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How we work - case studies


The Project

This was a case where the client needed more hours in the day and more hands on deck but they were simply not available in-house. Enter Hardcastle & Associates to focus on defining what was needed, designing a marketing strategy and then implementing it to raise awareness and uptake of the course.

We were delighted when the Open University asked us to provide them with the extra, knowledgeable resource they needed to increase awareness of its free, charity funded course for young adults, teaching them how to look after their money as they begin to become more independent. What a great project!

Aimed at 15-19 year olds the online Managing My Money for Young Adults course required us to determine best engagement routes for both young people and the adults who support them – teachers, parents and a variety of other organisations, monitoring and evaluating success as we went.

What did we do?

In the first instance, after a review of previous activities and routes to market, we created and implemented a full marketing strategy to raise awareness and increase course registrations. This included:

  • Creating marketing collateral and content (leaflets, posters, video, social media, blogs)

  • Re-writing the course web pages to be more easily promoted and accessed

  • Producing processes to track effectiveness and adjusting marketing strategy to test different channels

  • Sourcing and creating partnerships with complementary strategic organisations

  • Developing and delivering a comprehensive outreach programme, particularly targeted at secondary school teachers and students via a variety of platforms and by representing the Open University at project relevant events, conferences and exhibitions.


"Working with Hardcastle & Associates is like having a flexible, extendable team.

Sarah's extensive knowledge and understanding of the Business School environment means that she delivers real value at project inception and can quickly establish herself with a range of stakeholders, internal and external.

Drawing on Sarah and her network of experienced colleagues means that we can quickly, efficiently and effectively work-in a range of projects, including marketing support and test-and-learn projects.

I find Hardcastle & Associates to be a unique and valuable partner at a time where innovation and adaptability are critical to success."

Jacqui Thomasen

Head of External Engagement, The Open University Business School

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