Standing out from the crowd


Creating multiple marketing plans with Heriot-Watt University

Improving perceptions

In the past, we’ve worked with Heriot-Watt University on several projects. The main aim for all of these, was to improve their approach to developing their marketing strategy, to help attract, engage and retain their students, and future students.

The three key project objectives were to:

  • Develop a framework to be used across all their school marketing plans
  • Improve their conversion to enrolment communication strategies
  • Support the development of consistent and engaging student communications

Getting to the heart of it

Working alongside the University, we helped create workshops for all of their key school marketing stakeholders, to find the answers. From the workshops, we were able to create a consistent and strong framework for each school to work with, to help create their marketing plans. From current performance to audience segments and profiles, allocation of activity and spend by month to price analysis, we helped to work through each challenge they were facing, to create robust marketing plans for their individual schools.

Next, we worked with Heriot-Watt to create a conversion communications plan for their applicants. We focused the content plan around prospective student needs and concerns; when to expect their offer, the funding process, how they’ll fit in, what support is available and open day opportunities.

We made sure that all of our content would answer the questions students may have before they even considered them themselves. The content plan was aimed at driving enrolments by providing the right information at the perfect time, helping to reassure Heriot-Watt applicants, and assure them this was the University for them.

Keeping it engaging

Lastly, we worked together to enhance their current student engagement activities, identify gaps in communications, opportunities for meeting student communication needs, highlight the challenges faced internally (including areas such as resources and processes), and determine solutions for addressing these. It started with a workshop held for a range of stakeholders from a number of departments, completing a series of exercises around processes, channels, audiences, and content.

We used the project management model, SIPOC, which stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers (students). It enables streamlining of each stage of a process, focusing on the experience of the process from the perspective of the recipients (in this instance, current students), and ensures responsibilities and actions are clear.

It highlighted that there were many channels currently in use, with no over-arching strategy, the issue being a lack of understanding as to which students were receiving which messages, from who, when, about what, and why?

This lack of a holistic view was inevitably impacting engagement with the potential for contradictory information to be sent out, inconsistency in style and approach and therefore undermining brand values and perceptions.


But our work with Heriot-Watt hasn’t stopped. They’re currently using our SIPOC model, to help improve their comms, and inform their messaging clearly and precisely. We’re excited to see what will come next.