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The Black Friday Of The University Marketing World

Today, Wednesday 14th of August is the first time in 3 years where A-Level results day isn’t front and centre of my mind. That sounds weird, doesn’t it?

Why would a thirty-something-year-old man be worrying about A-Level results day? Why every year for the past three years? It doesn’t make any sense.

But here’s the thing… A-Level results day is the biggest day in the University Marketing calendar. By a long way.

What is clearing?

If a potential university student doesn’t get the A-level results they needed for their first choice university, they can apply to a different one via Clearing. Because of this, many millions of pounds are spent on advertising. In just one day.

Think about it, when someone gets their A-Level results and it isn’t what they were hoping for, that’s the key time for another University to reach them with as an alternative option. And so that’s what happens. Spend on search advertising goes through the roof. It’s a bit like Black Friday for Universities. Some Universities have an 80% reliance on Clearing so it’s a kind of a big deal.

And this year I won’t be involved.

Breathing a sigh of relief

That means no…

  • Checking campaigns until midnight tonight
  • Getting up at 5 am to make sure everything is delivering.
  • Arriving at the office by 7.30 am tomorrow.
  • Watching Google Ads like a hawk all day.
  • Knowing that I won’t see the results of optimisation until 4 or more hours later (due to data lag).
  • Jumping on client calls with regular updates.
  • Breathing a sigh of relief at 10 pm and pouring myself a beer.

But I know a whole industry of people who will be.

Clearing is a super exciting, but also super stressful time. Wishing everyone in the University Marketing world all the best for a successful results day tomorrow.

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