University of Stirling

Winning the hearts and minds of Chinese students through strategic marketing integration

Our integrated marketing strategy for the University of Stirling increased brand awareness, drove solid leads and reduced cost per lead during the key application period.

Stirling faced fierce competition in the UK university market, relying heavily on education agents.

The Challenge

In a saturated market, the university needed to eclipse the competition with original marketing campaigns that maximised brand presence and drove direct applications for both undergraduate and postgraduate recruitment.  

Our Strategy

Emerging Comms created an end-to-end online strategy that showcased the university’s USPs and kept up with the changing trends and priorities of Chinese students and their parents. 

Our strong partnership with the University of Stirling enabled us to plan and execute long-term strategic success with multi-channel touchpoints, targeting audience groups with sequential and cohesive communication at each application stage.  

What We Delivered

  • Developed yearly integrated multi-channel campaigns to fuel the sales funnel, setting clear KPIs, real-time measurement and ongoing optimisation.  
  • Expanded channels from Weibo, WeChat and CN site to more diversified tactics including paid search, programmatic display, livestreaming, KOL video promotion, Bilibili and Douyin. 
  • Worked seamlessly with client’s recruitment and conversion team to achieve maximum synergy alongside the application journey.  
  • Utilised insights and learnings to continuously improve and innovate for further growth.  

Campaign Creatives

University of Stirling’s official channel on BiliBili, the top video platform for building brand awareness and engaging Gen Z Chinese students.

Elevating brand preference by teaming up with renowned influencers to craft and spotlight the University of Stirling experience.

University of Stirling’s Brand WeChat

Engagement with students and parents, streamlining admissions, and cultivating brand preference via WeChat.

University of Stirling’s Brand WeChat

Engagement with students and parents, streamlining admissions, and cultivating brand preference via WeChat.

Utilising programmatic display and WeChat banner ads to build brand awareness among prospective students and parents.

Our results


increase in direct marketing leads


increase in WeChat followers


cost reduction in paid search cost-per-click(CPC)

  • 267% increase in direct marketing leads 
  • 154% increase in WeChat followers 
  • 44% cost reduction in paid search cost-per-click(CPC) 
  • Cost per lead on Douyin 25% less than target KPI 
  • Ranked Number 5 on Bilibili, among all UK universities

A great decision

It was a great decision to appoint Emerging Comms as our digital media partner for China. They provide us with insights that help inform our strategy, and they really understand our objectives. Our Emerging Comms team are brilliant – helpful, friendly and on the ball!”

Lisa Wilkisky-Dick

Director of Marketing, University of Stirling