Imagine this: you are an 18-year-old student in Beijing with plans to study at a university somewhere in Australia. You haven’t yet decided where that “somewhere” will be, but at the local student recruitment fair it seems every higher education institution in the world is out to convince you their institution is the best.
One eager representative hands you a glossy brochure replete with photos and descriptions of life on that particular campus: grand old buildings, lots of trees, hordes of young people smiling, laughing, eating, drinking, listening to music, while simultaneously striding into a future where they will achieve great things. It’s ok – generic Photoshop stuff (remember when that was cutting edge!) – but you’ve seen it all before at previous recruitment fairs. Could be any place, anywhere.
Meanwhile, another smiling student recruiter ushers you to her university’s promised fabulous presentation.
This turns out to be a short film – arboreal grounds bathed in sunlight, students skateboarding and playing basketball and myriad other sports; lecture theatres bursting with laptops and digital interactive systems, all handled adeptly by humorous but dignified prize-winning lecturers. And look at this, the film seems shout like a cheerleader – we even have a gym, fantastic transport links, great student accommodation, clubs and societies.
It reminds you of something … ah, you remember … every film shown by just about every other university on the planet.
Still keen on the idea of furthering your education overseas, your eye catches a booth run by an Australian university from which emanates lots of laughter, good vibrations, fun … and excited people wearing what appears to be unimposing cardboard glasses.
Soon you discover there is nothing ordinary about them at all. Designed by Google, and integrated with readily available smartphone app, once slipped onto your head you enter a world beyond the reach of every other standard university promotional presentations
You are instantly immersed in a world of virtual reality: although you are many thousands of miles away from the presenting university, you are, to all intents and purposes, actually there.
Panoramic vistas of the university and surrounding locations instantly open before you.
They do what no standard brochure or video presentation can even get close to: they put the potential student inside a 360 degree world of colour, life, movement, enabled to see and experience what that university or higher education institution is really like.
In this case, it is the University of Tasmania: through the power of virtual technology, you can be, for example, transported to the Australian Maritime College, standing on the Towing Tank, the largest and only commercially operating facility of its type within Australasia, a facility used by engineering students to conduct model boat experiments; and then taken to university’s biomedical laboratories in Hobart watching medical research in progress. And so much more.
Of course, the glasses are not just for the use of prospective students; they may also be used by parents, extended family and friends, who can also be immersed in the reality of the university and its surrounds.
And all the evidence shows – they like what they see. Traditional brochures, pamphlets and videos and simply not in the same league.
Google launched the glasses in 2014 an inexpensive way to experience virtual reality (VR) to compete against powerhouses creating VR headsets including Samsung, Facebook Oculus Rift or Sony.
The glasses are made of cardboard and the technology is provided by the use of smartphones. You can read more about how they work here: https://www.google.com/get/cardboard
This is effective marketing at its empowering best. There is no need for hyperbole, no need for fast-talking slick pitches that over-egg the product.
Through state-of-the-art use of new technology, the potential student is already on the journey to becoming an actual student.
This break-through innovation is set to change education marketing.
It was conceived and implemented by our dedicated and expert colleagues at theHigher Education Consulting Group for whom the status quo is simply an exciting challenge to overcome.
Our revolutionary approach ensures that your university, college or school will be at the head of a very crowded field.
We have no truck with gimmicks and slick tricks. HECG spurns such notions – technology is always a means, never an end.
We put our clients first, we work with you to identify your goals, and we stay with you until those goals are reached and the necessary skills are embedded in your team.
This is exactly what we did with the University of Tasmania and the unique development of Google Cardboard Glasses.
Our objective was to assist the University to develop cutting-edge international marketing strategies, with the primary focus on utilising innovation to increase marketing impact while concurrently reducing costs. We succeeded in both challenges.
This partnership with the University of Tasmania (UTAS) is just one example of HECG’s capacity for innovation, thought leadership and – just as importantly – of our total focus on the needs of our customers: to get them to where they want to be, and perhaps even farther than they thought possible.
We at HECG work closely with our clients, establishing them at the very centre of the structures we develop in close consultation with key staff, so that solutions are especially tailored for the unique demands of your institution.
We do what we need to do – and for HECG that means coming up with ideas that work in the real world. And when the job is finished, we move on.
Our primary goals are:
- To transfer skills and embed capabilities
- Ensure shared business objectives
- To create long term measurements and establish ongoing management; and
- To create demand pipelines to ensure future success
HECG can help your institution to achieve your goals in the area you deem necessary for improvement.
We have more than one dozen dedicated experts in five practice areas: demand generation and digital marketing; analytics and business intelligence; channel management; program segmentation; and accessibility, – through our social venture the Global Access Project or GAP.