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Future Marketing Lessons From The Future

Posted on Sep 2, 2013

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When we took to the stage last week to present the Marketing Plenary at the CASE Europe Annual Conference in Manchester we thought we should take a little time to provide some valuable context. Our subject matter was the future – 2020 to be precise. With a room full of education marketers keen to get stuck into what the futuristic landscape looked like for them, we insisted that we took a little time to appreciate the much bigger picture. Seven minutes in fact. Have a look at the video slideshow:

The importance of the bigger picture is clear. Education marketers are responsible for helping to shape the very future we showed. For developing course portfolios, for attracting the waves of new talent, for partnering with the right businesses in the right sectors. And so on.

Higher Education institutions have a huge role to play in building the future. They need to embrace the new materials, such as graphene and silicene, that will become the building blocks of a new world; they need to switch on to the power of electronic medicine, memory chip implants and robotics; they must rebuild many of their courses just as the world rebuilds its DNA. At the same time, institutions have a vital role to play in saving the world too. They must embrace the need for solutions to the energy shortages, to the food insecurity and the water poverty. They must enthuse and arm the staff and students of the future to tackle these major problems. And they must allow creativity and imagination to thrive – as new leaders emerge from education to convince the world that insects can feed people, that Mexican earthscrapers can alleviate population pressures and that sun-chasing solar panels can maximise the energy we receive.

Institutions must be alive to the major global shifts we can expect in the next 7 years. The rise of China is a given, but look at what’s happening in Indonesia, in Brazil, Mexico and Turkey. And then there is Africa and perhaps the biggest potential of all. At the same time, countries strive for greater self-sufficiency, the G-Zero ‘summit’ becomes a real possibility, and old alliances waver as new partnerships, such as that between China and Africa, emerge. The Higher Education industry is a major global industry – its audience is multi-national – and it has to respond.

And finally there is the continuing communication revolution that keeps on making this world even smaller in so many ways. Low level satellite networks and hot air balloons have begun to bring wifi to the developing and the remote world – opening up new audiences for education. Multi-lingual mobile phones point to great strides in translation technology and the very real possibility of a language-neutral world in which we can all learn together regardless of our native tongues. What marketer in Higher Education wouldn’t be enthused by the possibilities? And, whilst Smart TV starts to make us think, Hologram TV could be just around the corner. Imagine a student ambassador giving a briefing to potential recruits straight from a coffee table!

That’s why the future matters so much to Higher Education marketers. It may twist and turn in many ways, and it will undoubtedly surprise us, but let’s keep up and enjoy the ride!

The 2020 Education focus that followed was built upon sharing 50 images of the future in just 25 minutes. For Part One of the highlights, including new style institutions & 2020 edtech, click here.

To find out much more about The Future Index, the HE marketing inspiration we are collecting and how it could be of use to you, please have a look at our main site, complete with more samples for you to take away and use. Simply click here.

Or check out some of our other posts on the Higher Education marketing communications world – from billboards in Peru to a tour of 80 apps around the world. And lots of social media sparks. Just click here.

Also, if you are interested to hear how the Future Index is about to share the latest inspiration and trends with the brightest, most motivated, up and coming education marketers, then email Jim directly ( and he’ll send you some details.

You can now stay ahead and follow this blog to receive the latest posts immediately by email. Simply scroll down a little and click on ‘follow this blog’.

1 Comment

    13th November 2013

    […] In 2013 we have presented the marketing track plenary at the CASE Europe conference in Manchester (click here for highlights) and the opening plenary for the UCAS Digital Marketing and Social Media Conference in London (click […]


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