Case Study

Ottawa Digital Marketing Certificate

Adapting Marketing Efforts During COVID-19.

The Ottawa Digital Marketing Certificate, hosted by Soshal and the Telfer School of Management, exists to enhance student's careers as cutting-edge digital marketers. Taught by industry professionals, students can learn from and network with leading digital marketers in the Ottawa area.



The Ottawa Digital Marketing Certificate is a 10-week part-time program that allows participants to learn essential digital marketing skills in a hands-on environment. Delivered by top industry professionals in partnership with Soshal and the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa DMC is one of Ontario's most practical digital marketing certificates.

The challenge.


"A DMC paid campaign IS necessary." At the end of February 2020, the Ottawa Digital Marketing Certificate (ODMC) lacked enough students to run the May 2020 program. The program director and the ODMC team knew it was time to launch a paid ads campaign to increase applications.

One month later, the program had 18 applications - and then COVID-19 struck. Students began rescinding their applications, with fear of going into a classroom during the summer months.

Discussions between Soshal, the Telfer School of Management and our higher education digital marketing agency took place about postponing or cancelling the summer DMC program. The program was down to 5 applicants, and the marketing teams needed to figure out their next move.

With a cancelled program as the worst-case scenario, Telfer and Soshal decided to move the program to 100% virtual. This decision was looked at as the best step forward during these uncertain times.

Scope of the project.

  • Timeline: 1-month of promotion before the Summer 2020 program.

  • Services: Social media advertising, email marketing, Facebook ad design, landing page design.

  • Goal: 15 applications.

The approach.


Once the program leaders decided the program would be running online, the Noetic Marketer team began devising an updated paid ads strategy. We had to communicate that the program had not lost value, even though it would no longer offer in-class learning. On top of the change from in-person to virtual classes, the program's price was also increasing, and a new campaign needed to reflect the program updates.

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The strategy.


The new strategy included focusing on a robust retargeting campaign through Facebook and email marketing to create urgency and promote the program's value.

The team at Noetic Marketer used several digital marketing tactics to carry out the strategy for the Ottawa DMC campaign. These tactics used included social media advertising, email marketing, Facebook ad design and landing page design.


Social Media Advertising

Multiple ads were launched for varying audiences interested in the Ottawa Digital Marketing Certificate. The majority of ads were retargeting ads to increase application numbers in a one-month time frame.

Facebook Ad Design

New graphics for Facebook ads were created to reflect the new messaging. All ad designs lead to a cohesive message as they were in line with the advertisements' headlines and body text.

Email Marketing

In just over one month, several emails were sent out to prospects outlining the updated program format and how students will become leading digital marketers through the adapted real-time, online, video learning environment. The emails also let potential students know that their DMC program could be partially compensated for by their employer through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant Program - a new feature to the summer 2020 cohort.

Landing pages

We designed multiple landing pages for the Telfer programs. Our team launched several A/B tests to determine which features were most effective on the landing page.

Email marketing

Our team revamped the landing page design and included new information about the program. The landing pages were used to provide more details and a link to sign up to the Ottawa DMC through the Facebook ads.


As part of the normal processes at Noetic Marketer, the Ottawa DMC campaigns were monitored and optimized daily.

The results

Along with the help of the Telfer Marketing Team and Soshal, we were able to achieve the following results:


Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)*



Surpassed application goal by


To the new style of program and successfully delivered the new message


*Return on ad spend measures how much a company earns in revenue for every dollar spent on advertising.




The Noetic Marketer team was a huge help working on this campaign to drive leads into our Digital Marketing Certificate program. We worked together to develop a strong email drip campaign, where they showed great tactical knowledge, brand consistency, and a clear vision. The DMC has been a successful program year after year because of it!

Emily ShortDigital Marketing Coordinator


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