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International Education Strategy and Marketing

RSS FeedEmbedding marketing in international campus development

Posted on 25 May 2015 at 09:09 by Vicky Lewis

Lessons from UK universities

I undertook some research in late 2014 / early 2015 (see previous blog post) into the role of marketing in international campus development. The aim of this was to generate some useful (evidence-based) recommendations for HE institutions considering development of an international campus.

I’ll be sharing detailed findings elsewhere. In the meantime, here are the key recommendations, broken down by themes (roughly corresponding to consecutive phases in the international campus development project):

  • market intelligence and marketing strategy
  • marketing resources and expertise
  • marketing activity planning

Internal stakeholder perspectives: market intelligence and marketing strategy

Recommendation 1: Understand the market – and use this understanding to inform business case, proposition and portfolio

  • Balance market research and market intelligence gathering
  • Match the campus offer to the needs of the market
  • Understand the whole market environment

Recommendation 2: Business plan and marketing strategy must go hand in hand

  • Develop a clear marketing strategy
  • Align business and financial plans with marketing strategy

Internal stakeholder perspectives: marketing resources and expertise

Recommendation 3: Provide adequate marketing budget and coordinate account reporting

  • Treat the new campus as a start-up business and invest in marketing accordingly
  • Establish clear marketing budget ownership and accounting processes

Recommendation 4: Foster a cross-campus team culture between all those involved in marketing and student recruitment

  • Position the campus project to optimise collaboration amongst those involved in marketing
  • Lay the foundations for an inclusive, flexible marketing and student recruitment team
  • Facilitate team-building and open communication

Recommendation 5: Define the marketing roles required, recruit specialists at an early stage and invest in developing their expertise

  • Determine the most suitable organisational location for key marketing functions
  • Secure staff with the right skills and experience early in the process
  • Draw up a plan to fill any gaps in expertise and capacity whilst developing staff

Internal stakeholder perspectives: marketing activity planning

Recommendation 6: Factor in enough time for building in-country relationships and reputation

  • Don’t neglect reputation-building and ‘soft’ marketing

Recommendation 7: Develop a broad-based, jointly owned marketing and student recruitment plan whose success can be measured

  • Ensure the marketing activity plan is comprehensive and jointly owned
  • Include mechanisms for measuring and reporting on progress

If you’d like to discuss further…..

These headline recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg: there’s a lot of detail sitting behind them. Let me know if you’d like to discuss further.

I’ll be at the British Council’s Going Global conference in London where I’m doing a Poster Presentation at 1445 Tuesday 2 June on 'Collaborating across organisational cultures to market your international campus'. It takes place in the Benjamin Britten Lounge on the third floor of the conference centre: poster PP3.07.

It would be great to meet – or hear from – anyone with an interest in international campus development (the theory or the practice)!

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