• Pepperdine Graziadio Business School planned to utilize a new merit scholarship opportunity in the market to attract new students, but needed an avenue for getting that message across to the right potential candidates, quickly and effectively. The business school faces a lengthy process in converting students, so it required a method that enabled them to engage highly qualified leads directly.


  • Working with its LinkedIn account team, Pepperdine created a unique target audience based on strong historical performance, and developed a plan to reach them via Sponsored Message Ads and Sponsored Content combined with Lead Gen Forms.


  • Although Pepperdine is a longtime user of LinkedIn’s marketing and advertising tools, they say that this campaign “far surpassed all expectations,” driving more than 2,500 clicks. The school reports that its merit scholarship Message Ads drove more than 15 enrollments, with Sponsored Content adding even more, leading to “outstanding ROI.”

Product Overview

  • With LinkedIn Message Ads, you can engage prospects through direct messages delivered as ads to your target audience through LinkedIn inboxes.
  • LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms are short, smart data capture forms that pull in relevant information from a member’s LinkedIn profile to make it easy for members to share contact details.
  • LinkedIn Sponsored Content are native ads in the LinkedIn feed that help you reach target customers and generate leads.

Staying on Target

The key to Pepperdine’s success with this campaign was refining its audience to target just the right people, combining traditional qualification standards with proximity to campus and the right background degrees for the demands of the program.

Pepperdine Graziadio Business School has found strong engagement on LinkedIn as a communication platform as users are inherently focused on their career, networking, and advancement, making it a strong target audience for business school program marketing.

The Power of Message Ads Plus Lead Gen Forms

  • With an audience that had a high likelihood of converting, Pepperdine took advantage by reaching out through personalized Message Ads. Integrated Lead Gen Forms made it easy for prospects to provide contact info and learn more without jumping through hoops.

Overall Impact:

  • LinkedIn proved to be a perfect platform for connecting receptive professionals with opportunities for further educational advancement. “The campaign is regarded as our most successful Message Ads, and has spurred plans for additional outreach for our other graduate programs,” says Jodi Hill, Director of Marketing.

About Pepperdine

Founded on the core values of integrity, stewardship, courage, and compassion, Pepperdine Graziadio Business School has been developing values-centered leaders who advance responsible business practice since 1969.

INDUSTRY: Higher Education  
HQ LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
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Claudio Ludovisi
Claudio Ludovisi
Assistant Dean
Marketing Strategy and Corporate Relations
Pepperdine University, Graziado School of Business