Marketing & Communication Strategy – Digital Technology & Young Adults
According to industry market intelligence and those targeting youth markets, it’s very important to be abreast of digital technology for information, communication and recommendations with social media, internet, mobiles, friends, WOM (word of mouth), etc., used for sharing of credible information and brands (ICEF Monitor, 2016f). Marketers and institutions need more insight into student information digital or online research journey factors e.g. importance of student testimonials, easily navigable website, and direct rapid responses to enquiries (ICEF Monitor, 2016a).
Prospective candidates and in many cases families, need access to information and multimedia any time or place fitting their behaviour, not what fits institutional culture, personnel or strategies (ICEF Monitor, 2016c). Further, to access youth or millennials, mobiles and related marketing are important, as are speed, messages, images and multiple channels (ICEF Monitor, 2015a).
It is not sufficient to access only students, but also stakeholders such as parents influential in decision-making via their mother tongue, suggesting the importance of translated information that can be found (ICEF Monitor, 2012a). Additionally, European based industry groups and practitioners have confirmed the key influencers on student decision making during information seeking process, include peers, academics and advisors (ICEF Monitor, 2016b).
The challenge for now and the future is how can digital technology resources be leveraged to improve marketing, communications and recruitment or sales? Speaking to your target market is not only logical, it is also confirmed by industry, the need to track and analyse behaviour so targeted digital based marketing matches the target market (Saunders et al., 2009).
Expanding further, including the significance of inferring the Google search algorithm through outcomes, international education marketing and communication strategies can be improved by the same thinking. This is through using the inductive approach to delineate key factors in the information search phase, according to students and stakeholders, and inform good SEO (search engine optimisation) based marketing and communications.
ICEF Monitor (2016a) Global survey highlights the importance of peer review and detailed insights for prospective students. Available at: http://monitor.icef.com/2016/07/global-survey-highlights-importance-peer-review-detailed-insights-prospective-students/ (Accessed: 03/01/2017).
ICEF Monitor (2016b) New report tracks key influencers for international students. Available at: http://monitor.icef.com/2016/02/new-report-tracks-key-influencers-for-international-students/ (Accessed: 03/01/2017).
ICEF Monitor (2016c) New research provides fresh insights for reaching and engaging millennials. Available at: http://monitor.icef.com/2015/04/new-research-provides-fresh-insights-for-reaching-and-engaging-millennials/ (Accessed: 03/01/2017).
ICEF Monitor (2016f) Where the devices are: New study updates global stats on Internet usage. Available at: http://monitor.icef.com/2015/04/where-the-devices-are-new-study-updates-global-stats-on-internet-usage/ (Accessed on: 03/01/2017).
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2009) Research Methods for Business Students. (5th Ed.) Harlow UK: Pearson Education Ltd.