New tools for marketing study programmes
‘Fees will radically change Aalto University’s position in competing for the best students, and for this reason it is very important that those representing the programmes, including professors, lecturers and students themselves, are activated to be marketing the programmes,’ says Professor Ossi Naukkarinen, Aalto ARTS Vice Dean responsible for teaching and person responsible for the Programme Attractiveness project.
The task of the project’s sub-working group on student recruitment and marketing was to consider how study programmes could be promoted through marketing. The idea arose of producing a tool kit which would be developed together with a pilot group drawn from a range of different programmes. Selected for the pilot group was Aalto's only English-language bachelor's programme as well as five different master's degree programmes which cover different fields and are all popular among international applicants.
The goal was not simply to create new tools, but rather to share between the pilot programmes good and well-tested practices for student recruitment and marketing. In addition to tools and good practices, special attention should be paid to the division of responsibilities in programme marketing. It is strongly recommended to involve staff, students and alumni and to make use of other contacts as well as networks and events.
‘The best marketing method is a recommendation from a friend,’ summarises Professor Petri Vuorimaa, head of the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences (CCIS) and chairman of the Attractive Programmes Marketing sub-working group.
Workshops facilitate development of new ideas and sharing of previous experiences
Two workshops were held during the summer for the pilot programmes. One of the preparation tasks for the participants was to carry out a programme-specific SWOT analysis. In the first workshop, short introductory talks were given and then participants considered programme marketing through target groups. In the second workshop, the focus was more on making programme-specific marketing plans. To support these plans, various clinics were organised, when needed, during the Autumn. In these clinics, participants had the chance to spar different ideas together with others.
The workshops resulted in the creation of a number of marketing tools that can be used by all Aalto programmes:
- PowerPoint slide "Aalto oneslider"
- PowerPoint Presentation template for programmes/subjects
- Tips for making videos
- Excel template and PPT template for programme- or subject-specific marketing plan
In addition, a modular template was designed for use with the ‘Get to know us’ webpage connected with the webpages for each programme on aalto.fi/studies.
‘This year it will be possible for the first time to apply to Aalto for the CEMS-led Master’s Programme in Global Management, so we have been very pleased to accept all the support we have received from the pilot project. Making the marketing plan gave substance and backbone to our marketing development, we improved our master’s programme description with the help of an outside advertising agency, and it was interesting to share experiences with other pilot programmes about which practices work well,’ reports Arja Sahlberg, who is responsible for CEMS-programme marketing.
The degree programmes participating in the Programme Attractiveness pilot project were:
- Master's Programme in New Media
- Bachelor´s Programme in International Business
- Master's Programme in Global Management – CEMS
- Master's Programme in Automation and Electrical Engineering
- Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences
- Master's Programme in Advanced Energy Systems
Professor, Aalto ARTS Vice Dean (teaching)
tel. +358 (0)50 3074 803
tel. +358 (0)50 3841 725
Programme Attractiveness project in Inside
An information package on student marketing is available in Inside ”Short syllabus of Aalto student marketing”.
Programme Attractiveness is one of four strategic teaching development focus areas. Vice President Eero Eloranta is responsible for the work related to these goals. In addition to the marketing group, the Programme Attractiveness project also includes a working group for considering matters related to the content and quality of degree programmes. Additional information can be found in Inside Work in progress