Learn how we took a measured approach to help St. John’s-Kilmarnock School reach new audiences and achieve enrollment goals.

St. John’s-Kilmarnock School (SJK) is an independent, not-for-profit, co-educational International Baccalaureate (IB) World Continuum School located in the Waterloo Region of Ontario. It provides a student-centric approach focused on small class sizes, personalized learning, and hands-on experience. 


Despite St. John’s-Kilmarnock School’s high academic level, successful alumni and unique advantages, the market lacked a general awareness of them. SJK needed to reach audiences where they were, but didn’t have a great deal of digital marketing experience. Our challenge was to help raise awareness of SJK and increase qualified lead generation to meet their yearly enrollment goals.


We started by diving into the back end of St. John’s-Kilmarnock School’s website, setting up tracking and configuring analytics to identify the strengths and challenges of their website performance and online marketing presence. At the same time, we interviewed key internal stakeholders in SJK leadership to learn about their audience and find opportunities to stand out from the crowd. Together, we identified two key strengths that set it apart: their picturesque 36-acre natural campus, and inclusive, dynamic community.


“There’s no better way to learn than through hands-on experience in a community that makes you feel welcome.” This is the idea that came alive through our creative. 

We designed a campaign platform that showcased a learning continuum as expansive as the campus itself. Photography and design captured SJK’s engaging, supportive community, while ad copy highlighted the hands-on, experiential campus approach.

This campaign platform was also designed to scale according to SJK’s emerging recruitment needs.

Based on our findings in the research and analytics phase, we identified which local audiences were most likely to thrive with St. John’s-Kilmarnock School, and focused on connecting with those actively seeking admissions. Our campaign strategy included Google Display, Smart Display, and Discovery. Facebook and Instagram were also utilized to help spread the word about SJK and its advantages. All channels drove qualified leads to a landing page that was designed to facilitate conversions through requests for information, enrollment and open house attendance.


The campaign was successful in raising awareness of St. John’s-Kilmarnock School, driving qualified leads to the SJK website, and helping the school achieve their enrollment goals. 

The campaign was seen over 1.3 million times (impressions), and generated a high click-through rate of 0.6%, which beats the industry standard of 0.53%. Paid traffic accounted for almost half of all traffic to the SJK website traffic, with the average visitor staying on the landing page for a significant amount of time and reading more than one page before leaving the website. This tells us our creative and digital ad placement were successful in connecting with qualified leads at the right stages in their customer journey. 

Moving forward, we are using what we’ve learned to further optimize the campaign, and working with SJK to fill spots in 2022 and beyond.

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