You’ll be able to find this presentation on Twitter if you search for @tominleeds.First of all I think its important to say that David’s point there about segmentation in HE marketing will probably be one of the biggest take aways that Unions can take from this conference. University’s target segments are crucial for Unions to understand as they could bring a huge change in the way that Unions need to provide services and attract engagement according to the type of students that the institution is marketing to – there is already an element of this at work but if University’s successfully start to market themselves in specific segments we could really see a more radical localisation element in terms of Union provision.And that leads me in to what I’d like to talk with you about…
So please turn your phones on and tweet using the conference hashtag.
The death of the big idea and the rise of the constant conversation.I’ve broken every rule of presentations within my first slide!Now, Kevin was looking for a reaction when he said all of this. That’s what Saatchi do after all. I don’t think that these ideas should be taken without a pinch of salt – someone even said in response to his talk ‘doesn’t Kevin Roberts know that saying that things are dead is dead?’But there are some good ideas in here – things move quickly, as a marketer or brand owner you’re not guaranteed to be in control anymore and that means that good marketing strategy is now about enablement rather than control. Its about helping people to have conversations rather than trying to out shout your competitors. And that’s a shift for traditional marketers. And I think it’s a shift that student union marketers can really use to their advantage to grow their influence on campus. Because if there is one forum for the student voice on campus, it’s the Union.Good marketing is now about developing an honest proposition for the right audience, developing ways of speaking with people, reasons for people to talk about you. top down marketing doesn’t work that well anymore – its too easy to spot.people are knowledgable, niche, the can get access to data, to compare and find out what other people think.
just some of the things that need to be in your head as a contemporary marketer… for you as marketers in students unions but also for your colleagues in the university who (frankly) are scared out of their minds at the moment!New platforms, changing market place, demanding academics, demanding councils… this is a hugely challenging time for HE marketers. I’m not going to go into detail about any of those things on the list, we’re going to keep this broad.
Lets just use this as our model today for understanding marketing and its impact on brand. John Hegarty…
This is a big opportunity that I’d like to explore in this session.Massive change in the sector. Massive change in the sector alongside a challenging employment market is leading many people to concentrate on a very important, but potentially limiting topic – employability.Massive change in the tools and data that is available to marketers…New media and the social web, very few university’s using social (and by social I mean a whole plethora of platforms that allow people to share their ideas and content online – not just Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!) But lots of Unions are, but with very little investment. And that’s because unions are involved in the conversation, they are the home of a lot of the conversation and they’re trusted within that conversation (by current students) that sometimes a university isn’t.
This is something that we cannot forget as marketers working in HE. Not an experience limited to success in the job market (which you could actually argue was broken in and of itself). What kind of job market are we creating graduates for?Transformation is a key asset to HE marketers and a lot of the time it’s the students’ union who is the lead player in that.Emotion is really important to remember.
So I’d like to show you a few pieces to get the ball rolling…
When you work at a University, but specifically in a good Union you are surrounded by emotion.As we saw from the LGBT video that Leeds produced, which was filmed by a very talented intern called Ollie, to an extent all you have to do is point a camera at it and find the emotional angle. You know what that stuff feels like – you see it every day in the union! And that means that you are probably the best people on campus to be telling the story about what its like at the university of x, y and z.
University’s aren’t famous for their nimble communications or digital PR – exactly the kind of skills you need in this changing landscape of people’s interactions with brands. But, and there’s a big sweeping statement coming here, I’d suggest that students’ unions can help here. And that’s because Unions are governed by people who understand what its like being a student. Steve Smith made that point in his welcome speech this morning.You are, in many ways, the resource that University’s lack. The compelling voice of the customer. You are the jewel in the crown – a way of the university showing its prospective students, what current students are up to. Showing prospective students how students are co-creators in their own education.And that means that your strategy could be to enable conversations with your members, lots of smaller interactions. Your staff are enthusiastic (I hope!), they believe and care about the student experience and they are in far more contact with students than your colleagues in the university marketing department who are more likely to be seeding a press release about a piece of research than listening to their consumers. A friend of mine is a marketing director at an HE instituion and she makes it quite clear that when she arrived in post she inherited a strategy (and to some extent still works to this strategy) that focused on student recruitment and alumni relations.Because the University’s brand is no longer about what it is saying about itself – its about what people are saying about it. And that applies not only in the realm of student recruitment but also in terms of what students are doing in the local community, what value the university plays in its local area and what value there is for a university’s alumni to give back to its community.New media and the social web, very few university’s using social (and by social I mean a whole plethora of platforms that allow people to share their ideas and content online – not just Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!) But lots of Unions are, but with very little investment. And that’s because unions are involved in the conversation, they are the home of a lot of the conversation and they’re trusted within that conversation (by current students) that sometimes a university isn’t.
This goes back to what Kevin said at the IoD conference right back at the beginning.This is about connecting with people, rather than swinging big ideas around your head.So what would that mean?Creating a structure that helps everyone share your messagePlatformsRelationshipsStaff trainingMarketing collateralBrand guidelinesSocial media usage policies50, 100, 250 word descriptions of your organisation
Finding shared visionsMarketing teamAlumni teamStudent recruitment teamPR and communications teamInternational teamWelfare teamWhat does the future look like?
Reward brilliancePromote those who promote youReward staff Use the talent that is around youPromote brilliant ideas (even when they’re not your own)
We’re after a distinctive, honest voice here so you’re not trying to reinvent something – you’re shining a light on the things that are already there and providing a platform for people
And finally, like we saw in the videos none of this means a thing if it is poorly executed. And it is the execution of the idea that is the most important stage.Be honest and connect with the emotions that are all around you – they’re the biggest help you’ve got in telling your story.
the death of the big idea…“We don’t just live in a VUCA world - a volatile, uncertain, ambiguousand complex world - we live in a super VUCA world. We live in a vibrantworld where our kids are connecting to each other and to brands acrossthe world with no money involved. To us this is a world that’s gone crazy.“Strategy is dead. Who really knows that is going to happen anymore inthis super VUCA world? The more time and money you spend devisingstrategies the more time you are giving you rivals to start eating yourlunch.“Management is dead. To win today you need a culture and anenvironment where the unreasonable power of creativity thrives. Ideasare today’s currency not strategy. Martin Luther King did not say ‘I have avision statement’ did he? He had a dream. You have to make sure youhave dreams and your brand also needs a dream.”Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide
marketing has changed (slightly) • new platforms • quick media • social web • communications • content management • • mobile search so much to • • design data remember… • multichannel • CRM • analytics • Data, data, data! • and on and on and on
your brand is the space you occupy in someone elses head
changing higher educationmarketing+new marketing landscape=new opportunity for crossinstitution collaboration
university is not simplytransactional, it istransformational