China accounts for around 50% of international students with 459,800 studying abroad in 2014.
The USA, the UK and Canada are the three leaders in Chinese international student recruitment.
But Chinese students are becoming increasingly rigorous and selective in their decision-making.
The Golden Goose days are over.
The Marketing Challenge
To be successful in this market, you have to build brand preference directly with prospective students, using powerful local online marketing
Chinese students use agents for their application and visa services, but most prefer to trust themselves when it comes to researching a short-list. But how to reach them?
China is the world’s most populous country and therefore university visits and local alliances can only ever reach a tiny minority of prospective students.
Chinese student recruitment is becoming tougher as higher education marketers raise their game and prospective students become ever more demanding.
Success will come to those who invest in online marketing to reach and influence a mass audience directly.
But the names we are so familiar with in the West – Google, Facebook & Instagram – don’t exist in China.
Chinese search engines and social media – including Baidu, Wechat, Youku and Weibo – are entirely indigenous and highly sophisticated, requiring the specialised expertise of Chinese nationals.
Understanding their mind-set
They are increasingly confident and independent
They are digitally savvy and heavy users of Chinese social media
They expect to be able to find your university on Baidu – in Mandarin at least for their parents
They want to know what’s distinctive about your university – and your programs
They trust Chinese alumni and your current Chinese students much more than you
Employability drives them, and prestigious Chinese employers are rankings-driven
What skills do we bring together?
Higher Education Knowledge
Chinese Marketing Experience
Chinese Website Development
Senior client-side UK Russell Group university marketing experience
A real understanding of Chinese student decision-making, the trade-offs they make, why some use agents and some choose to apply directly
Highly-skilled Baidu campaign set-up and management, with constant refinement & regular client reporting
In-depth Chinese digital, & social media skills – Chinese nationals
Chinese website design & build, local hosting & SEO. Building local direct application platforms for ease of Chinese student use
Chinese translation & copywriting – website copy, press releases, Wechat / Weibo content & Youku movie sub-titling
Current & Future
We work with one of the UK’s leading arts universities, with a focus on building their brand in China via social media.
We are the Chinese marketing partner of one of the UK Russell Group’s most successful and dynamic member universities. We have built their Chinese website, and run their digital marketing together with their China press office.
We are currently working with one of the USA’s biggest and most prestigious universities on a project to build direct applications from student to institution, using a bespoke China website.
The identities of each, and their case studies, can be revealed and discussed if and when we meet.
Our focus is sharp. We want to work with a limited number of high-ranking, top flight universities in America, Canada and the United Kingdom.
A unique amalgam of marketing skills & experience, Western & Chinese, private & public sector, client & agency
Head of Marketing, University of Exeter
Formerly at Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & BBDO
Previous clients include Ford, BP, Cadbury, Diageo, NatWest, Toyota, Ebay.
Fenghua Mo (Sammi)
Formerly Chinese government university lecturer, now China online marketer. Previous clients include AOL, University of Exeter, Falmouth University and Research Square.
Masters in Art & Multimedia. Website developer UK Europe, USA & China. China clients include University of Exeter, Best Western, Yangtze Law.
We offer a comprehensive one-stop bespoke client service, driven by a clear understanding of individual university objectives.
We aim to be a long-term marketing business partner for our clients, with a shared agenda and a highly collaborative working relationship.