No no no, Marketing is not to blame ...

After writing that, a shudder went down my spine, quick check, do i feel alright, temperature is ok, pulse fine, vision is not blurred.

At this time of year, i get to speak with many centres, who are in the throes of student recruitment, its normal, its September, that is what happens. Many of the centres are reporting good/reasonable/excellent numbers. Which in the domain of further education is interesting as there is a chance that the higher education funding debacle has to spill out somewhere and encourage growth.

So Computing and IT provision is not dead, and doing incredibly well in many pockets in the UK.

So a little obvious you may think.

Yet with one centre, from personal experience has been very successful and imaginative in how it recruits students i hear from multiple sources that numbers are down and marketing is to blame.

Now lets pause for thought .... marketing presents an image and gives a broad message, sales gets the message to the customer?

Simplistic i know, my knowledge of these complex matters is casual.

So, who has been getting the message to existing customers and new eyes/ears. Sadly in further education, your success is to ensure returning business, fresh recruitment has always been 30-40% of your annual intake, with the substantive majority of your business based on encouraging progression.

Also, i took a peek at your prices and extent of your provision, this your marketing machine readily shared with me.

Not the way i remember it to be?

If you want to grow or even maintain your position, you must always be over capacity, this allows for manageable dips in recruitment. You must continue to sell/promote your provision all year. Recruitment in your area has been dropping since 2005, its not news,with plenty of warning you are welcome to adapt. That is if you can anymore?

You need to build a relationship with marketing, get to know the personalities, their challenges and corporately imposed priorities. Once you understand their mindset, they can be helpful, at least that has always been my experience. Even with a particularly obstreperous soul i had to deal with in the late 90's early 00's, once you establish a rapport you will get an honest dialogue.

So, sorry, marketing is doing their job, i am sure they are making mistakes, but i could easily enrol now on your different courses?

The answer is to get the message to your existing community of learners and work on raising your game, the world has moved on, there are new subjects in vogue and centres delivering these and making sure the world is aware.

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