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Be a starter finisher – complete your responses to the FE Marketing Benchmarking Survey

April 21, 2015

We are delighted to have reached almost 120 responses from individual colleges to our national college marketing benchmarking survey – although only 70 have completed the survey – so please make half an hour this week to complete your entry. If you don’t know the answer to any of the questions then please check the don’t know option. If you know but can’t verify your data formally – then check the entry closest to your “known” numbers. If you have any additional explanation to help quantify your entry please use the comment boxes provided. For more help contact

The survey will officially close (no more extensions) at midnight on Monday 27th April so we would love you to make this a really significant study by completing the survey in full.

And remember only those that complete will receive the FREE detailed analysis results and the best practice guide.

Go to to complete the survey….

Share and Learn – benchmarking survey deadline extended to 24th April

March 27, 2015

adOur ground-breaking survey of FE marketing has been extended to 24th April. Make sure you get your FREE copy of the detailed report and a FREE best practice guide by completing your contribution to the survey.

Our researcher Fiona Carthy says: “Thanks so much to the 80+ colleges that have already completed the FE Marketing Benchmarking Survey – we have had a great spread of responses from colleges all over the country and there are some clear emerging themes. However, we know many of you have started the survey and gone off to find the relevant data for completion so wanted to allow you some more time to do this.

“Therefore the survey will remain open until 24th April to allow more colleges to participate and those who have started the survey to complete it.

“Please also note to return to the survey you need to do so from the same computer you started it on. Any difficulties with completing the survey or any questions in relation to the survey can be sent to where I am on hand to provide advice.

“Our target is to have 100 colleges complete the survey for the findings be valid – so we need your support – we believe the results of the research will be influential in the sector and will help to shift the profile and approach to marketing by senior leaders in the sector – so please be part of this important study. All participants will receive a FREE copy of the detailed findings which will also include a comprehensive best practice guide.”


Research on the agenda for the next regional networking meeting, 15th April

March 13, 2015

Our next regional networking meeting will be at West Thames College on 15th April, and will focus on using research for recruitment and curriculum planning, the digital prospectus and discussion of your priorities and issues.

The programme includes:

10.15am      Arrival, registration and coffee for a 10.30am start.

Michael Bennett, Head of Marketing & Communications, South Essex College
Using research to support 16-18 marketing strategy
How South Essex College used primary and secondary research to define key messages and identify new markets. The presentation will include the tactics used, the cost and the outcomes.

Elvie-Jo Shergold, Head of Commissioning, Barnet & Southgate College
Curriculum planning based on LMI
Barnet and Southgate College have piloted a new approach to curriculum planning and the embedding of LMI data is leading that process. This informal session will explain the college’s unique approach to using LMI effectively and talk through some of the barriers to success it is now grappling with.

12.30 Lunch

Dave Cooper, Digital Edge UK (formerly Director of Marketing, Solihull College)
Prospectus Builder
For most Colleges the need to move from print prospectuses to digital versions is well recognised but the cost of doing this has for many proved prohibitive. Building on experience at a number of colleges, there is now a licensed programme that allows colleges to build their own prospectus or indeed multiple targeted prospectuses – HE, Engineering, Management etc – using available video/photo media at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke system. Included in this is the use of Leaflet Hub to ensure efficient access to accurate course information.

We will also have time to discuss issues you want to raise with colleagues in a round-table session before lunch.

The day will end by 2.30pm. Timings are given for guidance and may be subject to change.

Venue: West Thames College, London Road, Isleworth, TW7 4HS

Thanks to West Thames College for their hospitality.


Proposed FE First Awards categories – consultation

March 13, 2015

Our FE First award winners 2014Today we announce that our proposed categories for the College Marketing Network’s FE First Awards 2015 are as follows:

  1. PR campaign
  2. Communications campaign
  3. Events management
  4. Website
  5. Innovation
  6. Digital and social media campaign/initiative
  7. School leaver recruitment campaign
  8. Specialised recruitment campaign
  9. Print publication
  10. Full-time prospectus
  11. Marketing Team of the Year*

*= only open to CMN members

As always, we value our members’ feedback and input into the awards categories – do they reflect your priorities? Give us your feedback via by Friday 27th March.

Regional networking meeting, Aylesbury College, 4th March

March 9, 2015

P1040535What our delegates said…

  • Very interesting and informative
  • Some interesting and innovative ideas that I hope to apply to my team’s future marketing campaigns
  • Excellent thank you
  • Really good in terms of networking and interesting to discuss team structures

Next date – 15th April at West Thames College. Book now for your FREE place (CMN member colleges only)

What you said about our free regional meeting last week…

February 24, 2015

P1040457What delegates said about our regional networking meeting last week at Birmingham Metropolitan College ….

It was great to attend my first meeting yesterday. Can you make sure I’m on any mailing lists so I can find out about upcoming events? Also can I sign up to Jist-mail that was spoken about at the meeting?

Hello, really enjoyed yesterday’s meeting and already looking forward to the next.  Please can I sign up for the JISCmail?

Good mix of topics covered and the round table discussion was very useful.

I enjoyed attending the meeting for the first time. I liked hearing from other colleges and the biometrics session was interesting.

Great event, very useful thanks!

Interesting – good to meet other marketers and discuss challenges and successes.

Great first event, wish we’d attended sooner! Can’t wait for the next one!

Useful to know what colleges spend on campaigns, and especially to know what worked/didn’t.

Round table discussion – excellent. Very interesting biometrics discussion, probably ahead of the curve for us.

Encouraging to know we’re all in the same boat. Changing perceptions very useful, lots of tips to take home.

Next meeting at Aylesbury College on 4th March – FREE to CMN member colleges, £75 to non-members. Contact

Regional networking meeting, Aylesbury College, 4th March

February 24, 2015

10.15am      Arrival, registration and coffee for a 10.30am start.

Matt Brown, Director of Marketing & Student Engagement, Aylesbury College
Producing quality video content for your college on a small budget:
How Aylesbury College worked with a graduate film-maker to produce 25 high quality videos for use on the College website and You Tube channel. Matt will take delegates on a walk-through of the project, focusing on the elements that others could easily replicate and he’ll be happy to share documents and templates that were produced as part of the project, which won Gold in the FE First Awards 2014 in the Digital Media category.

Miriam Braham, Marketing Manager, Activate Learning
Beating the A4074
This session charts the route taken by two college marketing teams over the past three years. During this time they successfully navigated through restructure, tackled rebranding and smashed ambitious growth plans to emerge as a strong, high-performing team, operating within a central services framework. But was it all plain sailing?

12.30 Lunch

Dave Cooper, Digital Edge UK (formerly Director of Marketing, Solihull College)
Leaflet Hub
Course leaflet information is key to giving potential students and influencers the required information to make study decisions. Every year, more and more referral websites appear that require this information – SFA, EFA, Hotcourses, UCAS, Notgoingtouni etc. The output of this data traditionally comes from MIS and though the speed and accuracy of this is crucial for marketing, for MIS it is just one of many roles they need to consider.

Leaflet Hub has been specifically developed to allow Marketing to control the output and will simply and efficiently communicate with your MIS system in order to give better and easier control of your course leaflets, course information and more flexibility with the layout and design of your leaflets in multiple locations.

Leaflet Hub accepts a single input from your MIS system and allows you to edit course information from a single place before feeding the course leaflet into multiple locations such as your own website, mobile platforms, social media and affiliate sites.

We will also aim to have time to discuss issues raised by delegates, including benchmarking and promoting 24+ loans …..

The day will end by 2.30pm. Timings are given for guidance and may be subject to change.

Venue: Aylesbury College, Oxford Road, Aylesbury, HP21 8PD

Thanks to Aylesbury College for their hospitality.


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