Communication research – the challenge

marketing communication research challengeDelivering an effective global marketing communication research programme among students and alumni is a challenge? And, keeping in touch with alumni and benefactors is also costly. Initially the Open University challenged Beehive to evaluate the effectiveness of its communication strategy, and recommend improvement. Then two years later, Beehive was asked to repeat the exercise and evaluate the changes that were put in place.

The research objective was to enable OU’s Communications and Development team to develop the most effective communication strategy for its diverse target audience. This included students at varying levels of course completion, alumni, and “dormant” students who had not completed their qualification. It was essential to determine which channels of communication were most appropriate and, within those channels, which vehicles were most effective.

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The benefits

maximising the value of market researchThe findings highlighted the differing communications needs of students and alumni. And it confirmed the most effective channels to use to each of them. It also showed how the different communications were received and what OU needed to do to raise awareness of its key communications vehicles. As a result of the research, OU has developed a more cost-effective and streamlined communications plan.

The findings have been used to drive change in other communications-related issues. These include:

  • such as managing and developing reputation
  • improving positive onward communications
  • supporting retention and recruitment
  • increasing re-registration/continuous study
  • inspiring ambassadors
  • increasing fundraising awareness and philanthropic support