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  • November 18, 2015
  • 3 minute read

Case Study: Woodbury University Drives 4,000% Increased Site Traffic With Pandora

Technology and innovation have changed the way students plan for college. 97% of students now report visiting a school’s website on mobile1 – which was not the case a few years ago. This new digital journey to enrollment has opened the doors to a number of opportunities for students. With all the information at their fingertips, they’re beginning their planning process sooner and applying to more schools than ever before.

While technology has opened new doors for students, it has also created new levels of competition for higher education marketers. In order to create awareness and meet enrollment goals, schools must be more effective in their communication — and it all starts by taking an audience-first approach that leverages high-quality data. Woodbury University, one of the oldest institutions in Southern California, partnered with Pandora on an advertising campaign intended to reach potential students. They saw a 4,000% increase in page views after advertising with us – here’s what they did…

The Goal

Woodbury University wanted to launch a new branding campaign to promote both their San Diego and Burbank/Los Angeles campus offerings and campus tours. Understanding that Pandora’s advertising solutions are driven by reliable data, Woodbury partnered with Pandora to achieve these marketing objectives:

  1. Successfully launch a new branding campaign
  2. Increase awareness of the Woodbury’s San Diego Graduate Programs and their Burbank/Los Angeles Undergraduate and MBA Programs*
  3. Increase number of new visitors to campus tour section of their website

The Opportunity

With 78 million monthly unique listeners2, Woodbury University recognized Pandora as an ideal platform to reach potential new students at scale. Pandora is an audience play through the passion point of music, and students spend a lot of time with music. For Woodbury University, advertising with Pandora placed their brand message directly in the hands of their target audience, while giving them the flexibility to customize creative accordingly.

The Pandora Solution

Woodbury University leveraged a strategic mix of attention-based media solutions to capture the attention of their target audience:

  • Audio Everywhere
  • Display Everywhere
  • Mobile Display
  • Age, Gender, HHI and Hispanic Targeting
The campaign utilized Pandora’s proprietary and 3rd-party targeting capabilities to customize ad creative, and deliver the right message to the exact right listener seamlessly. Woodbury University served ads promoting the San Diego graduate program to adults ages 21-49 in the San Diego DMA that make more than $100,000 a year. Other flights were served in the Burbank/Los Angeles DMA to adults ages 21-49 for that campus’ MBA program, as well as to Hispanic adults ages 13-24 for the undergraduate offerings.


Woodbury University Woodbury University


The Results

  • 4,000% increase in page views to the campus tours page during the flight
  • 97% of all Pandora traffic was unique visitors
  • 96% of traffic during the campaign flight was driven by Pandora
Woodbury University’s mix of Pandora’s Audio and Display products worked in harmony to grab attention and engage listeners, driving significant site traffic for the university.

According to Shari Gibbons, Chief Marketing Officer at Woodbury University:

“Not all digital advertising opportunities are created equal. We have experimented with other major media outlets and have found a wide range of efficacy and ROI. Pandora continues to deliver in both categories and we appreciate their focus on analytics with a strong eye for the creative content.”
Woodbury’s strategy of utilizing multiple ad creative and leveraging Pandora’s targeting capabilities proved successful for the university. They were able to reach the right listeners with relevant messages, which increased awareness for the school and delivered on their original KPI of increased site traffic. With websites referred as the “front door” to a campus, these results proved especially impactful in driving enrollment.



1 Uversity & Zinch, 2014 Social Admissions Report

2 Pandora Internal Metrics, October 2015

* Each campus/program had a different target audience and creative executions