Bangor University: Tracking down an elusive audience

“This was a great learning curve with Glued. Delivering results despite significant constraints and providing a solid foundation for greater recruitment later in the year.”

Jo Hemley, College Marketing, Manager, College of Human Sciences, Bangor University

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Context: In partnership with the Powys Teaching Health Board, Bangor University were looking to recruit a cohort of nurses to study for a nursing degree in Powys. The main benefit for undergraduates was that their fees and some of their living costs would be covered by NHS Wales. The marketing challenge was that applicants had to be resident in Powys and willing to practice in Powys for two years after qualification.

The challenge: Powys is one of the most sparsely populated parts of England and Wales so the candidate population is limited to begin with. Added to this were lack of media availability. Very limited bus routes for bus rears, sides and cards. Few poster sites with any volume of opportunity to see. Patchy mobile connectivity. Short time scales reduced the availability of media with longer lead times such as radio. The options were narrowing.

The solution: In association with their media partners Glued were able to put together a robust schedule combining awareness raising and more targeted outbound marketing for direct response. Digital and printed press were used to raise awareness alongside mobile advans that could also carry digital content. These formed the seedbed for more targeted work using social media advertising and advertising syndicated on mobiles and tablets.

The content: The campaign avoided stereotypical images of nurses in order to trigger interest with a wider audience in terms of age and gender. All the material was produced in Welsh and English. The meticulous use of tracking URLs allowed Glued to track the effectiveness of each medium and ad.

The results: They say the proof is in the pudding, with Glued now running a longer term campaign for another cohort in September that proof has certainly been delivered. The campaign drew over 4,500 page views and more than enough applications to cover its costs. It also provided the insights and data to propose a more watertight solution for recruitment onto the primary start date for the degree the following September.

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