Open Universities Australia performance marketing solution implementation

Campaign: Implementation of performance marketing software solution

Client: Open Universities Australia (OUA)

Partner: Marin Software



Open Universities Australia (OUA) provides students the opportunity to study a range of online units and courses and achieve a nationally recognised tertiary qualification.

Unlike traditional on-campus study, its students can study online anytime, anywhere. OUA offers over 180 courses and 1700 units from over 20 leading Australian universities and TAFEs. Students have the added bonus of choosing their electives from any of its partner institutions to create a truly customised learning experience.

The manual optimisation and monitoring of OUA’s cache of approximately one million keywords across Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines, as well as other channels including Facebook and Criteo, was costing OUA the equivalent of 5000 hours per year.

In addition, the company’s monthly reporting was taking in excess of 40 hours to complete. The sizeable task of manually monitoring and optimising one million keywords was making it difficult for OUA to effectively ascertain the value of each of its campaigns, ultimately hindering its conversion rate.

Meanwhile, the strain on OUA’s marketing resources also meant the company was paying high costs per acquisition (CPA). Most importantly, the company had very low visibility into the effectiveness of its digital marketing campaigns and little understanding of how its online marketing activities were converting into offline sales leads.


  • Increase online enrolment and enquiry conversion rates (primary objective),
  • increase visibility into the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns and better understand how online marketing activities convert into offline sales leads,
  • significantly decrease time spent on reporting and optimisation,
  • significantly decrease cost per acquisition (CPA), and
  • increase audience engagement to help drive conversions.



OUA chose to partner digital ad management provider with Marin Software. The digital marketing challenge was clear: Marin needed to implement a highly successful revenue-based optimisation solution that would compliment OUA’s overall marketing efforts, significantly save time spent on reporting and optimisation and provide the visibility needed to improve its level of audience engagement, conversion rates, CPA and offline conversations.


From the completion of the procurement process in April 2012 onwards, Marin provided ongoing support during the planning and implementation phases, as well as during the crucial deployment phase in August 2012. Working in collaboration, Marin and OUA successfully aligned all of the data from the various digital marketing channels to OUA’s online goals, as well as connecting its call tracking conversions with the help of Jet Interactive.

A single, unified view of all of its performance marketing activities, enabled OUA to manage, report and optimise all of its campaigns across publishers and channels while saving a significant amount of time and money. OUA is now in the position to quickly and easily make changes to campaigns based on meaningful data and have a management solution that facilitates streamlined bidding and optimisation across multiple channels.



Primary objective: increase online enrolment and enquiry conversion rates 

Implementing the automated bidding solution has seen a 227% uplift in OUA’s online enrolments and enquiry conversion rates.


Objective 2: increase visibility into the effectiveness digital marketing campaigns and better understand how online marketing activities convert into offline sales leads and drive conversions

The integration with offline conversion data through Jet Interactive allowed OUA to have complete visibility into the inter-relationship between its online and offline conversions. This puts OUA in a unique position to have full transparency of the value its activities are driving, and has empowered it to make strategic and actionable decisions to drive more conversions to the optimal conversion point. OUA reported a marked difference in its ability to optimise digital marketing campaigns, crediting this to a more holistic view of its activities including better insights into what channels are performing, and the ability to be nimble in making any necessary changes to campaigns in response to this.


Objective 3: significantly decrease time spent on reporting and optimisation

It now takes OUA just minutes to deliver the same monthly reporting that previously took staff 40 hours to complete. The hours previously spent collating the data are now used for optimisation.


Objective 4: decrease cost per acquisition (CPA) 

OUA has significantly decreased its cost per acquisition (CPA).


Objective 5: increase audience engagement to help drive conversions

The implementation has had a significant impact on the way OUA engages with its audience. Prior to Marin, the weighting given to generic keywords was much lower. OUA is now able to see the value of generic keywords and how strongly they influence the consideration phase of the customer’s decision-making process. By implementing an effective generic keyword strategy, OUA realised the assisted value that generic keywords is driving in the sales funnel.