Nice to already know you – The importance of personalised data for further education.
When you are marketing in any sector, you cannot underestimate the importance of having a data broker that is providing accurate information. Personalisation is often the key to marketing success so when you invest in contact information, whether that is consumer data or B2B data, you need accuracy.
A success story for FE marketing
One of the slightly frustrating things about being a data broker is that, while we get a lot of great feedback, it tends to be in the form of metrics and numbers. However, a couple of weeks ago, something unusual happened out of pure coincidence. We were chatting with a supplier of our ours and he mentioned that his daughter had been considering two colleges. As a result of a direct mailer, one college had created the initial awareness that they have suitable courses for the learner. This then resulted in a very positive open event visit and an application. The second college was slightly more local and a little easier to get to. Due to location and familiarity, it had started as the default choice. However, they had to chase for some information which they eventually got as a generic email. There was no personalisation or direct contact. Most importantly they had to do all the work and the second college didn’t reach out to them in any way.
Guess which one is now the college of choice.
The first college moved from not even being in the picture to being a viable option and then to an application. This was a process that started with personalised data. That really matters to us because, amongst other support, we supplied the initial data for the campaign and helped with the direct mailer that started the ball rolling. We were part of the marketing chain that resulted in that young learner getting the option to make a better choice in her further education college.
FE colleges are an amazing resource. The services they provide mean that thousands of young people take the first step on the road to a lifelong career. We are really proud of being a part of that process by providing personalised, highly specific, data for further education marketing campaigns.
That story of success and failure makes a great point about the need for personalisation and effective marketing. It was the personal approach that got the attention of the prospective student and her father. Instead of just being junk mail or something from a google search result, the initial contact was direct to the right person because it was obtained from a checked consumer data source. It worked because the initial contact was made directly (and with relevant content) which resulted in the start of a communications funnel ending in a dedicated student getting on the right course.
There is a secondary, very important point to be made here as well. The consumer data used to pinpoint the prospective customer had been carefully chosen and filtered to support accurate targeting. While it isn’t guaranteed that accurate data will always result in a positive outcome, it certainly helps, as it clearly did in this case.
According to the AoC there are just over 700,000 16 – 18 year olds attending further education. Let’s assume that half that number start each year but only 2% of those new starters are potenially in the wider catchment area of a particular college. Now let’s assume just 10% of those new learners respond to a piece of personalised marketing. At his point a college would have a list of 7000 active students to talk to. Now let’s set a really low bar and say that the 7000 possibilities will only result in a measly 20% potential application rate. The personalised data we supplied could have been responsible for 1400 new student applications. That is a lot of full courses and a lot of young people getting the right start in life.
Which is why all our data is guaranteed to be accurate and appropriate.