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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 30 May 2017. In this issue:

Why (and how) you need to build TEF into your academic marketing plans

The Teaching Excellence Framework year 2 results are due to be published on 14 June, and if predictions from 2016 pan out there will be disappointing results for many of the prestigious Russell Group, and big wins for many of the ‘new’ (post 1992) universities. The results may really shake up the league tables currently dominated by the older and research-intensive HEIs as the focus shifts from research to the student experience.

TEF is controversial amongst university leaders, but they all know they can’t ignore it. It puts student satisfaction at the heart of measuring a university’s quality, and investing in good quality resources from publishers is a big contributor to that.

Universities which wish to appeal their result can prepare a new proposal in the autumn of 2017 to be re-assessed. It is reasonable to suppose that most HEIs, whether re-applying or not, will be prioritising the student experience this autumn.

So how do we capitalise on this?

The answer is through careful campaigns that explicitly connect our academic resources to an enhanced learning experience. We need to remember that the ‘losers’ who may be planning to prepare a new submission will already be smarting without publishers gloating on the sidelines. Subtle messages will do the job just fine.

Our Academic Marketing Workshop is the place to be for more like this.

Read this month’s article on TEF in The Bookseller (subscriber-only content).


The British Airways feedback email that failed

BA hasn’t had great press recently. Share-damaging coverage of this weekend’s worldwide computer failure follows recent criticism for dropping free catering on short-haul flights. All of which had led to almost constant disgruntled social media noise about becoming a budget airline but without the prices to match.

After a flight to Berlin at the end of April I received an email requesting my feedback. Except that it was more demanding than requesting. It started well, by thanking me, but then went on:

‘We are always trying to improve the service we provide for you. Your feedback helps us achieve this. The survey should take around 12 minutes to complete and if you get interrupted you can return later and pick up where you left off. We would appreciate receiving your feedback within the next few days. The survey will close on 02/05/2017.’

Is it just me or does this sound bossy and just a little arrogant? 12 minutes is a long time for a survey when there is NO incentive being offered. And the writer obviously thinks it’s reasonable to ask for my response ‘in the next few days’, though I may have more pressing things to attend to …

This email isn’t dreadful, but it is very typical, yet with a little thought it could have been turned around. BA has been accused of being arrogant, and the tone here reinforces that. All the writer had to do was stop to think of the recipient for a few minutes.

Successful copywriting is genuinely complex, but there are plenty of practical techniques to deploy to help you to take your copy to another level. And our Copywriting Workshops are full of them.


30 hour working week anyone?

Why is it that working weeks that start with a bank holiday seem to last forever?

On the assumption that all of us in the UK and the US will be finding it just a bit tougher to get down to work this morning, here’s a post on the GoToMeeting blog to cheer you. Amazon has recently introduced a 30 hour working week, and Sweden made global headlines a couple of years ago when it introduced a 6 hour working day for 8 hours’ pay. This isn’t generosity on their part, but a belief that motivated employees cram more productive work into less time.

Read ‘Do we need a 30-hour working week?’ on the GoToMeeting blog.

Efficient planning is the very best way to maximise productivity and with it job satisfaction. Why not take a look at our Impressive Marketing Plans on a Small Budget workshop? NEW DATE just announced, runs in central London on Tuesday 17 October.


Tip of the week: Learn from delegate lists at events

It can be tough identifying accurate job titles to target for a campaign, but here’s a neat trick. If there’s a list of attendees at an event you’re at, take photos on your phone. This is NOT so that you can add them to a mailing list, but for background market intelligence, especially in areas (such as higher education) where new job titles are springing up to reflect new challenges.   




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