Case Study: US Armed Forces Branch Recruits ROTC Members with


Advertiser Overview

  • Branch of the United States Military
  • Sought to increase new ROTC enrollments
  • Partnered with a large agency for a long-term, high dollar contract

Agency Overview

  • Part of a large agency holding company
  • Initial campaign with as a new partner
  • Chose because of precise household-level targeting
  • High brand safety standards and requirements for third-party verification

First Month Results

  • 117% Increase in Lead Rate
  • 76.9% Increase in High Value Actions
  • 40% Increase in Website Visits



Employee recruitment can be challenging, with 69% of employers reporting a talent gap in 2020 (CNBC). The United States military is no different than any organization in their need to recruit talented individuals. In order to find people to be future armed service leaders, one branch of the military recently partnered with a large, global advertising agency to reach ideal students for ROTC programs across the country. The agency worked with to target the best and brightest candidates across the country and increase enrollments over a three-month long campaign.

The agency chose as a new partner because of the ability to target at the household- and keyword-level while simultaneously managing complex campaigns with multiple KPIs. Additionally, both organizations required the highest brand safety standards and third-party verification methods available. The top campaign goals they sought to achieve were:

  • Lead Rate of .0001%, defined as a user who signed up online to join the military divided by the number of impressions served
  • High Value Action Rate of .0005%, the number of “Contact” submissions – such as click, email, chat or call – divided by the total number of impressions
  • Website Visit Rate of .09% is uniquely positioned to succeed at complex campaigns with a powerful and scalable programmatic platform and an award-winning Client Success team.



The agency knew the ideal profile that ROTC recruiters look for, and leveraged’s Addressable Audience Curation tool to create a custom audience that matched. They were able to build a household-level audience in real-time based on location factors and more than 500 demographic variables. To fit the desired profile, the agency curated an audience of households featuring users aged 17-24 with an interest in “Sports”, “Rock & Roll Music”, “Healthy Living” and “Video Games” across seven U.S. states and territories.

After establishing this audience of more than 1.8 million households,’s Addressable Geo-Fencing solution used GPS data paired with plat lines to match each address to the exact physical location, shape, and size of the property. The system them automatically built a target fence around each property to target devices seen within each individual household. The advertiser chose to utilize display and native ads across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. To complement the Addressable Geo-Fencing portion of the campaign, the agency also used Keyword Search Retargeting and Keyword Contextual Targeting tactics to reach people who indicated interest in military service based on their online behavior. This allowed the agency to target users who were actively searching for and reading ROTC-related terms such as military careers, military education, military scholarships, and much more. The team implemented nearly 3,000 keywords and proactively monitored and optimized the campaign based on how each keyword was performing.’s unique ability to bid and report at the keyword-level gave the agency complete transparency and helped eliminate wasted impressions.


As part of a large international holding group, the agency has high expectations for their advertising partners when it comes to performance, customer service, brand safety, and more. ensures high brand safety standards and fights fraudulent views by partnering with third-party verification tools such as Google Campaign Manager 360 and DoubleVerify. The agency’s criteria included a dedicated seven-person Client Success team to manage the campaign, connect daily to discuss performance, and implement optimizations.’s automated back-end algorithms, as well as strategic manual optimizations, helped to significantly improve performance, particularly during the first four weeks of the campaign. Adjustments to blocklists, pacing, device delivery, and much more drove a 40% improvement to website Visit Rate, 117% Lead Rate increase, and a 76.9% improvement to the High Value Action rate all within the first month. Additionally, the Click Through Rate improved by 30% and suspected fraudulent traffic was reduced by 30%.

Overall, during the three-month campaign, achieved a Visit Rate of .09%, Lead Rate of .00031%, and a .009% High Value Action Rate. reported a brand safety rating of 95.67% and a fraud rate of just 1.32%, significantly exceeding each goal of greater than 90% and less than 3% respectively. Overall, the military branch and the agency were excited with the results, and renewed the ROTC recruitment campaign based on successful performance across each KPI.

Addressable Audience Curation

The agency curated a custom household-level audience with more than 1.8 million homes across the country.
Addressable Geo-Fencing

The system automatically built a target fence around the exact physical location, shape, and size of each property to target devices seen at each individual household.
Keyword Search Retargeting & Keyword Contextual Targeting

To complement the Addressable Geo-Fencing portion of the campaign, the agency targeted users who were actively searching for and reading 3,000+
ROTC-related terms.

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