Matching marketing to mood: A new approach to student marketing

November 24, 2017

The UK Higher Education sector has changed dramatically over the past ten years. It has swiftly moved from a sellers’ to a buyers’ market. 

Overall applications for 2017 undergraduate places have dropped by 5% for UK applicants, and 7% for those from the European Union (ref. UCAS Feb 2017).

So how do universities and colleges survive in such a disrupted, highly competitive marketplace?

More and more students are receiving five out of five offers. You would want to be certain you’re top of their list, should they achieve their desired grades. You also want to avoid the clearing battleground and win the war well before it gets to the clearance stage.

The application process for undergraduate degrees has changed very little. It’s the attitudes and habits of the applicants that are radically different.

Generation Z, millennials – whatever you want to call them – basically those born in the late nineties to the early ‘00s are a different breed of student. Today’s 18-year-olds are complete digital natives who have matured in the constant presence of social media.

You now have to hold the attention of a young audience with a low attention span, across a long decision cycle and numerous channels.

However, it doesn’t end with choosing your platforms and putting your message out there. Before you get started, there are other things to consider.

Getting the right mix lets you reach out to students, parents, existing students and alumni – and present messages in easily-digestible and shareable formats: videos and images, shared in places students are spending time.

You can’t rely on old techniques anymore – you need to start with a fresh plan.

Universities notoriously distribute the same stale content which gets lost in a world of timelines, gifs and memes. To really capture the attention of this new generation of 18-year-olds, you need to take things one step further by overlaying the calendar with a mood map that plots the emotional states of students throughout their journey.

It is key to target these 'millennials' with the right content at the perfect time to match their mood.

So we put together this helpful eBook that will help you speak more effectively to a new generation of students.

What's inside?

  • How to talk to students (and how often)
  • Three steps to success. Keeping students interested throughout a long decision cycle
  • Three social media platforms worth your attention
  • How influencers can play a key part in your marketing strategy
  • How to match your messages to your students’ mood
  • Your example plan

If this has peaked your interest and you want to find out more, you can download our White Paper on the new approach to student recruitment by clicking here.