Encouraging teacher switching in a sector noted for inertia

AQA – GCSE Maths

Secondary schools and departments have a range of examination boards to choose from. This is not traditional competition, in that exam boards – and their papers – are regulated and closely monitored by Ofqual. In addition, many teachers, especially in maths, are loathe to change, seeing it as more trouble than it is worth considering the assumed marginal benefit. AQA briefed Bell to develop and fulfil the first stage of their campaign to increase their market share in GCSE Maths.

Our response

We worked collaboratively with AQA throughout the entire campaign, acting as an extension of their team. We began with formulating a communications and provisional content strategy. When finalised, we began developing creative concepts based upon the proposition “The proof is in the papers”, an evolution of a proposition previously developed by Bell and AQA.

The campaign was notable for its multiple touch points down the entire conversion funnel, including an innovative printed direct mail piece, dedicated nano- and micro-influencer social media campaigns, and teacher testimonials. The latter featured interviews conducted by Bell with maths teachers across England, from which we produced long form videos for the AQA website and YouTube channel, 6 second pre-roll ads for YouTube, as well as native posts for AQA social media channels.


The campaign is currently running, however some highlights from the preliminary results include: an astonishing 17% of people watching the pre-roll campaign video watched 100% of it; over 23% of unique viewers of the testimonial video on YouTube watched more than 90% of it; over 900,000 engagements on Twitter; over 10,000 unique page views of the custom campaign web page; and three emails with open rates of 18, 19 and 23%.

What our client thought

“Using an agency for an acquisition campaign is fairly unique for our business, but Bell were able to quickly get under the skin of the subject itself and the objectives for the campaign. Their flexibility to our approach, allowed us to tap into their expertise and build some unique content needed to ensure customer engagement, and turn heads with our creative.
As with any valued agency, they were quick to turnaround work, receptive to feedback, and accommodated our last minute requests, but most importantly, they were really on board with us, and became an extension of our business, becoming a trusted partner.”

Stacey Muncey, Campaign Project Manager, AQA