Tag Archives: marketing

Why Do 50% of College Course Enquiries Get Ignored?

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50% of FE college enquiries go UnanswerdWhen the Sector Cries Out for Students and Income; 50% of Course Enquiries are Going Unanswered.

Its incredible .. but our recent mystery shopping survey  results are clear. Read more in our Exclusive Article on FE News ……. 50% of FE Enquiries Go Unanswered 

 

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How to Market a College Restaurant To Boost Profits & Recruitment

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How to Market a College Restaurant Marketing a College Restaurant: This is Often Low Down on the Priority List in Many Colleges. But When You Effectively Promote the College Restaurant The ROI is Huge

To simplify the college restaurant marketing process I use  simple templates to determine answers to a series of questions that lead towards the marketing plan. The templates vary from college to college but you’ll get a feel of what I’m looking for from these typical questions. See Below …. Continue reading

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Perceptions Speak Volumes

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When Writing Copy for Websites, Printed Material, Social Media & Menus We Need to Consider The Readers Perceptions

Michelin starred chef, Heston Blumenthal, tells a wonderful story of having spent weeks developing crab ice cream only to find few people ordered it. This story is about perceptions.

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Could Numbers Be Gender Specific?

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Research by Wilkie & Bodenhausen (2015) Indicates That Numbers Are Gender Specific

My gut reaction was that this was highly unlikely. But then I thought some more.

My logic was that if this were true then it might influence how we use numbers to influence the purchase of courses .. especially online.

So I’m conducting some research of my own. It’s only a simple one question survey but it will cast more light on the question.

Answer this single question and I’ll explain the rationale as soon as I have some results.

Click the link below to see the question

Numbers & Gender Research

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Value Based Pricing Strategies for FE Business Development

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Value Based Pricing Strategies are an FHE business development strategy essential in FE Value Based Pricing is an Alternative Pricing Strategy Few FE Providers Use

Most FE Providers ignore Value Based Pricing Strategies and go for Flat Pricing with a single option. For example, a course is charged at £195 per person. There are no other options.

This is a quick and easy way to quote but it means you are going to be compared with your competitors on price. And that means someone will always try to do it cheaper and, even if you get the work, the margins are very slim.

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The Power of Three in Sales & Marketing

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The Power of Three in Sales and markletingThe Power of Three Makes Sales More Certain

The Power of Three is a very simple idea that can really provide improved sales and marketing results.

What is the Power of Three?

The power of three is simple, but lets start with the number one. When you offer people one option .. or a take it or leave it option .. they have no choice and there is a high chance you fail to make a sale.

But give people several options and the choice goes from deciding if they want your course to deciding which option they want.

Sadly FE rarely offers people options that could sell more. But they could if they follow this advice.

Examples of the Power of Three Options

Say you are selling a First Aid course. The Power of Three in Selling First Aid Courses

Lots of colleges sell these courses and buyers decide on location and price. Where several providers exist in a buyers area they then often buy based on price alone.

The Power of Three says you should offer the standard course at a given price but then offer two further options. These could be based on anything to providing free coffee and or lunch to things like online QA after the course. Continue reading

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What is Psychological Nudging?

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Psychological Nudging: The Government’s BehaviourImages of Eyes are useful for psychological nudgingal 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

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Coffee Gets Additional Business

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Hfree coffee is a way to build relationships ow Often Do Your Clients Become Past Memories? 

For example you might have had students from a particular business for years and then they suddenly stop enrolling one year. Or maybe a school was an excellent feeder for years and then started to tail off. The answer could be coffee!

The schools issue is not so common with most providers as they often have a dedicated schools liaison person.  And that fact indicates the problem with the former. You see if no one is tasked with keeping in touch with current customers they soon get forgotten.  It isn’t enough to think that your courses are great and they will keep on coming.  All it takes is for a competitor to appear and woo them away from you.

But if you keep in touch with them on  a regular basis then they are far less likely to disappear. Ideally you should be sending them some useful snippets of info, or some top tips relevant to them, on  a regular basis.

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How to Find Individual Email Addresses

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how to find email addressesHave 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.

Finding email addresses

So check out emailhunter.co .

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Employers Will Pay Much More

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employers pay extra for luxury Frequently I’m Told Employers Will NOT Pay a Premium .. or sometimes anything at all. 

That’s NOT True

Employers will pay much more than most people think when buying courses for themselves or highly valued staff.

The trick is to tap into what they value or need most.

Employers are people and people value the little extras in life .. such as
Luxury (the feeling of)
Time
Clarity
Experience
Process (if it’s unique)
Passing Responsibility (the transfer of it…to you)
Think about the businesses that YOU pay a premium to…

What do they give you that makes you happy to pay extra?

Coffee shops; most charge a high premium on coffee fees. In return you get a distinct ambiance, great coffee, comfortable seating and (usually) good music.

Apple, Their computers and phones are really expensive. You can pay 100% – 400% premium on their computers. But in return, you get a Apple shops which provide a much better experience, a great feeling when opening the box plus good  customer service.

Even the simpler, more innovative design implies clarity.

 

What Employers Will Pay For 

Employers will pay extra if you provide some, or all, of the above.

The first step is to answer the phone correctly. These people are responsible adults that run businesses.  Far too often when I speak to providers on the phone I feel like they are treating me like a school leaver. There is no need to be abrupt or appear superior!

I’m sure staff don’t set out to appear like this .. but sadly some definitely come over like this.

So start by thinking about the people you are dealing with and what they expect.  Provide this as a minimum and then try to exceed their expectations.  You can then base your prices on this level of service and see significant income improvements.

You will also stand out from the crowd when bidding against other providers.

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Competitive Marketing in the FE Sector

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Should Providers Compete For Students?

The FE Commissioner thinks the sector spends too much on this and I agree. It is a wasteful practice. It also misses of the point of the message we should be giving prospective students.

I believe we should be promoting careers to young people. I believe that could be done regionally or nationally and at much lower cost.

This is a topic I wrote about for my recent FE News exclusive .. and I explain more in glorious technicolor in a related video at

https://www.fenews.co.uk/fe-news/competitive-marketing-in-fe

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Learning New Marketing Tricks

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They Say You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

I disagree.

I could probably be described as an old dog but I love learning new tricks.  I love to learn how to market more effectively and with the rate that marketing technology is changing that means learning lots of new tricks.

But it needn’t be as time consuming or expensive to learn as many people think. In this video I show how I’ve taken one simple marketing channel and learnt more at no cost.  In this case it is how to use VFX .. Video Special Effects .  In this case I wanted to learn how to track moving images and add a special effect to them.  A few years ago this would have been difficult to do as each frame would have been dealt with separately. Now it is possible to automate the process and track a moving object for the whole clip length … and do it in minutes.

Learn more in the video below. View time .. less than 5 minutes 30 seconds

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Follow Up Is a Very Effective Marketing & Sales Technique

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follow up is a vital profit making skillFollow-up is a superb way to increase your sales and profits and is very easy to understand and undertake.

So lets start with the Follow Up basics.

You’ve met someone and they have shown genuine interest in what you have to offer.  You exchange cards and part company with promises to get back in touch. But clearly you will not be doing any business if you don’t get back in contact.

Sadly that is where many potential business opportunities fail.   No further contact is made.

Now it might be that you feel getting back in touch feels a bit pushy.  OK, but if you aren’t prepared to push at this stage there is no business to be had.  You have to make the effort to get back in touch.

This is how I do it.

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Outsourcing Marketing: Should Marketing Be Outsourced?

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Is outsourcing marketing a good idea?Should FE Providers Outsource Their Marketing?

Several CEOs have recently asked me this.

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.

But why not watch the video first?

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The Prospectus in the Digital Age

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Hartpury prospectus circa 1990The Prospectus is a Major FHE Marketing Expense.

Major costs are incurred in aggregating the course and other information required.  More costs are incurred in designing the hard copy publication. Printing is a huge cost.  And distribution, especially via the post, can add another huge bill to the total cost.

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Ofsted To Inspect Marketing

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How Would Your Marketing Stand Up to An Ofsted Inspection?

Read my latest article for FE News on Ofsted Inspections of Marketing

http://www.fenews.co.uk/fe-news/ofsted-to-inspect-marketing

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The Two Types of Purchase in the Education Sector

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How Can Your Prospects Measure Risk Marketing and Selling to Explorers and Experienced Buyers

When you think about it there are only two types of people that might want to do business with providers.

There are those that aren’t sure what we have to offer, but happen upon us or are exploring options and there are those that know exactly what we offer and want more of the same.

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How Can FE Providers Balance Their Budgets?

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Cookery Courses could help FE  beat the budget downturnMy 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.

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Negotiations: The Tesco Technique

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Do Your Negotiations Say It With Flowers?

Do Your Negotiations Say It With Flowers?

Are you a tough negotiator like Tesco .. or do you have more sense?

The recent spate of media coverage over the tactics that the supermarkets use with suppliers has exposed many of them to the public gaze.  As long ago as the 1990s I supplied a number of supermarket chains so the current stories do not surprise me.  I’ve been there and have the T-shirt.

I dumped Tesco, Sainsburys and several other supermarket chains before they controlled the business I then owned. It was tough but subsequently I was much better off.

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Pragmatic FHE Brand Experiences: Lessons From Success and Failure

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Many Education Providers Think They Have a Brand. But Do They Understand It?

How branding has been successfully implemented (and failed) in the FE sector is Stefan Drew’s topic at the Discovering Futures in June. Drawing on his experience of implementing brand strategies, across the UK FHE and training sectors, he explains how he utilised oak trees, people, geography, royalty, pigs and plenty of new tarmac to build one brand.

There will be a conference website soon. but if you want me to let you know when it is launched drop me an email.

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