Branding Student Experience
The current NZ government and I suppose society in general has pooed the idea of marketing in the educational sector.
Some of the debate has focused on the branding of tertiary institutions. Advertising spend. The arguement being that any dollar spent on branding is a dollar not spent directly on students. I tend to side with the students as the budget spent on TV Ad canpaigns will only have a short term effect that will increase enrolments. Very tactical, mind share stuff focused on the short attention span of the swaying learner. At this stage of their decision process they will tend to only focus on the brand as the symbolic device. They have no previous knowledge or experience in other words.
TV Ad canpaigns for the tertiaru sector? Good value. Probably not.
That million could have been spent on a whole range of services for the long term benefit of students. Such investments will contribute to the relationship between the service brand and learner. This will have long term positive brand equity impacts on dimensions of the relationship such as trust and reputation. The brand will be seen to nurture the learner. Marketing communications should then flow around the learners collectives and to new prospects rather than being in the push direction.
CMON AUT and Otago (as at August 2008). Has a long term asssessment be done of the return and effectiveness of your current Ad spend on branding.
At the end of the day, Tertiary institutions should also think about the wider picture. The cost of Ad campaigns vs the cost of restructuring. I have been through (and lost) in the University of Auckland Business School. It is sad to see money spent on advertising as opposed to staff retention. The builders of brand relationship.
What is interesting at the moment is the branding of the new tertiary institution in the Manukau. The side show is the tussle between AUT, Manukau Institute of Technology, Manukau City Council and central government.
I would like to focus on the brand vision, that is, the University of Manukau (UoM).
A number of models have been proposed. In my view the region of Manukau and central government should start to think about the building of a long term asset that will be valued by the community. MIT can serve as the seed to the UoM. In fact they are one of the regions stakeholders. Lets not throw the opportunity away to build a respected South Auckland entity that will build hope.
Lets start to see what the opportunity is. I have two project students working on the problem right now. What that space for results due out in November 2008.
The University of Manukau (UoM): From old skool to new hip hop.