Get a marketing advantage: become an English UK core group (but you'd better be fast)

Good statistics underpin good marketing plans, which is why English UK runs a core group of members who share detailed sales figures four times a year.

Sign up for this service -- it's free, providing you meet the deadlines -- and you'll get detailed figures on how around a hundred language centres are faring in different markets, which you can then compare with your own records to amend or improve your marketing plans.

The core marketing group runs for three years at a time, and there's only one day left for your chance to join. The deadline for applications is Friday 28 February. Any member centre, no matter how big or small, can take part: you just need to be able to provide quarterly statistics about student weeks from different countries and markets on time.

Huan Japes, Deputy Chief Executive for professional services at English UK, said: "We'd really encourage as many members as possible to join, both because it's such a useful free service which can really help with marketing, and because the figures are more representative and accurate if we have a wide cross-section of centres. A hundred members, which is what we normally have, is great, but 120 would be even better.

"It doesn't matter how big or small you are: it's a fantastic marketing tool for you, and getting the figures to us isn't too time-consuming, especially if you use some online registering systems -- though many of our centres don't.

"These figures are exclusive to core group members, which mean you get a real advantage."

Richard Day of English in Chester told a session at the Marketing Conference how he uses the core group statistics to build and inform his own marketing plans.

Pointing to the top 15 biggest markets, he said: "These are ones members should worry about for your marketing plan: you need big fish. These are the big fish you should be looking at.

"But then I might project those figures and see that some have taken a drop. I see a warning signal. And with my team we'll look at our stats, and where they are with the 99 others in the group.

"If I see an expanding market, my plan would say development here, let's move in and do something. But it's not just big fish: I like going for minnows as well. They're as important to develop."

Richard pointed to small markets growing strongly, led by Mongolia, and also pulled up statistics where students are booking directly rather than through agents. He added: "A key thing for language schools like mine is seasonality: you can see how some of these countries are up and down whereas Korea is a happier market for year-round business.

"I'm trying to show you what you can get out of this: what's interesting is comparing my own statistics with the core statistic. You could, with a friend, compare both of your statistics with core statistics and talk out a few interesting ideas."

Judith Hands of Torquay International School, a long-term member of the group, said: "For the little it costs and the few moments the information takes to retrieve I can't understand why anyone wouldn't be a member. It's incredibly useful to see the nationalities and the numbers but it would be so much more meaningful with more members in the group." 

Schools which are interested in joining the new core group, running from this spring to 2016, will need to provide a refundable deposit and agree to provide certain statistics on time each time a quarter. Detailed aggregated figures are then created by English UK staff and distributed with a report and analysis to all core group members. This information is exclusive to core group members, although some headline figures will be used in the Chief Executive's presentation at the AGM.

Centres filing statistics more than a fortnight late will be fined £50 from their deposit (although this happens very rarely) or will lose it all and be withdrawn from the scheme if more than a month late.

To join or find out more contact Emma Chon, international officer on emma@englishuk.com, or click here to download an application form.

More information can also be found on our website.

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