Blogging from Singapore

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Technology, Thoughts | Posted on 02-23-2009


Photo by Christopher Chan

Hello from the other side of the world! I’m here for the Innovative Branding & Marketing for Higher Education Conference in Singapore, and it’s been a great experience so far. There are about 75 delegates from 41 institutions and 11 countries and everyone has such a unique experience to offer.

What I’ve been most struck by in my research of Asian culture and from being here is the penetration of mobile devices into the lives of everyone. I’ve always read and heard about how far ahead Asia is in mobile technology vs. the US, but to actually see it…. wow.  There are stores on nearly every block dedicated to selling phones and accessories.  While in Tokyo at the airport, a girl in front of me had a text message from McDonalds.  She showed it to the cashier and got a discount on her meal. 9 year olds on iPhones, everywhere. The amount of text messages being sent all around us is staggering.

You’ve heard it before, I’ve said it before, but I’m going to reiterate it again.  Mobile phone technology IS the future. But enough of that, let’s get into some key points from a few presentations today.

Preparing Programs and Strategies for the Next Generation of Students – An International PerspectiveZ
Robert Lawrence, Managing Director at Prospect Research and Marketing

“This information may not be copied, broadcasted, distributed, published or released to any party without written consent of the author. This paper may NOT be uploaded onto the Internet.”

Sorry, folks.  Basically, Gen Y/Millenials are coming. They’re different and they want to study abroad and they have career aspirations. That’s all.

Promoting University of Hong Kong in a Globalized Education Landscape
Professor Ka Ho Mok

Issues: Globalization, Competition State and a changing University Governance as well as the corporatization  of public universities (Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia).

Core commitments: social innovation and global citizenship

Internationalizing HKU – Worldwide recruitment of academic staff and international students, internationalizing curriculum, super-exchange programs.

Using ‘student voices’ to tell the story of the university through web and print.

Wide range of minors and double minors available in all sorts of areas, which tie into partnerships/internships around the world.

Strengthening a Global Brand through Alumni Giving and Sponsorship
Donald Kirkwood – Executive Director of External Affairs: The Americas, London Business School

What does marketing have to do with fundraising? Selling is about product to…. Marketing is about customer need for… The human impulse to give should be nurtured. The corporate responsibility to give must be encouraged.

The giving campaigns that fail are only because the school did not ask for the gift! Fundraising is in the relationship business. People give to people. (Friendraise before you Fundraise.)

Different nations and regions have different social rules for asking for donations, and how much is given.

London Business School has the lowest endowment of the Top 10 business schools. (In Pounds Sterling, 8 vs. 1400 for Harvard). LBS used a plan of Graduation Class Gifts and Reunion Gifts to increase and encourage giving.

“By the school, through the school, for the school.”

Between 2003 and 2008, they increased graduation class gift amounts by 400% and the % of the class who donated by 33%. The mean gift went from 118 pounds to 1,833 pounds. This is because it was a high profile and very visible effort and following classes saw how the classes before them graduating did and wanted to beat it. Announced at graduations, etc.  6 month process, but drive was only a 6 week effort.

Simple branding – They got . How many universities and colleges in London want that?

Are your alumni proud to put your university on their CV/Resume?

Your alumni are one of your most important assets. You have them for life! They bought ‘the product’ and believe in it, so keep them happy and ask them to give back to you in proportion to their benefit!

Challenges in Building a Global Footprint – How did Monash University Make the Successful Transition from a Local to International Brand?
Lee-Ann Norris, Deputy Vice-President, Advancement and Divisional Director, Marketing and Student Recruitment, Monash University
(You should see her business card.)

Goal : One of the best universities in the world by 2025.

Campuses all over Australia. Also in South Africa and Malaysia.

Higher Education is Australia’s 3rd largest export, behind coal and iron ore and ahead of tourism. Monash has the largest number of international students of any Australian University.

Marketing and Student Recruitment Division = 160 staff. Agent network = 150 agents with 640 offices

Make every dollar count!  Ensure every dollar spent has a return to the university.

Managing reputations for universities is a critical role.

Marketing Foundations: Market Position, Research Profile, Internationalization, Teaching Profile.
Student Recruitment Foundations: Faculty, Quality, Campus, Diversity
KPIs: Revenue, Numbers, Research, Brand Profile, Governance

Comments posted (4)

Thanks for sharing your notes, Brad.
Quick question: any presentation about the mobile web and how universities use it in Asia?

I completely agree with your comments about mobile technology, however I don’t think it’s as cut-and-dried as saying “mobile is the future”. Desktop and laptop computing is shrinking down to the point of being consider “mobile” – the functionality we currently get from mobile devices is still crude compared to their desktop counterparts – I think the future is desktop-level functionality in mobile sized devices – iPhones are a great example of this direction (although they’re not all the way there).

Rob Lawrence gave a great presentation today – his comments on social media were measured, and his stats and research were fantastic.

I felt the talk from Monash was perhaps a little weak – I certainly didn’t come away having any great new understanding about how they grew a brand, and Lee-Ann came across as a little guarded about Monash’s business.

Your talk was great – I had all three of the other delegates from Newcastle chirping about possibilities in the social media space coming out of your presentation. Bravo!

Mobile is critical. I’ve also been struck by mobile in Singapore – not a book or paper to be seen on the train – all mobile based.

iPhone shows the way and the next 12 months look really exciting.

Also interesting to look at how mobiles interact with the environment around them and interfaces with users. How does this effect the way we produce content and/or teaching/learning materials?

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huh, I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn’t like it.

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