Clear some room

As the hot weather continues my USB desk fan has been working overtime. Obviously this is only partly due to the weather as the team have all been working at a furious rate for the last few weeks. This is due to us endeavouring to get our Clearing webpages up even earlier than before.

Part of our online campaign. Follow
the hashtag to see all the goings on
It seems that in this world of every organisation pushing the other to deliver more the goalposts have been moved, and where everyone used to get their Clearing micro-sites up just before results day it's now a full six weeks earlier!

Based on our findings from last year we noticed some key trends on the type of visitors we were getting. Firstly, the majority of them were coming through our paid search channels further proving what a vital part of our online strategy this is. Secondly, the usual push for brand messages were pretty superfluous as people were just interested in which courses we still had places on. This meant that our online techniques were to be much more simple this year with courses (our products) pushed to the very fore.

One thing I've been wanting to tackle for a while is how our website works on mobile devices. Whilst the homepage did resize little things needed looking at (e.g. our banners would not show on smartphone screens). Therefore, we have implemented phase one of our homepage redesign project and have made it more responsive than it was previously. Just take a look at our homepage and resize your browser to see how nicely it now adjusts itself!
 This was also a chance to showcase our new integrated campaign. I'm particularly happy that the visuals we've come up with compliment the ones in print and that the students featured have follow on videos filmed by the team. I also like that the visuals are quite kinetic and have lent themselves to some nice little intoductory animations:

We still have a fair way to go with this campaign and are currently in the process of designing leaderboards, skyscrapers and MPUs to be featured on a number of third party sites.We also have

In other news the last few weeks has given me the opportunity to get out of the office on a few occasions. Firstly, on a manager's away day and secondly to the Heist Awards 2014 in Manchester. The latter was a good experience and we managed to make the most of the trip by meeting our new media buying agency at the same time.

My hotel room. All that was missing
was a chandelier
It was then off to the Palace hotel to check into our rooms. I definitely did the best out of this with a three-storey room complete with beams and an emperor size bed. Obviously, I was above showing photos of this to my colleagues at every opportunity and gloating about the tea and coffee making facilities...

Despite being nominated in three categories we came away empty handed on this occasion. We had a great time though and the carnival theme of the night definitely meant it didn't drag! There's always next year and the fact that this was the biggest Heist Awards yet (with more entries than ever before) did make us feel a bit better on the train ride home from Manchester the following morning.

I also slept so soundly in my fancy hotel room (have I mentioned that already?!) that I'm now fully energised to hit Clearing at full throttle. I'll definitely need the energy if last year is anything to go by!
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