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Developments in International Education Marketing

From The Pie News:

How is the marketing of education evolving?  The marketing of education appears to be playing a game of catch up with many other industries.….. UK and Australia are particularly innovative in marketing terms, because they have been the most active, historically, within the international education market. Indeed, according to Robert Lawrence, principal of Prospect Research and Marketing, in Australia roughly one-fifth of the total student numbers are international.

With globalisation encouraging many people to consider and to be able to afford an education overseas, schools are turning to marketing agencies to pursue an aggressive international enrolment agenda, often in the face of declining domestic enrolments.

“Over the next five years we will experience more change than we have in the past 100,” predicts Educate’s Richard Badley, who points out that there is a lot of work to be done around accountability and tracking, as well as the use of mobile marketing techniques, which he says have seen triple-figure growth in his business in one quarter of 2013….

…..Mike Elms, CEO of Hotcourses, points out that applicants search primarily by course. According to research he presented at the annual NAFSA conference in 2013, 43.5% of all students search by course or programme, compared to university (27.1%) and location (22.5%)….

….Andrew Crisp of Carrington Crisp says that another area which is often overlooked is in making use of alumni. “These people represent a powerful network, with an authentic message,” he says. “Not enough has been made of alumni in recent years.”…

He advocates an integrated approach and points out that what works best varies widely not only by country, but by institution too. Any advice, therefore, can only be on a case-by-case basis, but the one thing that all can agree on is that the marketing of international education has become a whole lot more sophisticated.


Not wishing to be too critical, at least someone is discussing education marketing…… The article itself represents the issue with marketing in international education, i.e. identifying specific channels, tools or means, focusing upon ‘outbound’ but still neglecting perhaps the most important digital based marketing, ‘organic’ or ‘inbound’ SEO search engine optimisation?

However, important components are mentioned: analytics or tracking, course search (not institution), and alumni, but they need top be viewed a a whole, neither as discrete activities nor components.

Best practice creates visibility all year round online for generic searches, and even better, is informed by students and alumni in their language…. but is that the issue for existing marketing personnel or ‘middle people’, they maybe bypassed?


For more information about international education digital marketing and SEO search engine optimisation click through.

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