3 ideas from EnglishUK Marketing Conference (for digital marketers)

3 ideas from EnglishUK Marketing Conference (for digital marketers)

On Friday I attented the EnglishUK Marketing Conference, a conference for marketers in the English Language industry. It was my first conference in this industry, but it was pretty excited as I knew from online some names from the panels. 

There were a lot of interesting talks, but there were 3 talks to which caught my attention.

1. Use insights for your digital marketing strategies

At the cutting edge: 2018 data and what it means for your business – Jodie Gray, Patrick Pavlacic and panel presented a couple of reports from EnglishUK, and the discussion was more focused on the business decisions based on the reports from previous years in the EL industry.

Because my main area is digital marketing, I tried to look ad the data in a different way.  See the data, transform it into digital opportunities. Sometimes, only upper management looks thoroughly at industry reports. Their findings maybe translated into business objectives, but this doesn’t mean that a digital marketer shouldn’t search for their own insights from data reports no matter the industry.

interpreting data
UK’s market share (weeks) Source: StudentMarketing, 2018

If you look at the UK’s market share maybe you can come up with ideas of markets where you could grow so that you could increase your digital marketing spending in those areas. How’s you advertising working in the areas where the industry has the biggest market share? Is there something you could improve? Are there any ‘test’ countries to experiment you advertising? All these question can be transformed into actions for your digital marketing strategy.

2. Same USPs? Change your perspective and look at all aspects of your business

More than the course. Adding value within learners’ journeys – Mick Davies & Simon Fitch talked about the values people bring to the course, but also how you can transform your school’s values into USPs.

Source: TASIS – Attracting and Retaining the Best

Is your school full of values, assets, great people, but youre’ only using testimonials, location and other 2-3 benefits in your ads? Have a look at the following list, and think how you could transform all of these into strategic, unique and appealing selling points. (Example: don’t say you are located 5km to London, but find a catchier USP. We are closer to your country by xx km. )

The photo above is a visual representation that starts from Financial strategy, competition analysis and school positioning, to developing influencers network, mapping conversion journey, development brand awareness, identifying tech data and estate improvements, to course provision, alumni engagement, empowering faculty and students, to overall narrative/brand development to mission-vision-culture. All the points in this journey of a brand/business can bring different and unique selling points.

3. Having a CRM is not enough. Create a strategy & a list of procedures to increase direct bookingss

Maximizing direct bookings using best practices, automation and CRM technology – Philippe Taza was my favourite talk. I am reading Higher Education Marketing articles for a long time, but it was yesterday when I saw Philippe Taza’s enthusiasm when it comes to customer relationship management. Enthusiasm which can be contagious, because there is a lot going on in the area of direct bookings.

philippe taza
Sample Workflow implemented with a CRM can be helpful for increasing direct bookings

If marketing should look at: landing pages, checkout processes, email automation, and of course advertising channels, sales should pick up the data from marketing and add processes to follow-up with their leads.

And of course, when we are speaking about leads, we are speaking about CRM systems. What we need to learn is that CRM is not about having a fancy CRM platform, but that CRM is about strategy, work flows, and consistency.

Philippe Taza presented the common stages which typical leads and applications go through: New Inquiry – Attempt 1 – Attempt 2 – Attempt 3 – Contacted – New Application – Incomplete Application – Application complete – Accepted Application – Paid – Student Starts – Student Graduates.

From these stages you can build your workflows which can be a mix of marketing and sales activities.

In your workflow, from the time you received the contact details from a lead you can use different channels in the same day to follow-up: automated email, SMS, whatsapp/wechat, facebook messenger, and phone call (on the first day, you should have at 3 phone call attempts in your flow). Of course, not all the channels are mandatory, and each school should create its own strategy (there are markets where people are used with SMS or messages via WhatsApp, so you can adapt).

From a digital marketing perspective, if you want to increase direct bookings, than have a look at: advertising channels (which one is bringing your biggest bookings), website and landing pages (Bounce Rate is a good indicator of page performance), checkout processes, and email automation.

I would include in this list Remarketing adverts, as they are well known for increasing sales.

I would like to end with a quote from Dave Birss’ latest book – How to Get to Great Ideas. He was also the last speaker at the conference

We can all develop traits that are far more powerful than a black belt in cleverness.

Dave Birss
Dave Birss at EnglishUk Marketing Conference