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Everyone knows… marketing costs a lot of money and grinds to a halt over the summer, right?  No! We think it’s time you took a new look at how you spend the summer months.  Why does the cleaning have to happen in the Spring and the resolutions in January?  Why can’t we take advantage of the next few months to focus on developing our marketing activity?

We’ve set out fifteen suggestions for summer marketing tasks and we’re going to put them into three handy blogs each with five jobs… that means there’s one per day for three weeks.  And the best bit is they won’t cost the earth – in fact, most are entirely cost free.

1.      A-level results from 2007– If you have information on your website do make sure it’s up to date.  The same goes for information about subject areas and (of course) legal information, as well as application/enrolment information.  Take the chance over the next few weeks to check whether things are up to date and, if not, change them.  It might give you some ideas for wider changes you want to do in the coming year.

2.      Say “thank you” –  Over the past year you’ll have had some wonderful occasions when the press and local businesses have helped you out.  Now is the time to say a proper thank you… to everyone.  This doesn’t have to mean a bottle of scotch or a flash lunch… it can simply mean a postcard or a letter.  Whatever you do, saying thank you properly and personally (that means no round-robin emails) means the world to people and helps to remind them that you’re there.  Yes, that’s right… saying thank you can remind people that you’re there and you may even get some interesting developments and promotion out of the exercise.

3.      Get in touch – It’s easy to think of the summer holidays as a period to avoid talking to parents… but it’s a great time to make them aware of the good things you’ve achieved, as well as what’s coming up.  Don’t wait for exam results… get in touch early and over several occasions – they might be seeing friends with students considering applying.

4.      Think about enrolment – The biggest worry we hear about is the struggle to covert applications to enrolment.  Carrying on the previous point, you can use this time to keep in touch with applicants, warming them up to increase your conversion through to enrolment in the autumn.  Share the good news, share the excitement, and don’t forget to keep in touch with their parents, too!

5.      Life laundry – The summer break is a good chance to consider how well you present yourself.  Are your reception areas tidy?  Are your meeting rooms tidy?  Are there files everywhere (or a fridge/washing machine/toaster in the entrance hall – as we saw at one college)?  A stain on a carpet tile that could be replaced?  Could the front entrance do with a tidy up?  How about the facilities you offer – do they need upgrading? We’re not suggesting that you all have to roll your sleeves up but you do need to make sure that you present the impression that you want… and what impression does dirty, run-down give of your ability to do shape the minds of the future?  Kick off the holidays by taking a step back and assessing how well you present yourselves…

This blog series is designed to help marketing professionals as well as heads of departments and management. Please feel free to use the content and share it, if you think it might be helpful.

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