Can you be of assistance? Why university brands need to become more assistive.

Can you be of assistance? Why university brands need to become more assistive.

The current pace of digital innovation shows no signs of slowing down, and marketers are constantly having to adapt their strategies to embrace new technologies to appeal to the new consumer that is emerging. Brands targeting the youth market have even more pressure to stay one step ahead of the ever-changing digital landscape and engage with the digitally-savvy Generation Z. And in the education sector, there’s the added challenge of dispelling common preconceptions bring about ‘stuffy’ and ‘traditional’ institutions.

That’s why we’re holding the Annual Summit for Digital Innovation in Education, where a panel of digital marketing and brand experts will discuss the latest trends, insights and technologies that should be considered by education marketers. And of course, no digital conference would be complete without the ultimate reigning kings of the internet: Google.

Back in 2000, Google’s co-founder Larry King predicted Artificial Intelligence as “the ultimate version of Google… It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing.”

Fast forward 18 years, and that’s precisely what search is evolving towards, thanks to the rise of machine learning. Users expect to be assisted everywhere; they want accurate information, relevant to their own specific needs, and they want it quickly.  

To be successful, brands need to think more about assisting people, rather than just pushing messages on them; building a strong and meaningful two-way relationship, rather than just shouting about themselves. The brands that are helpful and engaging for their audiences will be rewarded.

How can your brand be more assistive?

  1. Be consumer-centric.

    Recognise each customer as an individual with unique needs and wants, and align your messages, and the platforms on which they are delivered, with user intent. To be truly consumer-centric, brands will need to employ a data-driven approach to know their audience better than they know themselves and understand what they want, and need, to progress along the user journey. Check out some of our resources for unique insights into student markets:
    National Clearing Survey
    EuMBA Survey
    Youth Insights Report

  2. Win micro-moments.

    With the rise of mobile came the rise of ‘micro-moments’ where consumers wanted to ‘know, go, do and buy’ instantly. Waiting is becoming a thing of the past; consumers want, and expect, instant gratification. As Googling becomes even easier with voice search and machine learning, micro-moments are only set to accelerate. Make sure your brand provides the instant answers your audience is looking for, or your competitors will.

  3. Be lightning fast.

    As people’s patience for waiting rapidly dwindles, a slow landing page, a slow response or a slow conversion isn’t going to cut it. In fact, just a one second delay in page response can decrease conversions by a whopping 7%.

    To assist your audience as quickly as possible, consider the use of chatbots (but we advise avoiding Facebook Messenger bots… find out why)  to answer simple questions, instead of making your users trawl through FAQ pages or wait for a response to an email/DM; Student Hut’s Youth Insights Report found that 82.1% of students expect a response from a brand within 24 hours of contact and 50% would be unlikely to use that brand again if the response was not quick enough.

    Finally, make the conversion process as seamless and speedy as you can. Remember, it’s all about INSTANT gratification – can you give an instant prospectus download, instead of posting a physical copy?

We’re heading toward an age of assistance where, for marketers, friction will mean failure, and mass messages will increasingly mean “move on.”

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce, Google



Meaghan Rogers, Agency Partner at Google, will be taking to the #ASDIE18 stage on Thursday 19th July to explain, with a special focus on the education sector, the new consumer that is emerging, the shift you need to embrace to become more assistive, and the major technology (machine learning) driving it all.

Tickets for #ASDIE18 are selling faster than ever before, so don’t miss out on yours!