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school marketing news

SMC podcast 13: the key to brand success

Posted by Fiona Hood

In this episode Brad and Scully discuss the key to brand success, why A/B testing is essential, what the future of marketing is and the 'court of public opinion' with communications consultant John Le Cras.

Show notes

News you can use (1:13)
In their regular review of marketing and communications news, Brad and Scully discuss a new concept introduced by Anthony Gowthorp, Managing Director of global experiential creative communications agency, Imagination — ‘authenticity’. This concept states the obvious, but are you actually doing it? Are you continuing bad habits? People aren’t stupid – they can see straight through your campaigns and marketing material and if these don’t reflect your brand values, you are not living them out. Have a look at the work you are doing – your brand value, your key messages. Do these align? Using Qantas’ latest campaign as an example, the authenticity of the campaign is questioned. Scully talks about how authenticity applies similarly to schools and Brad highlights that this is particularly the case when the pressure is on for school marketers to obtain school enrolments.

Also discussed was Professor Philip Kotler’s recent visit to Melbourne for the World Marketing and Sales Forum where he had some interesting things to say about the future of marketing. Firstly, he took a retro look at marketing and how it has developed from being ‘product-centric’ to more ‘customer-centric’ and now it is becoming more ‘human-centric’. He’s suggesting that now things are more personal and appealing to people’s compassion and showing they really care about their impact on the world through positive action to address sustainability and ethical issues. This is what’s  really making brands work at the moment. Schools need to really look at what they are doing right now. You can do this by using a list of nine simple questions that Scully asks, and which Kotler presented at the Forum.

School marketing frequently asked questions (9:09)
In this regular segment that aims to answer common school marketing questions, Brad and Scully look at the topic of A/B testing, how you can experiment with two versions of a design component (e.g. advertisement, email, website page ) against a specified metric. The two versions are employed at the same time and the one that produces better results is used for further implementation. Brad and Scully advise how it is relevant for schools, what comprises a successful test and how it can be used.

Interview: John Le Cras, Director – John Le Cras + Associates (12:08)
Brad speaks with John Le Cras regarding the ‘court of public opinion’, which he wrote about in his book IdiosynCRASy. As a former director of News and Current Affairs at Channel 7 Perth and numerous years consulting to many businesses, educational institutions and government departments John has witnessed and thought deeply about this notion.

The ‘court of public opinion’ is a fundamental building block to next week’s discussion on the rise of activist neighbours around schools and what you can do to prepare for when it is time to react, particularly in relation to school development and expansion.

This notion helps us to understand how issues increasingly get debated in the community. Some of John’s clients have often become the equivalent to a defendant at a trial and need to mount an argument to convince a ‘jury’. John shares some critical insights and how they relate to schools.

The full length interview will be available on the imageseven website on Friday 21 November and in the iTunes store on Wednesday 26 November.

Marketing example (17:50)
In this episode Brad and Scully look at IKEA and how they take part in the annual Moving Day weekend in Montreal. Marketer Leo Burnett saw Moving Day as an opportunity to demonstrate the brand's purpose – to provide a better everyday life for many people. They did this by providing an item that would help them move for free — boxes. The campaign was success, with a substantial increase in visitors and sales compared to the previous year. Brad then shares how they improved their award winning Moving Day campaign the following year, again increasing sales. He notes the main points a school marketer can learn from this campaign – no idea is stupid, be authentic to your brand, help people, and measure your campaign. Most importantly, know your market.

Rants and raves (22:04)
Finally, in the regular rants and raves segment, Brad takes the opportunity to rave about the recent editorial in Bloomberg Business Week which announces that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, had publicly acknowledged that he is gay. Many things could have gone wrong with the editorial piece, but none did. This message addresses every ‘hand grenade’ that could be thrown at it even before the pin could be pulled and Brad highlights some very well crafted copy writing examples and why he has added it to his ‘I wish I'd written it’ collection.

Episode links


Free webinar

Understand how your school brand works 

Do you know what your brand is, and are you consciously managing it, leveraging it, and strengthening it? Find out in this webinar.

When: 18 Feb 2015 

Time: 1pm AEST 

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Have a question?
Don't forget that if you've got a question for Brad and Scully you can email us: smc@imageseven.com.au


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To read the show notes and listen to all of our podcasts - click here


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This blog was written by Fiona Hood

As Brand Marketect, Fiona is responsible for imageseven’s corporate marketing communications and business systems. When she is not doing that she is exploring the great outdoors.


Topics: Education, imageseven, Communication, Crisis management, Podcast, Marcom