Though opportunity clearly beckoned, UNITE had yet to dip its toe into the turbulent waters of international student marketing. With cultural sensitivities, media placement and multiple translation issues to contend with, UNITE was keen to find a partner with relevant experience. With a proven track record in global marketing, Proctors seemed the perfect fit…
The UK university fee structure is about to change. Overseas student will no longer pay punitive fees, and given the UK’s prestigious reputation in HE circles, an influx of overseas students is predicted. UNITE recognised this opportunity to expand its property portfolio and marketing activity and contacted Proctors for help.
The brief was an exciting one: generate leads across Europe, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India and Malaysia. UNITE was also keen to track and measure response to gain market and territory insight – finding out what works and what could be improved upon in an ongoing international brand development project.
The Proctors response
Bringing together common sense and international connections, we took stock of the circumstances and landscape. It became clear that choices are more likely to be focused by study and safety as opposed to the social activity traditionally leading UK student marketing activity. In the majority of cases, parents are much more involved – studying abroad is a decision seen as serious long-term investment into the future of both the child and the family as a whole.
This learning, combined with past experience of marketing international propositions, lead us to develop a straight talking, benefit-led message to cater to the needs of both parent and student.
It was decided that UNITE’s accommodation offers secure, study-focused environments where students can live and learn in safety. This single, consistent message meant we could appeal across all markets and be sure to cause no offence.
Messaging was communicated in the form of carefully placed online and offline advertising coupled with pay-per-click campaigns. These communications drove traffic to specifically designed microsites, each in the appropriate language.
It was a challenging task, as activity was to roll out in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Greece, Germany, France and Italy just 5 weeks after receiving the initial brief!
The campaign went live on June 21st and Ruth Lippiatt, Head of Marketing at UNITE is delighted with initial feedback:
“UNITE selected Proctor & Stevenson to work with us on our international marketing campaign. Proctors was able to demonstrate its capabilities in the international arena and was very professional and quick to understand our business and the needs of the campaign.
Given the tight deadlines, the agency turned the work around fast and made our life just that little bit easier. All of the team at Proctors are a pleasure to work with and give you confidence that they'll deliver what they promise.
It's early days at the moment, but I'm pleased to say the campaign launched on time and early indicators look like everything is going in the right direction.”
With a happy client and over 100,000 unique visits to the websites in the first 4 days, it’s a great start to an exciting project… but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say.
Proctors has never been shy of measurement, and a key element of the project has been establishing benchmarks upon which the campaign’s effectiveness can be established. From choice of language (local vs. English) to media placement, to the ratio of student/parent enquiry to call centre conversion there’s a lot to learn, and all activity is being reported, reviewed and adjusted on a weekly basis as we work towards an ever more effective communication strategy.
Visit the India microsite here>>