Do you recall the elevator pitch?. You had to tell people about yourself in the time it took to go a few floors in a lift or on an elevator. My US friends need to translate .. what Americans call an elevator we cal a lift in the UK.
Most people focused on something like “I’m Stefan and I am a marketing consultant”. It was all about the speaker and very boring.
A better concept is to talk about what they need. So when I meet a principal in a lift I get a better response if I say something like, “I’m Stefan and I’ve just increased applications at x college buy 30% and cut their marketing budget by £100k. Would you be interested in learning how we did it?” Continue reading →
Several FE marketing colleagues contacted me during the FE Marketing Silly Season
All were highly hacked off.
What is the FE Marketing Silly Season? Why were people hacked off? They were hacked off simply because they had worked hard all year and felt that their professionalsim was under attack.
And what is it? The FE Marketing Silly Season is when provider senior staff look at numbers and decide that action is needed. By that I mean an extra marketing push is needed. My colleagues tell me that the senior staff then come up with all sorts of marketing initiatives and insist that the marketing department implement them immediately. Continue reading →
Websites Cost a Lot of Money, So Correctly Briefing Your Website Designer is Vital if You Want Value for Money from Your Designer
How to Brief a Website Designer
Over the last ten years I’ve specified a lot of education websites. I’ve also reviewed a lot of website specs drawn up by providers. So How to Brief a Website Designer is now second nature to me; but lots of people struggle with it. Specifying the website is key to getting your site right, but it needs detailed and concise specification.
A lot of good web designers tell me that too many clients haven’t much idea what they want in a website except it should be a “good site” or a site like one of their competitors.
No designer can give you value for money with such an imprecise specification. The good ones will probe for detail but the unethical designers (and there are a lot of them out there) will rip you off by fulfilling your imprecise instructions at high cost (then blame you for not briefing them properly).
Website Specification Detail
In the last few years I’ve specified many websites and my experience is that a specification needs to be at least 30-40 pages in length to be detailed enough to provide a designer with sufficient information. And I don’t mean a document full of screengrabs of sites that are liked or disliked; I mean hard facts.
It is necessary to specify your customer profiles, the products and/or services you wish to offer, the Calls to Action you require to be followed and the apps, plugins and functions you wish to provide. In most cases it is the function we wish to provide e.g. an appointment booking system, rather than the actual app or plugin to be used as the designer should have a more up to date knowledge of these and how they will interface with other systems and functions. Continue reading →
Psychological Nudging: The Government’s Behavioural Insights Team, aka The Nudge Unit, has been in existence for many years, but few people know of it.
However it can teach FE a thing or two about marketing and business development.
Psychological nudging is used by government to encourage us to do things we might not otherwise want to do. Things like pay their road tax.
A few years ago the Nudge Unit suggested that DVLA changed their normal long-winded letter to suspected non payers and sent a very simple message to those suspected on non payment. It simply said, Pay Your Road Tax or Lose Your Car.
Payments from previous non payers doubled. And when a photo of the vehicle was added payments tripled.
Outside of government nudge methods also work. Where honesty boxes are used the level of non payment significantly drops if you put an image of a pair of eyes next to the box! Continue reading →
Have you ever wanted to email someone but didn’t have their email address?
Frustrating isn’t it.
The person you need to contact could be the MD of a large company that you can supply apprentices to. Or they could be the perfect guest speaker at an event you are running. But if you can’t email them you have a problem; especially if the gatekeeper assiduously guards them.
You could look for them on Facebook or LinkedIn but that takes time. Their website might only have an info@ type addresses.
When customers, prospective students or employers look for answers to their problems, want to discover new things, or have to make decisions, they often go online for help. Google calls these times micro-moments.
We need to recognise that our customers are doing this on a wide range of devices when they go to your website or app, and ….. increasingly ….. they’re happening on YouTube.
So providers need a strategy to engage with searchers at this time; the time when they want help and advice.
They’ve been told it will save money and give them access to a wider marketing skill base.
I think both of these reasons are flawed. But the truth is worse than that. In this video I go into the pros and cons of outsourcing. You can read more of my thoughts on outsourcing marketing in my recent article on FE News.
My recent article on FE News had the phone ringing and was shared over fifty times. In it I said that FE needs to rethink their business model and offer people what they wanted rather than what providers thought was needed.
I agreed that qualifications were important but suggested that not everyone wants a qual. Some people just want to be able to apply new skills very quickly and others were looking for a leisure experience.
I provided three examples of FE businesses that were thriving and had no government funding and no Inspection hassles.
Creating Business Growth: 21 Successful Marketers Reveal Their Top Business Marketing Secrets is my new marketing book.
Imagine if you could get marketing advice from over 20 leading marketing authorities, including a Professor who is a TED speaker, a former White House writer and several best selling authors that practice what they preach. In fact these guys only teach a technique when they have used the technique for a long time and thoroughly tested it.
Sometimes it’s worth looking outside our own sector to see what others are doing.
Here’s a short video demonstrating an innovative idea an Australian charity used to grab the attention of potential corporate donors. I’m not sure you could exactly copy this in FE but it does made me think about other ways to attract attention.
How will you use this idea to make contact with potential clients?
I’ve added a new menu item this month. You can now get my free advice and recommendations on a your marketing and business development work.
I’m planning on this becoming a permanent feature on the site.
Here’s the deal.
As a special bonus for visiting this site you can ask for my thoughts and/or recommendations on a piece of marketing collateral or a business development tactic each month. This is totally free with no strings.
It could be a Facebook ad, sales letter, web page, email, business proposal, or anything else that you need to get an objective view on. Continue reading →
As Principal I employed very few consultants but did employ Stefan on the basis of a clear ROI.
I would recommend him to any college, university, business or Government agency as a reliable consultant who will become indispensable.
Ioan Morgan CBE Latterly FE College Principal & CEO
He certainly does what he says on the tin...... I've worked with Stefan for many years and he has an uncanny knack of cutting through the ****, focussing on the essentials and coming up with creative and inexpensive marketing ideas that work.
Stefan isn't called the 'Marketing Magician' for nothing you know !
His ability to see marketing solutions that really work is second to none, without spending a fortune.
I think Stefan's great strength is taking problems and solving them, in a clear and positive way, without a whole lot of jargon.
I recently had the pleasure on working with Stefan on publishing a new marketing book. "Creating Business Growth" quickly became a Bestseller in several countries around the world. This project came together and was guided from concept to successful completion by a true leader. That leader is Stefan Drew. Stefan is an experienced marketer and I highly recommend him.
Stefan is very thorough in his research and understanding of a clients requirements. He has a proven record of delivering comprehensive strategic marketing plans that address education / FE issues critical to the ongoing success of a ...MoreStefan is very thorough in his research and understanding of a clients requirements. He has a proven record of delivering comprehensive strategic marketing plans that address education / FE issues critical to the ongoing success of a college. I would recommend considering Stefan for any project that involves strategic planning, communication or digital marketing.
I have worked with Stefan and have learnt a lot from him. He has extensive knowledge in digital marketing and he is keen to share his passion for the kind of deep audience insights that digital marketing can offer. ...MoreI have worked with Stefan and have learnt a lot from him. He has extensive knowledge in digital marketing and he is keen to share his passion for the kind of deep audience insights that digital marketing can offer.
His enthusiasm for marketing is infectious and he is a joy to work with.
Stefan is a valuable and regular source of sage advice and counterintuitive thinking. His tips on media and visibility have benefited my both clients and me and he always has an insightful perspective to share. If you get the chance to work with him, take it!
Stefan drew from a wealth of marketing and educational sector knowledge to provide suggestions, solutions and ideas which proved to be effective and beneficial to the organisation. I would have no hesitation in seeking his expertise in the future.
Stefan has a wealth of practical ideas to solve your ,marketing problems, based on a lifetime of experience in the real world. His down to earth approach is easy to implement and he's very adept at saving money, helping you focus on marketing that will get you new clients or more business
Having experienced a wide range of corporate marketing "experts" over the years, Stefan offers a very different cool and pragmatic approach. Without looking to simply throw money at the problem, he finds different ways and I've seen some great results.....