The BBC Education News 11 March 2013 BBC headline read:

“Complacent” British universities that fail to respond to the rise of online universities will be swept away by global competition…

and included an interview with Sir Michael Barber, chief education adviser for Pearson, on a recent IPPR study titled An avalanche is coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead.

The study makes clear that, with leading institutions and educators already offering free courses online to the masses, movement online for higher education has clearly already begun, and, while regional growth and development is still important, the opportunities and threats posed by globalisation and technology mean that more traditional educational institutions and educators must now learn how to engage with people online before others already in the know simply ‘clean up’ and sweep the competition away.

Here is a warning for the traditional element of the education sector and a significant example for inbound marketing on the importance of understanding how people engage online and how this corresponds, or maps, to what it is you provide.

You may have the latest knowledge or capability that solves a myriad problems and overcomes numerous challenges, yet, if you want to monetize this, you must first understand where your market is. Yes, you may still be able to mail them via post or email them, but how do you employ methods that can be measured and scaled to ensure you remain competitive in an ever expanding global online market place?

Everything is changing and it will be interesting to see what emerges if 12 year old girls in Pakistan are taking US-based Harvard university level physic courses, as the study tells us. Universities like Harvard may have their bricks and mortar in the US, but now they are easily accessible online as are some of their greatest academic brains.

The marketing techniques Harvard are using to engage with their pupils online are inbound marketing techniques. These are ‘pull’ marketing tactics rather than the traditional ‘push’. Harvard offer interesting and free pieces of information in the form of short courses. These are known as value pieces. The global reach this has is phenomenal and those who benefit from these courses will appreciate the value, and this valuable engagement will translate to dollars for Harvard. Think about it: if you have benefited from an initial valuable experience where do you think you will go when it comes to engaging on a more in-depth level particularly when you are making a decision to invest both time and money?

If you would like more information on how to create a valuable experience for your target market you can click this blue box below and we will assess your current marketing practice and compare this with inbound best practice. It’s a valuable investment of your time and it’s free, of course:

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