Client: Center for Social Impact Strategy, University of Pennsylvania

Project: Marketing Campaign for New Online Executive Program

The Challenge

The Center for Social Impact Strategy is a research and action center based in the University of Pennsylvania, dedicated to supporting innovative approaches to public problem-solving.

In September of 2014, the center was gearing up to launch a brand-new executive program: designed specifically for experienced professionals interested in deepening their knowledge on social impact strategy, the vision was to offer an 8-month curriculum blending online learning with in-person training events at Penn.

The program director was tasked with the challenge of marketing a new program with no prior track record, at a price point of $4,950. They needed at least 100 applicants, and a key requirement was to recruit a diverse pool of applicants from all over the world. 

With only 2 months before the application close date, I was brought on to develop a marketing campaign strategy from scratch, and manage the execution of the campaign from start to finish.


The Result

I worked closely with the program director to define the program's market positioning, after surveying the landscape of executive programs offered by leading universities like Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford. 

We developed a user profile of our ideal applicant and honed in on the program's value propositions and key differentiators. I then developed a marketing funnel by working with the center's graphic designer and web developer to create a webpage to market the program and persuade visitors to apply.

I wrote the website copy, set up an email opt-in, and developed a series of automated emails that followed up with potential applicants with more details of the program.

I then coordinated with the team on a weekly basis to market the program, using a combination of email marketing, partnerships, and digital advertising.

The launch was a huge success: we exceeded our goal of applicants by over 125%, and the program launched as planned in March of 2015 with a highly selective cohort of 35 professionals and entrepreneurs from all over the world. 


"It was important to me to develop fresh copy that could express our product offerings in a clear, compelling way. Shane helped me get out of my own head. He helped distill the ideas onto our website and integrated new tools to better manage and track our communication channels.We had a tight timeline. Bringing on an expert like Shane helped us exceed our marketing goals."

- Cosmo Fujiyama, Program Director