Unite Students is the UK largest student accommodation provider, housing 76,000, across 27 cities. As over 15% of their students are Chinese, they were looking for a long-term strategic marketing partner to work with them on China strategy to grow and retain their customer base.
Hit heavily by pandemic lockdowns, Unite needed to create more direct engagement with students with 2 objectives:
To understand their most pressing concerns about student accommodation during the pandemic
To reflect their USP’s back in messaging about issues that students really cared about
Transform Unite Students from being merely a market leader, to a unique hospitality brand appealing to the new generation of Gen Z students
Emerging Comms used social listening and our own propriety tools, to monitor student sentiment and pivot communications accordingly.
We focused on Unite Student USPs to create differentiation from the competition
Changed messaging to a focus on Covid 19 safety and pastoral care in all communications, following our research findings
What We Delivered
- Rewarded customer loyalty and advocacy within all communications and promotions, encouraging peer to peer promotions.
- Grew our KOC numbers by creating communities on WeChat.
- Created a multi-faceted content strategy to appeal to different student and parent groups, resulting in resonating, relevant and, most importantly, profitable social outreach.
- Leveraged social monitoring tools to monitor customer sentiment and respond appropriately. Monitoring the student market in real-time to identify vital consumer insights.
- Through a mixture of marketing activations, both off and online, we established strong brand awareness and customer advocacy.
- We provided digital PR outreach, paid search, social media advertising and community management to maximise campaigns.
- By optimising the website and lead generation sales funnel, we were able to provide a more streamlined journey for Chinese students.
- We were able to deliver hugely successful seasonal campaigns to drive sales for Unite, with KPIs for both customer acquisition and retention being exceeded from 2019, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.