With change impacting every part of the institution, Jonathan was keen to ensure that the lessons embodied within the strategy were representative of the entire community.
“This was the most collaborative marketing strategy I’ve ever needed to develop. And it was really important that it was a collaborative process. Our approach was to work with senior stakeholders, both academics and professional services, to understand what they saw as the most influential trends to shape our strategic priorities. Through this process we identified 10 key trends which we see as not impacting us just for the next 12 months but absolutely here to impact higher education for years ahead. It was really interesting, speaking with different colleagues, how certain trends would be at the top of one list but not necessarily in another. Everybody felt, not just that they contributed to it, but actually made a difference in how it was developed. And that was a really important thing.”
Gaining a comprehensive view of the internal perspective enabled Jonathan and the team to appreciate the university’s vision and brand strategy with fresh eyes, and build a marketing strategy that was aligned to both core values and external influences.
“What is really exciting now is to have a strategy that is being aligned with the university vision and priorities, but also, there to support the faculty marketing teams and academics across the university. The first four of our strategic priorities are directly aligned to enable the university’s strategic priorities”
Establishing a strategy that was accessible, actionable and valuable was fundamental for Jonathan. A key aspect to ensure value was to place the student right at the centre of the developing strategy.
“I’ve worked across quite a few different sectors, but never one that focuses so much on getting a customer, then forgetting them when they get to camp. And so the importance of student experience and supporting those messages right through to the grave needs to be embedded into what we do as a marketing team. Student experience should always be a top priority. Covid has not just put our students at great risk physically, but it’s also been the biggest threat to their university experience. Our marketing strategy looks to proactively support students by making sure that they are aware and engaging with the support and services that are available to them. To do this we’ll be working really closely with the student union, we’ll also be working really closely with our advancement team to make sure that the student experience and that journey doesn’t end when they graduate”.