CubedThinks Clearing Plans 2020 Part 1 – Changes to Clearing

CubedThinks Clearing Plans 2020 Part 1 – Changes to Clearing


Given the unprecedented changes to the academic cycle and the likely impacts on Clearing, Account Managers at Education Cubed have been busy putting contingency plans in place for Clearing and working closely with the delivery team to find out where budgets are likely to make the biggest impact on recruitment. The team have been constantly keeping up to date with the latest news from third parties and sharing insights with clients that will impact Clearing.

Budget Allocation

  • We are as yet unsure whether there will be a results day or whether this will staggered across the month so have taken this into account when allocating budgets
  • As results will now be in July the ramp up to results release will start even earlier than usual
  • We are advising increased budget applied to targeting parents and influencers as they are likely to play an even more crucial role in the decision making journey than usual
  • CPC’s on Google for competitor targeting have increased substantially in the last couple of weeks so we are recommending that these be turned off and budget moved into other areas for certain clients
  • As school outreach will no longer be possible, this budget should be used by universities to invest further in digital channels.

Brand and Lead Gen

  • With the vast drop in expected international student numbers, universities will need to make sure their brand is front of mind for domestic students so increased spend on brand and lead generation will be of vital importance over the next couple of months
  • In these uncertain times, students have increasingly been looking for peer to peer advice and they can find reassuring information on sites such as The Student Room. We would recommend increased brand advertising spend here at the moment as university forum engagement has increased by 34% over the last few weeks
  • Youtube has seen a 34% increase in the usage by Gen Z over the last two weeks in the UK. We would suggest increasing brand awareness spend on this channel and on Facebook
  • IDP Connect and TheUniGuide offer comprehensive lead generation packages and these will play an increasingly important role over the coming period whilst students are not able to attend an onsite open day

University Website Clearing Information

  • It is vitally important at this time that students are able to find the information that they are looking for on the university website even if the answers aren’t necessarily clear yet
  • Universities should have clear information available on their sites about what Clearing actually is and the universities specific USP’s when it comes to Clearing
  • University website traffic is down across the board so it also important that this information is reflected clearly on any 3rd party profiles the university has running

Messaging and Tone

  • Acknowledge the problem and work around it
  • Reassuring and helpful messaging rather than overt selling will work much better during this period
  • Offer as much information as possible even if the answers aren’t clear yet

Adam Smith, Account Director