Flinders University iPad Application - Flinders University
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Kate Silkstone, International Office, Flinders University in collaboration with Paul Loftus, Managing Director of i-studentlife.
iTune in with Flinders…now you can too!
In fact; the whole world can! We have revolutionised the way we communicate with the emerging generation of prospective university students by embracing mobile technologies as a key tool for engagement.
By creating the first Australian University application specifically for the iPad we have transposed Flinders into the digital sphere and positioned ourselves as digital marketing innovators amongst the Higher Education sector.
Take us with you by carrying the latest Flinders news, events, videos, course information, translated eBrochures and much more around in your pocket. Best of all; it's free!
Identifying our principal audience was imperative in determining what type of product we would create. We wanted to extend our reach and attract prospective university students from all corners of the globe. So who are our prospective students? Predominantly; Generation Y’s 'digital natives'.
Digital natives get bored quickly, they skim through your carefully prepared text and if they can’t share the information with their friends? Don’t even bother! They want instant access, interactivity, connectivity, easy to find information; and they want it now!
With the popularity of ‘apps’ amplifying by the day, developing one seemed like a relatively low cost, portable, eco-friendly solution to engaging our market.
Commence operation Flinders University application!
Product/Audience crossover checklist:
Instant access to information? Tick!
• With majority of content available offline and our app compatible with Apple’s suite of products; information is instant.
• Videos, image galleries, news feeds, checklists, maps plus more all at the touch of a button.
Connectivity with social communities and friends? Tick!
• Share interesting information with friends, register your details and access our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube online communities.
Easy navigation? Tick!
• Simple easy to use navigation to easily find the information you want NOW!
Project Innovation / Need
As much as we would like to, we can’t travel the globe and speak with everyone; but our app can! The app has extended our reach in a format which can embrace all markets, not just regions we visit.
A fundamental aspect is the offline content, with many features not reliant on Internet access. Once downloaded; your personal Flinders portal of knowledge can be browsed at your leisure. In China where many other forms of digital marketing (such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) are banned? No problem! Scaling the peaks of Mt Everest? No problem! Simply open up our app, and you are one step (or should we say button) closer to Flinders.
Our app walks the walk and talks the talk; in nine languages! We were able to provide such extensive offline information through the inclusion of our translated eBrochures. Also produced in collaboration with i-studentgroup; the super slick eBrochure allows you to flick (quite literally) through more than 25 pages of information in English, Arabic, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish, Indonesian, Korean and Japanese. The recent addition of a comprehensive course guide has simplified browsing the range of courses available.
The application has allowed us to provide a plethora of content tailored to suit the requirements of today’s prospective student. We identified a niche market in which few educational institutes had ventured; and took on a pioneering role in successfully creating the first of its kind in the Australian Education sector.
Let’s take you back…it’s mid 2010 and Apple is dominating the market ahead of Android. The imminent release of the widely acclaimed iPad is fast approaching; what better time to move to the forefront of the marketing game and engage our digital native user by developing the first Australian University iPad application?
In developing the app it was important to consider exactly what information the prospective student wants to know. A unique selling point of our app is the way in which it allows consumers to immerse themselves in the Flinders experience.
What is it actually like to be a student at Flinders? This is a frequently asked question, and a question that printed images and text can’t always answer. At literally the touch of a button, students using our app can experience the student lifestyle at Flinders, including Adelaide, wider South Australia and Australia. By watching student videos, reading student blogs, checking the local weather and news, using maps to navigate around Flinders and joining in with our online communities; we are able to sell not just a university but a lifestyle, culture and experience. The user can engage further by choosing to ‘share’ this information via their tablet or phone, further raising the awareness and profile of our brand internationally.
Our goal? To get our bold and gold brand on as many tablets, smart phones, and app supporting platforms as possible! Download our app today (and don’t forget to vote for us to win a ‘Mobie’!)
‘If you build it, they will come’ is redundant. In this novel era of disproportionate consumer consumption where quantity can exceed quality; how do we get the ‘eyeballs’ of our niche market to pay our app some attention?
We launched a global integrated marketing strategy across a variety of digital platforms to engage with our target audience. What better way to spark the interest of our ‘digital natives’ than to get digital?
We got social. Using Facebook and Twitter we were able to promote the app to our online communities and direct them to iTunes. It also presented us with the opportunity to connect with our consumers and receive feedback.
We got interactive; consistently! The use of a slogan which incorporated core elements of the app (engagement and interactivity) was employed. ‘iTune in with Flinders...now you can too’ was used consistently throughout social media, CRM, our website and on promotional materials.
We emailed and promoted. Promotional email campaigns were delivered with the app being incorporated into all student recruitment campaigns – both online and offline.
We told the world! Using the support of global conduits including collaborative partner i-studentgroup, our network of recruitment agents and partner institutions; we spread the word of the app.
We gave away freebies. At prospective student events, we use iPads to showcase our app and hand out lightweight iPad/iPhone smart-cleaning cloths emblazoned with our app (and where to get it)!
We launched. Education stakeholders and partners were invited to the inaugural launch event in early 2011.