Like most publishing and media companies, Education Week had successfully made the transition from print to digital, with digital advertising serving as its primary revenue source. However, advertisers were increasingly wanting to go “beyond the banner,” looking for new ways of engaging their prospects and, most importantly, generating leads.
Education Week ’s answer to this challenge would come through product innovation. They wanted a way to improve reader engagement with advertiser’s content without compromising the user experience of their site. They wanted to leverage their brand's unique strengths to provide exceptional value for their clients. And finally, they wanted to expand their share of clients’ marketing budget by combining access to their very targeted audience with insights into that audience that advertisers couldn't get anywhere else.
When CredSpark and Education Week met, it was clear that we had clear, inherent strengths with which to work. Education Week is the nation's premier professional publication & media company for education professionals and decision makers in K-12 school districts. They are the gatekeepers for this highly lucrative, multi-billion dollar market—a market that is fragmented, highly localized, and often shrouded in bureaucracy and regulation. In sum, they are notoriously expensive and difficult to reach.
Yet, reaching—and understanding—these decision makers can present immense sales opportunities for Education Week advertisers. The value and opportunity are clearly there; we just need to leverage them.
We started with the following goals:
Education Week 's first CredSpark experience was for an advertiser wishing to promote their in-school technology solutions. We developed a strategy to gain more insight into school administrators' level of knowledge and understanding of the technology options and capabilities available for use in school. We wanted to reach the key decision makers, understand their knowledge of the technology marketplace, and gain insight into where they were in the purchase decision-making process. We would tap into Education Week 's existing database of readers, but also wanted to create opportunities to generate new subscribers for Education Week.
What's the best way to engage top school officials? By using a paradigm with which they're exceptionally familiar. We created an interactive education experience where school administrators were presented with quiz questions that assessed their knowledge of the in-school technology market. In addition, the quiz also served as a discovery experience, seamlessly introducing quiz takers to new technology options and how others are using them in classrooms across the United States. Finally, quiz takers saw how their knowledge and use of technology in the classroom stacked up against their school administrator peers throughout the country, showcasing any gaps and motivating them to take further action.
Education Week seamlessly integrated the 10-question CredSpark experience into a post on its blog, using CredSpark's user-friendly platform API. They then promoted the post through email, website, and social channels.
For this initial experiment for the technology solutions advertiser, Education Week 's CredSpark experience reached 842 members of this highly sought after target audience of K-12 school administrators. Their activity included:
Education Week has continued to roll out CredSpark experiences for other advertisers and for its own initiatives to gather additional, deeper audience data. To date, these CredSpark experiences have generated:
Education Week's audience members are school district leaders whose daily decisions and actions determine the future of the American educational landscape. CredSpark has enabled us both to interactively engage and gather key insights on those educators, in turn unlocking value for the sponsors who help fund our high-quality journalism.