Marketing was neither sufficiently professional nor integrated with the University’s faculties, and lacked a clear strategy, at a time of rising student recruitment costs, downward pressure on its budget of over £10m and increasing competition among universities.
What did we do?
Working with the client’s Estates department, we set up a three-stage process, defining priority geographical areas, identifying towns and cities (locations) and setting criteria for choosing pitches within a location.
At each stage, criteria were agreed and a template created for filtering the options. As a result, a strategy was developed for network growth, with a strong rationale to support the recommendations.
What was the breakthrough for Open University?
The new marketing organisation helped attract skilled marketers to the organisation. The switch to a retention strategy achieved close to 25% reduction in unit cost per student registered, with student target numbers met from fewer applications and a 10% lower budget.