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The Beacon is a student housing community located in Auburn, Alabama. In this highly competitive market with a consistent influx of new developments, The Beacon needed an opportunity to stand out to prospects. Though the community was already running search engine marketing (SEM) and social media marketing (SMM) campaigns with Catalyst, the ownership team reached out for help with another medium to directly target competitors.


Catalyst proposed a three-month programmatic advertising campaign to target specific businesses, restaurants, and competitors in the Auburn market to directly place geofencing, website retargeting, and keyword-level behavioral ads on these locations. The primary visual element of programmatic ad campaigns includes geofencing ads, which gave The Beacon the opportunity to place ads directly on their main competitors’ complexes — especially those that were currently 100% pre-leased — to help increase brand awareness of the property. The Catalyst team created a series of brightly colored ads with eye-catching patterns and unique, bubbly typography; these were intentionally designed to stand out to prospects and entice them to click.


After three months of running the programmatic ad campaign, The Beacon saw an increase in occupancy and overall brand awareness. The on-site team also reported an increase in new walk-in prospects to the property, primarily from direct competitors. As a result of the campaign, The Beacon was able to meet their leasing goal for 2023. They have also started their fall 2024 leasing strong at 16% pre-leased, a 13% increase from the previous year. Other reporting highlights include:

  • 550,000+ impressions in the Auburn market
  • 640+ total clicks to the website
  • .12% click-through rate (industry benchmark is .10-.15%)
  • 122 trackable walk-ins from conversion zones
  • 90 walk-ins from their top competitor

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