A marketing masterclass, university-style

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It’s A Level results time for thousands of families in the UK and for many of us that means that our sons and daughters are nearing the end of the university selection process.


The last year has been a marketing masterclass from some universities – Manchester has been a good example. It started with the well-designed brochure and brilliantly organised event/open day, where the sun shone (although I think that was by chance rather than design) and they wheeled out their most charming students and lecturers. There followed an interview meeting and a personal follow up letter to my son, which flattered him to the point where he truly believed that this was the only real choice he should be making. And even when he decided that Manchester was too close to home and put them as second choice on his form, the Manchester marketers haven’t given up on him.


They sent him good luck postcards, look what you’d miss at Manchester letters and tips on exam techniques. They continue to email him and flatter him into considering Manchester even though it’s late in the day. And I’ve no doubt that they’ll continue until he’s finally rejected that place.


It’s been a great lesson in marketing, that even when you feel that you may have tried and failed to win a piece of business, get somebody along to your event or respond to a mailing, it’s never over until it’s over – you should keep at it and don’t give up until it’s absolutely a dead end.


As for my son, he may well still take up that place at Manchester and if he does, I’ll be the first to congratulate them for a job very well done.