Five top tips from experts in marketing
26 October 2018

You want to get more students; we want to help you do that. That's why we run a marketing conference each year, covering UK ELT marketing from all angles, from building your digital presence to working with agents and understanding new markets.

"I found it useful. I wanted to go to more of the sessions and found it hard to choose!" said Fauzia Eastwood, University of the Arts London, at the networking reception at the end of our 2018 event.

Nicole Kennedy, sales director of Studio Cambridge, added: "I thought the opening plenary one of the best I have been to for a long time. It was inspirational. It sounds cheesy but my sales team are here today and it's lifted them."


Top tips from 2018

1. Set the tone of your organisation from the top

Linda Moir, who masterminded customer experience for Virgin Atlantic and the London Olympics, said two factors were key: remember that as a leader you set the tone for your organisation as and it is that which customers and students will see, and to ensure your business has a collaborative culture in which everybody has a say.

2. Emphasise quality and use Instagram for Japanese students

ELT school CEO Shoko Doherty, talking about attracting Japanese students, suggested taking part in B2C fairs, emphasising quality and using Instagram as young people love being in a place which is good to take photos.

3. Align keywords to your market

Digital marketing expert Richard Bradford said ELT centres should think about what potential customers are searching for on Google and ensure that aligns with their offer and how they are talking about it.

"If you do nothing else do keyword research, align keywords to your market, and work out what people are searching for when they come to you – and then use them."

4. Prioritise relationships, responsiveness and discounts with Thai agents

Hannah Alexander-Wright, introducing her market report on Thailand, said ELT centres needed to market to three different groups. "Agents want relationships, responsiveness, a discount and commissions.

Students want digital stuff, and parents want to know it's an academic institution and about safety and pastoral care. So there's the agents as mediators, students doing research, and parents trusting agents. Some schools are very good at some things but you need to tick three boxes."

5. Step into your customer's shoes

Sahar Hashemi, founder of Coffee Republic, highlighted six habits to be more innovative: step into your customers' shoes:

  • get out of the office
  • don't dismiss something because you think it won't work
  • be resourceful
  • be experimental
  • get used to people saying no
  • and take 100% of yourself to work.

Save money on the February 2019 marketing conference by booking before Friday 14 December (early bird deals apply for English UK members only).

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