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University of Dundee

Designing a marketing strategy for the overseas audience

Penna worked with University of Dundee’s (UoD) business school to help encourage student recruitment from China, a market that had seen rapid declines since the pandemic. They wanted to build brand awareness in key cities across China and engage with this audience once again.

What was the Challenge?

What was the Challenge? UoD’s business school had not run any marketing activity in China before, so we were starting at the bottom in terms of building brand awareness. The audience we needed to reach was quite large and complex.

What was our Solution?

Penna worked with several publishers that specialise in advertising in China to implement the campaign. We worked with a specialist creative agency, who created two sets of banners ‐ one set more Western in its design, while the other set was designed to be more familiar to a Chinese audience.

These banners went live across ‘Tencent’ (one of the biggest multi‐media platforms in China) and was booked through ‘iClick’, a publisher based in China. Both sets of banners rotated on a weekly basis. The micro‐page was also translated by a publisher that specialises in translating copy across a variety of different languages. Having the micro‐page in Mandarin made the user journey more seamless and engaging for a Chinese audience.

What were the results?

16,501 clicks and a cost‐per‐click (CPC) of £0.99 were achieved, with the click‐through‐rate (CTR) coming in at 2.11%. However, due to privacy laws at the time, we were unable to track conversions against enquiry forms.

What Next?

As China starts to open up again, universities will be having to make up for several years of steep decline from this normally buoyant market. Competition will be fierce, especially with antipodean institutions who are also trying to make up for years for lost revenue. Now is a key time to start building brand awareness and making sure universities are at the forefront of people’s minds in this market. This campaign provided valuable insights about areas in China and age groups that are more engaged. UoD now also own two sets of banners and know which messages resonate more with their audience. By being ahead of the curve, UoD now have the knowledge, relationships and assets to seamlessly continue their activity in this market.