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Innovation the key at Curtin Marketing Hackathon

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Curtin University recently held its first marketing hackathon to develop inventive ways to inspire future students to choose Curtin as a place of innovation and academic excellence.

Multi-skilled teams comprising of staff from across the University, current Curtin and high school students and agency partners generated unique solutions to the common barriers associated with choosing where to study.

Valerie Raubenheimer, Vice-President Corporate Relations and Development, said the hackathon was an example of how Curtin strives to be innovative not only in research and teaching, but in all aspects of the University.

“With the university sector increasingly targeted towards online learning environments it is vital we maximise our use of emerging technologies and processes to become a recognised international leader in research and education,” Ms Raubenheimer said.

Some of the ideas generated from the hackathon tackled issues of helping minimise the stress students’ face when completing Year 12 study, selecting high school subjects, university courses or careers, and providing tailored events for high school students.

Ty Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer, who drove the initiative with the help of a small hack team, said it was an example of how the University was using start-up processes to generate new ideas and strategies.

“The idea of the marketing hackathon is how do we use that start-up methodology and processes to rapidly test some ideas on our customers, generate break-through thinking, and come out of it with new ideas that can be implemented quickly,” Mr Hayes said.

“It’s about embracing an agile marketing approach where faster is better, it’s okay to fail so long as you fail fast and learn from it, you validate your assumptions with customers and put the status quo to one side.”

“Universities are traditionally conventional organisations where change takes years to be implemented. With the Hackathon, we were able to accelerate the design and development of new ideas over two days to such a degree that we had multiple test websites built, channel plans developed, and initiatives practically ready to launch.”

John Driscoll, Chairman and CEO at Marketforce was on-hand to judge the event.

“The diversity and quality of ideas generated demonstrated how a traditional marketing problem can be resolved quickly and effectively across a broad range of marketing platforms using innovative thought processes.”

Mr Hayes said that the feedback from the event has been amazing and he was looking forward to working with his team to take the best ideas and get them to market as quickly as possible.

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