What is the FE Marketing Silly Season?

FE Marketing Silly Season Stay Calm, Don't PanicSeveral 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.

More often than not senior staff do this with no idea about what the marketing team have planned. They often come up with outmoded ideas based on what might have worked 30 years ago. Sadly, they often have little or no knowledge of buyer behaviour in the digital age.

This tends to demoralise the marketing team who have worked all summer, whilst curriculum staff and others have been on holiday. My colleagues tell methat as professionals the marketing team members feel undermined.


Reactive Marketing During the FE Marketing Silly Season

This is a perfect example of reactive marketing. Marketing should be first and foremost planned, considered and evidence based. There is a case for reacting to changing circumstances but that isn’t what has occurred here.

This is about panic. Senior staff have no faith in the marketing professionals they have appointed and, as a result, panicking.


Why Are Numbers Poor?

The reasons are many. My colleagues tell me that in many cases they have promoted the establishment and numbers at events have been good. They point at the lack of staff available to provide IAG and to interview over the summer. They point to the dates for Open Days being selected by senio staff rather than marketing staff. They point to to much money being spent on panic marketing last year which left too little money left to market effectively the rest of the year.

I have some sympathy with colleagues that are being pressured to get late applicants.

BUT ……………

Working in silos is never effective. To overcome this problem both senior staff and marketing need to work together all year. They need to share verifiable data and plans and to plan their way out of when variances show. Panicking at the last moment never achieved much except frustration on both sides.