Award Category
Best Use of Real-Time Marketing

The Monkeys - Now part of Accenture Interactive

The University of Sydney


The brief was to overhaul The University of Sydney’s digital recruitment advertising. With post-graduate education being the commercial engine of a university, the objective was a 10% increase in advertising-driven post-graduate applications while securing a 10% decrease in cost per application. A third objective was to ensure a positive effect on recruitment NPS.


It took an applicant-centric recruitment approach that reflected the behaviours and preferences of potential students. It was designed to move applicants from generic interest through to specific course related actions, with customised messaging.

Analysis of Google Analytics and Adobe revealed applicant journeys from first touch to completed application. This helped in understanding content consumed, performance of every button, link and asset, and the role of messaging along that journey.  Further analysis of university application data, together with Google Analytics and Adobe, identified applicant behaviours that best predicted progress along the journey and the conversion factors at each stage. So the agency built a model to drive post-graduate applications that would also determine the need for retargeting or prospecting along the applicant’s journey.


Despite softening overall demand and a 10% target, the advertising generated 22% growth in applications – a $1.2 million in incremental revenue. The second objective, a 10% decrease in cost per application was smashed with an increased CTR by 147%. This flowed through to cost per acquisition and activity dropped by 12% YOY for total advertising applications, and by 17% for priority courses. The university also shifted NPS from – 10 to 19. In addition, ‘University of Sydney 1st preference’ rose from 20% to 45%.

Judges Comments

The unique approach along with good planning, clear objectives, and a smart strategy meant this entry achieved solid results. Judges felt it was a worthy winner of Gold.