Latest news

We keep ourselves busy round here, so there’s always something going on that’s worth hearing about. And almost all of it is work-related.

 

Apprentices vs. Graduates

By Mike Hoffman

21st April 2017

This month sees the official launch of the most anticipated piece of employer legislation since the Minimum Wage: The Apprenticeship Levy.

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Challenges and trends in retail attraction

By Sarah Sturgess

12th April 2017

Over many years, we’ve helped retailers of all shapes and sizes to articulate employer brands. We’ve also delivered attraction marketing campaigns in retail markets ranging from food and home improvement to fashion and charities. Recently, it struck me how similar the challenges they all face today are.

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Getting (creatively) trendy with Higher Education

By Jon Windeatt

7th April 2017

​From a creative point of view, education is a funny old sector. It’s crowded, competitive, and home to hundreds of institutions, all trying to sell largely the same thing to largely the same people.

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Personalise to differentiate

By Ed Layt

31st March 2017

YMS LDN 2017, Europe’s largest youth marketing conference, wrapped up last week and for the second year running, SMRS were the proud partner of the Higher Education Marketing Stream.

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Today’s higher education trends are tomorrow’s recruitment challenges

By Ed Layt

16th March 2017

When it comes to graduate recruitment, it pays to be prepared. And if you want to see what’s coming, there’s no better place to look than the Higher Education sector. After all, this is where much of the talent of the future is going to come from.

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Challenges and opportunities - how are Universities and Employers approaching the brave new world of the Levy?

By Dan Beynon

16th March 2017

We are now only a month away from the formal launch of The Apprenticeship Levy in the UK and Universities and Employers find themselves in various levels of readiness in terms of what lies ahead.

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Lights. Carrot. Action.

By Jon Windeatt

8th March 2017

​Collaborative tomatoes. Innovative celery. Cautious, nay-saying aubergines (no-bergines?). We captured them all on film in a hotel in Heathrow. Why? To get to the heart of Kerry Foods’ employer brand, of course.

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Some interesting thoughts about new data regulations (no, seriously)

By Mike Hoffman

1st March 2017

We wanted to take a quick look at the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation. It’s an EU regulation, intended to strengthen and unify data protection for everyone within the EU. And, as fines for non-compliance could be as much as 4% of worldwide turnover, it’s going to be high on the agenda on every business.

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Tapping into the power of brand ambassadors

By Mike Hoffman

21st February 2017

​Turning employees into brand ambassadors is a big topic right now, but it’s far from new. The idea of an employee ‘representing’ their employer has been around for years, and organisations have long known that the behaviour of an employee can enhance (or, of course, damage) their reputation.

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We need to talk about programmatic

By Richard Badley

17th February 2017

​You would have done well to get through the last two weeks without seeing one of the many articles covering one of the many (supposed) risks associated to online ads, more specifically programmatic. What matters here is not hype, opinions or propaganda but brand protection, integrity and trust.

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Data data data

By Richard Badley

23rd January 2017

​If 2016 taught us anything, it’s that trying to predict the future is a risky game. But we at SMRS have a good idea of what’s going to be on our radars this year.

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Keeping pace with the world of digital

By Richard Badley

20th January 2017

​Digital marketing is becoming dauntingly complex. Channels, devices and how we as consumers are connected is constantly evolving.

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Our predictions for 2017

By Richard Badley

18th January 2017

What are the big topics of 2017 likely to be? Here’s what we think.

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Applications – where do you really stand and what next?

By Ed Layt

16th January 2017

​So the big 15th Jan application deadline has passed and HE providers up and down the country are checking UCAS applicant tracker and student record systems to 'see where they are at'. But whether these numbers are up or down, are they really a good indicator of how things will stand come September?

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Social media trends for employers and educators in 2017

By Rishi Patel

22nd December 2016

Social media is on employer’s radars more than ever, with 50% more planning to use it to find, evaluate, and reach talent. It’s not just a brilliant tool for talent recruitment, 61% of students consider social media essential or important when researching universities and courses.

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How do you run a call centre when customers don’t want to talk?

By SMRS

20th December 2016

​There are more call centres than ever in the UK - over 6,200, employing up to 1.1 million people. That’s about 4% of the working population. And more are coming.

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Sector and Audience Insight

By Ed Layt

2nd December 2016

​Over the past two weeks SMRS have been part of two sector conferences, Universities UK’s ‘Using digital innovation to enhance university marketing and communications’ and The Knowledge Partnership’s ‘University market insight conference 2016’.

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How SMRS helped the University of Groningen make a big splash out of tiny machines

By Jon Kirk

2nd December 2016

​In October 2016 the University of Groningen needed to react quickly to make the most of the news that one of its professors had jointly won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

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Applications anxieties

By Dan Beynon

1st December 2016

The current status of undergraduate applications to UK universities for 2017 entry is just over 10% down across the sector.

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2016 - enough fear and loathing...

By Dan Beynon

11th November 2016

We live in turbulent times. I took 24 hours off from social media yesterday as my mobile streams were ​overflowing with anxiety, fear and anger. It’s a modern phoneomena (forgive me). By this morning I was ready to get back on the horse.

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Uber alles?

By Mike Hoffman

17th October 2016

In truth, there are few real new ideas under the sun when it comes to marketing or recruitment – but disruption caused by the tech revolution is making some of the things recruiters have dreamed of doing a step closer to reality.

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Clearing 2016

By Charlotte Rock

10th October 2016

Starting at SMRS as Client Partner for Education Marketing this week has been exciting to say the least – smack bang in the middle of every HE marketer’s favourite time of the year…Clearing.

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Are today’s graduates less willing to move for roles?

By Marcus McNeilly

10th October 2016

Last week, I attended a very interesting breakfast briefing about the current graduate labour market, hosted by Prospects and presented by their Head of HE Intelligence - Dr Charlie Ball.

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Branding in higher education: an inside view

By Ed Layt

30th September 2016

At the 28th annual EAIE Conference in Liverpool, we were delighted to unveil our latest research, examining branding in higher education: ‘Branding in higher education: An inside view’.

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Don’t be fooled by generation stereotypes – they’re really not that different

By Toby Windsor

23rd September 2016

​If you believe everything you read, the four generations in today’s workplace are radically different. For example, Gen Y are apparently consumed with a huge sense of entitlement, and Baby Boomers just can’t get their heads round new technology. But are these true?

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Brexit is happening...

By Jemma Davies

22nd September 2016

It’s hard to not write an emotive blog about the EU referendum result. Having lived in the Netherlands and now working with universities in the EU, it’s a topic close to my heart and professional career.

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Clearing 2016 - one week on

By Ed Layt

22nd September 2016

Clearing is wrapping up for most institutions once again, so I thought I would share some of our initial observations on the time of year that always seems so familiar, and yet always a little bit different…

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How important is branding in Higher Education?

By Ed Layt

7th September 2016

Well, judging by a CASE event I attended earlier in the month, pretty important! ‘Thinking, Doing, Branding’ was held in London at the beginning of April and was packed with interesting case studies and some fascinating discussions.

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Digital war

By Kameron Abbas

7th September 2016

Morals, trials, tribulations, it’s the gritty stuff that defines super hero comic book movies in the modern era. Marvel’s very own ‘Civil war’ story line raises some tough questions, which even for the cynics amongst us, must raise a few eyebrows.

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Ad ****kers

By Richard Badley

7th September 2016

If you are in the media or advertising sector, you will have had numerous conversations recently about these small pieces of coding. Even outside of the industry, they are now being discussed as part of mainstream news and current affairs. What the discus

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Through the lens of students – latest UCAS research

By Ed Layt

7th September 2016

Last week, UCAS released a research report into young people’s motivations to study in Higher Education and their perception of the barriers to accessing HE – ‘Through the lens of students’.

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Branding in Brussels - the CASE Europe Annual Conference 2016

By Dan Beynon

7th September 2016

Delegates have gathered from all around the world to share experiences and best practice and to continue the important task of charting a path ahead that will look outwards and ensure continued co-operation and collaboration in HE.

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Is the UK still a market worth recruiting from after Brexit?

By Jemma Davies

6th September 2016

We teamed up with FPP EDU Media, one of the largest international student recruitment event organisations on the circuit to ask UK students what they were thinking after the EU Referendum.

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Brexit and recruiting postgraduate EU students

By Jemma Davies

19th May 2016

​I’ve mentioned Brexit a few times since my arrival at SMRS in January, but it’s big news for those responsible for EU student recruitment. Britain leaving the EU would result in the biggest shake up to HE since the rise in tuition fees.

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SMRS Is Going Stateside

By Jemma Davies

10th May 2016

​Come the end of May, I’ll be heading to Denver, Colorado, as will many of those in the field of international education for the ​NAFSA conference​. It’s a tough old gig but someone’s got to do it!

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Goodbye right hand ads. Is it right or a gripe?

By Kameron Abbas

22nd April 2016

​The digital marketing landscape of today has become very much like a gladiatorial battlefield.

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The emergence of Snapchat

By Sophie Bracegirdle

5th April 2016

​As a social media channel whose value has traditionally been disregarded, Snapchat is emerging as a social powerhouse, boasting the same amount of daily video views as Facebook (8 billion) and 100 million daily active ‘Snapchatters’; with a niche of the 16 – 24-year-old demographic.

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It’s April Fools! Here’s how Higher Education reacted

By Jemma Davies

1st April 2016

​It’s that day of the year when you’re wondering if anything you read is actually true – April Fools’ Day! As the morning breaks around the world, news stories have been gracing our screens for us to judge. Can you pick the trick from the truth?

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The National Living Wage: Pros v Cons

By Jennifer Cunningham

1st April 2016

​The National Living Wage. Is it a threat or an opportunity for HR?

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What’s the difference between employer branding and attraction?

By Jennifer Cunningham

30th March 2016

To answer this question, I’d first like to tell you a story…

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What makes a global university?

By Jemma Davies

16th March 2016

​It’s a big question – one that led to a lively discussion at the International Higher Education Forum 2016 in London earlier this month.

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Digital: what has it changed in the world of marketing?

By Kameron Abbas

19th February 2016

The dawn of the digital age now means that ‘digital’ content and engagement is a cornerstone of any brand’s marketing strategy.

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The Power of data

By Jon Kirk

29th January 2016

There’s plenty of competition and change in the Higher Education sector. Which means that Universities, inevitably, are looking to use smarter, more cost-effective tactics when recruiting students.

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Content strategy in Higher Education

By Ed Layt

25th January 2016

​Think of some of the best publishers and broadcasters in the world – the ones that produce gripping content time after time that gets you, and the wider world wanting more. What enables them to deliver such quality content?

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The future of recruitment communications

By David Walstow

7th December 2015

Well, that’s what we’re being told. But by whom exactly? It’s hard to pinpoint, much like the source of Chinese whispers. We’ve all heard the musings, the question is; should we take notice?

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Goodbye Generation Z, hello Generation K.

By Katharine Newton

6th November 2015

Those born between 1995 and 2009, known to many marketers as Generation Z, are now as likely to be referred to as Generation K in honour of Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen.

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Clearing 2015, what did we learn?

By Ed Layt

7th October 2015

Less than eight weeks after A Level results day and Clearing feels like a distant memory… But before we put Clearing 2015 to bed completely, lets just glance back on some of the big shifts we saw this year.

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We’re not all data scientists – and never will be

By Richard Badley

16th September 2015

​Picture this: Rows of people sitting silently in front of a mass of computer screens. Staring blankly at millions of lines of data passing in front of their eyes.

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Clear thinking: what are the lessons to be learned from Clearing 2014?

By Dan Beynon

10th August 2015

The removal of the government cap on student numbers for 2015 entry has led to much speculation about the potential for universities to court and recruit additional students.

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Set your sites high

By Richard Badley

23rd April 2015

On April 21st Google launched a significant new mobile friendly ranking algorithm.

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The smart move for recruitment advertising

By Katharine Newton

26th September 2014

​About two years ago there was what can only be described as an explosion in ‘happy advertising’, when every product under the sun claimed to make us happy – everything from happy porridge and happy eggs to happy body lotion.

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Small is beautiful

By Katharine Newton

4th August 2014

Whether the soup comes in a large pot or a small pot, you only need taste one spoonful to know it’s chicken.

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The one about 4Ps in HE

By Andrea Grassby

11th March 2014

If you’ve done a marketing course, it’s likely you’ve come across the 4 Ps - Product, Place, Price and Promotion. They’ve been around since the 1960s and used by marketers ever since. But how relevant are they to Higher Education marketing?

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Big Data and Chicken Soup

By Katharine Newton

4th March 2014

Why does everything have to be on a large scale to be seen to have any credibility?

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Micro-videos are getting big

By Gemma Wildgoose

5th February 2014

​If 2007 was the year of the micro-scooter and 2011 was the year of the micro-pig, then 2014 will be the year of the micro-video.

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The rise of Conscious Capitalism

By Katharine Newton

16th January 2014

​A new approach to business is emerging that could significantly improve employers’ chances of attracting and engaging with Generation Y workers.

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The education glass ceiling

By Katharine Newton

10th November 2013

​There may be a recent increase in the number of students from state schools going to Russell Group universities, but this shouldn’t be allowed to mask the continuing inequality that exists in access to these elite institutions.

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The new student consumer

By Katharine Newton

12th August 2013

Universities have gone through some significant changes over the last fifteen years. One of the most notable being the introduction of university league tables.

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Older and wiser

By Katharine Newton

1st July 2013

New research suggests older people are less responsive to emotional messages in advertising.

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Youth unemployment: Game On

By Katharine Newton

31st May 2013

Joblessness amongst 15 to 24 year olds may be a long-standing issue, but the youth unemployment figures still have the power to shock.

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Students deliver their verdict

By Katharine Newton

22nd May 2013

Undergraduates have delivered their verdict on UK universities and some of the results are pretty surprising — even challenging perceptions of traditional, modern and elite universities.

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Heritage is the new baggage

By Katharine Newton

29th April 2013

​How many times have we researched a client’s employer branding where “a brand with heritage” and “a well established brand” have been cited as positive reasons to work there? And could all that be about to end?

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New factors shape plans to go to university

By Katharine Newton

21st March 2013

​An interesting article appeared in The Observer recently about a new report which claims that the factors shaping kids’ plans to go to university are changing.

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Spelling is a four-letter word

By Gemma Wildgoose

14th February 2013

Poor spelling on a website can cut sales by a whopping 50%. And logic says that can translate to recruitment applications too.

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Let's talk

If you want to know anything more about any of the above, or just have a general question you want to ask, get in touch. We’ll make sure the right person gets right back to you.

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