions and a 289% increase in clicks from the 2020 campaign. In addition, as we worked to further narrow Bluffton’s target audience, we divided the campaign into four market segments, broken out into focused geographic target areas.


These defined market segments allow for greater customization, budget allocation, and increased reach to those outside of Bluffton’s immediate area. Bluffton has seen a dramatic increase in their applicant pool from Market 4 which has helped broaden their geographic reach. The campaign also benefits from creative that is refreshed every month, including video creative.


As a result, Bluffton has seen increased traffic to their website and an increase in their applicant funnel, allowing them to hit their admission goals. The university is thrilled with the overall impact on both brand awareness and applicants, and TMC is already hard at work on the 2022 campaign.


In the words of our client:

It has been a true pleasure to work with Kara, Emily, and our specific analyst, Andrew, on our digital advertising and marketing strategies over the last two years. Their entire team is a joy to work with! They are attentive and caring and will bend over backwards to make something work for you. I truly appreciate all the good work they have done with my organization and look forward to continuing our partnership!

-Claire Clay

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The challenge.

Through discovery, community, respect, and service, Bluffton University is committed to developing students of exceptional character and expansive vision. However, the Bluffton brand was not well known outside of a narrow radius. The university’s traditional marketing tactics were costly and difficult to track. The marketing team needed a new approach to expand their outreach.

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The strategy.

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The results.

Through a refined marketing framework and a highly targeted digital advertising plan, Bluffton increased their applicant funnel through a digital campaign that generated over 24 million impressions and more than 162,000 clicks.

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