Having worked with Amazon DSP's data before, we knew it could accommodate Unite Students' targeting requirements. True to form, our approach drove home better than expected results.

“We were really pleased with the results of the test campaign we ran with SearchStar. Will provided great account management and listened to our objectives to align the campaign targeting to our overall marketing strategy.”

Beth Betts, Senior Marketing Executive, Unite Students

Unite Students

Unite Students was the UK’s first private provider of purpose-built student accommodation and remains a leader in the market to this day. Since 1991, they’ve provided a home for over 600,000 students as they make their way through university across the UK.

Their Objectives

The team at Unite Students already invested in programmatic display advertising, but were keen to explore how Amazon DSP could be used to better reach their audience and drive accommodation bookings for the 2019/2020 university intake.

Our Approach

Audience data and timings were key to the success of this campaign. With A-Level results day falling in mid-August, and applicants often moving into accommodation less than a month after, the window for reaching potential applicants when they’re in-market is short.

The period after results day is also hectic for applicants. Therefore, developing an emotional connection with applicants not only makes a provider the first port of call, but reassures them throughout the process.

To do this, we ensured that the campaign was live, targeting users who were preparing for university more than a month before results day at a low frequency. Doing so meant we spent a smaller portion of the budget on awareness, before scaling up considerably around and after results day to drive bookings.

Soon-to-be students invest over £2000 in preparation for University, with 81% purchasing stationary, 74% purchasing clothing and 72% purchasing study materials. Using Amazon DSP’s significant data around users searching for and purchasing specific products, we were able to hone in on applicants and reach them with engaging messaging at the right time to drive results.

Their Results

Leveraging audience data and deploying spend at the right time helped our campaign significantly outperform all targets, delivering:

  • A cost-per-booking 72% lower than forecast
  • A CTR 2x higher than the benchmark
  • 52% increase in new users from target cities

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