Launching a unique online medicine programme for the University of Exeter

The University of Exeter Medical School has a proven track record of world-leading research and excellent education. The School works closely with the NHS and healthcare providers to ensure it can deliver the innovations required to tackle complex global healthcare needs.

RH were engaged to launch the Schools new Genomics Online programme: A unique, fully online genomics masters degree taught by world-leading researchers in the cutting-edge field of genetics, epigenomics, and genetic sequencing.

The Brief

  • Create an end-to-end digital marketing strategy to generate leads for the Genomics Online masters programme
  • Increase awareness of Exeter Medical School’s unique Genomics Online programme internationally, as well as the School’s pioneering excellence in the field of genomic medicine


  • Analysed first and third-party data to establish the strongest target international markets for a brand new, unique online degree
  • Implemented a lead generation funnel, including landing pages and enquiry forms, and remarketing/acquisition tactics
  • Deployed an integrated digital marketing strategy to promote, acquire, and convert leads


  • Secured 204 leads over a 3-month period
  • Exceeded estimated ROI by 13%
  • Established interest in the programme in over 10 countries, leading to sustained organic enquiries post-campaign

We worked with Exeter Medical School’s existing student data from similar degree programmes to create a digital ‘medical student persona’: a collection of demographic traits, educational history, and personal affinities that represented a typical postgraduate-level medicine student or researcher. We also researched intent-led factors specific to the field of Genomics – like search keywords, and organisations or professional bodies in the field of genetics sciences.

Through this planning process we identified several target markets locations, which demonstrated the greater interest in the study of genomic medicine and a tendency to favour online/distance learning masters programmes:

  • North America (including Canada), which we believed to be a strong source of interest in genomic medicine training/CPD, though predicted to be expensive.
  • India, a very large, high volume market. Expected to generate many enquiries, but quality factors may limit ultimate ROI.
  • United Kingdom, a lower-priority market initially, although proved to show a greater demand than limited planning data accounted for.
  • Australia, believed to be a strong potential market based on Exeter Medical School’s data, with a high level of professional interest in related fields of medicine.
  • Europe (Region), included primarily as a comparison against other ‘core’ target markets but proved to yield a strong number of leads at a lower-than-average CPA.

Exeter Medical School did not have an existing mechanism to secure leads for the online course. RH therefore worked with the University web team to create suitable landing pages, data capture forms, and attribution tracking that would enable us to deliver, optimise and report on the acquisition funnel within each market.

We delivered a comprehensive international recruitment campaign which utilised a diverse range of ad formats to build interest and secure leads for the Genomics Online programme.

Our dashboard technology allowed us to work collaboratively with Exeter Medical School to analyse market trends and make agile tweaks to the campaign. We increased response rates to creative, improved Cost-per-Acquisition, and provided the School greater insight into who their prospective distance learning students are.

The campaigns ran for three months and provided coverage in over 10 countries, with in excess of 15 million ad impressions and 105,000 video views measured.

Continual optimisation of digital targeting and delivery, together with valuable feedback from Exeter Medical School, meant that the campaign was able to greatly exceed its original targets.
Our campaign generated 204 applicant leads and secured 350% more website visitors to the Genomics Online landing page than targeted.

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