So, you’ve had a week of working through our first five summer holiday tips (if you missed them head over to our blog). How did you get on? We’d love to hear from you with news of progress. In this second blog, we’ve for your next 5 jobs (and look out for the final 5 next week).
What’s next? Here are our next five tips for summer marketing activity:
1. Evil email – Ah yes… the inevitable subject of your database. The reality is the quickest and easiest way to reduce marketing costs is to take communications online. You may be thinking that email is the comms tool of Beelzebub but the fact is, in this day and age, most people communicate this way… and it is no longer seen as the easy option… simply the best option. That said, it does require an accurate mailing list and you’re probably sitting there with a lot of “email” boxes left empty in your database system. It would be a valuable use of your time to make some calls and search on Google to try to fill in some of those gaps. Top Tip: If you type “@whatevertheirwebsiteaddressis” into Google you will often generate a number of available email addresses – which will allow you to work out the format of your contact’s address… or you could go through the mountain of files and find some email addresses you already have! Don’t forget you only have a year until the GDPR comes in so now is the time to do this work!
2. Get in touch – It takes a brave college to ask for feedback but we think it’s one of the most important things you can do. Set up a simple online questionnaire in Survey Monkey and send it to every parent, student and member of staff that’s been involved over the last year. You should be looking to find out their views on everything you do, as well as collecting views on the best ways to communicate with them in the future. Don’t forget to ask them to provide detailed feedback and use this as an opportunity to pick the phone up and talk to them – saying either “thank you” for completing it or to specifically address poor feedback, where relevant.
3. Who are you talking to – It’s very easy to plough on into marketing activity without first considering the different audiences you have. The reality is, in our experience, you need to be saying different things, in different ways and different places to the press, students, potential students, parents, staff, the local community etc. Use your summer break to consider this and use it as the benchmark by which to test each marketing and communications decision you make next year.
4. Snap polls – Did you now that Survey Monkey has a great feature that allows you to source instant answers from target audiences that meet the profile you set out? You can test your marketing plans and ideas on your target audiences using their huge database of profiled individuals.
5. Forward planning – This one goes without saying… that said, I know I’ve said it before. One of the most useful things you can do is to work out where you want your college to go and the steps you need to take to get there. Set your three-year goal, work out the process goals that you need to achieve it and then write a “to do” list of actions required to achieve each process goal. Make sure you put time in the diary each week to make it all happen, once the holidays are over.
This blog 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.
If you think you need some support with planning and strategy, then get in touch!