MARKETING FOR MANAGERS SAMPLE

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Bachelor of Business Sample

Executive Summary

The objective of our paper is to use the current knowledge of the marketing and competitive environment of Central Queensland University and devise an appropriate marketing plan so that it can continue to have a sustainable performance in the coming year. The marketing plan that has been designed focuses on several elements that have been covered in the first section like an overview of the Australian university, demand assessment of the industry, demographic elements like segmentation and target audience of CQU, analysis of macro-environmental factors, competitor analysis, etc. The promotional aspects of the educational body have also been highlighted along with the various opportunities and strengths that come along its way.

The other section of the paper focuses on the proposed marketing objective and promotional strategy that must be adopted by the university in 2018 so that it can continue to deliver strong performance. Its marketing mix strategies, competitive strategies, and other aspects including media and budget allocation for 2018 have been designed along with justification so that the readers can get a better idea about market planning.

Background

Central Queensland University is an Australian dual-sector university that got its university status in 1992. It is considered to be one of the most fast-paced educational institutions of the continent that provides higher education services and vocational training services to its students. Due to its focused approach to the launch of new institutes, campuses, and research centers, it has successfully prevailed in the competitive industry. Its highly developed infrastructure adds to its reputation and provides its students with necessary learning opportunities so that they can be well-equipped for their future(Hunt, 2015).

CQU has successfully expanded its operations in the Australian continent by establishing numerous research centers, campuses, etc. The highly interactive model adopted by the university gives it a unique feature that allows it to have a competitive advantage in the education sector. It is necessary to focus on the elements and strategies that help the university to excel in its field(Karlíček, Chytková & Fischer, 2013).

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Market and Demand Assessment

The thorough and accurate assessment of the market including its vital elements, and prevailing demand trends is vital for CQU since these factors influence its performance in the educational industry. Currently, approximately 35,000 students have studied at CQU and it is necessary to note that its effective communication model has allowed it to understand the needs of its target market and deliver quality educational services. Some demographic characteristics like segmentation and targeting by CQU have been illustrated(Kehinde, 2016).

Segmentation

As per Lantos, Educational universities serve a wide spectrum of audiences,s, and CQU has its campuses that offer unique services and facilities in different locations of the Australian continent. CQU identifies the subsets of the market on the basis of common features like similar characteristics, priorities, needs, etc. while shaping its marketing strategic objectives in order to target the specific segment. Some important segmentation strategies include the population that is aspiring academics, coming of age, academic wanderers, career starters, etc(Lantos, 2015).

Targeting

The targeting strategy of CQS very integral since there is high competitive intensity in the educational sector and the resources are limited. The target market includes education enthusiasts i.e. mostly students who are at different levels of learning. Since it offers both distance education facilities and on-campus training, it helps to target a wider section of the young population who want to expand their learning curve(Lewis & SIU, 2015).

PEST Analysis

The analysis of the macro-environmental factors prevailing in the education industry is important for Central Queensland University since it helps it to identify the external constituents that impact its performance. The political, economic, social, and technological environment of CQU has been discussed here.

Political – The changes brought in government policies play a pivotal role in the educational sector. The political environment has an important bearing on the performance of CQU. As per Australian government policy, CQU needs to abide by a high-quality educational model.

Economical – The analysis of the economic environment helps CQU to determine the number of funds that it must put into its infrastructure development projects. CQU’s major source of capital is a collection from student fees, donations received to conduct research programs, financial support from the government, etc(Lowe, et al., 2016).

Social – Some vital social attributes are career attitude, population expansion, financial state, etc. CQU has the reputation of being one of the most richly diverse universities since its students come from different social and cultural backgrounds. After considering the current social model it has started offering distance learning programs for students(Marić, et al., 2014).

Technological – CQU conducts a thorough analysis of its technological environment in order to have an edge over rival universities. It gives high priority to R&D and innovation and equips itself with modern technology to meet the needs of its students. Its virtual learning environment gives it a competitive advantage.

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Competitor Analysis

Competition intensity in the educational environment is pretty intense and a thorough study of this area is needed to have sustainable performance. CQU has quite a number of competitors that offer similar learning services in the market. The aim of competitor analysis is to devise strategies so that the educational university can effectively perform its business activity and face the competitors with little difficulty.

According to Marta, et al, the successful delivery of educational services by CQU helps it to maintain its strong brand name. But still competition level is evident from elements like subject courses, student count, and overall quality of education. One of the main rivals of CQU is the Queensland University of Technology which is a public research university and offers undergraduate courses, postgraduate courses, etc(Marta, et al., 2013). It has enrolled over 48,000 students. It is ranked within the top 2% of global educational universities by Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The QUT exceeds CQU’s performance in terms of world ranking based on research excellence, student survey results, student count by discipline, etc.

SWOT Analysis

As per Massey & Kyriazis, the SWOT analysis is an important marketing tool for any firm that operates in the environment. The educational industry is filled with a number of actors so a thorough assessment of internal elements like CQU’s strengths and weaknesses must be identified by the educational university so that necessary modifications can be made in order to adapt to changing market(Massey & Kyriazis, 2014). Accordingly, the opportunities and threats that are created in the external market need to be identified so that the Australian educational university can make strategic changes in its work model and exploit its external surrounding(Morgan & McGoldrick, 2015).

The major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of Central Queensland University have been highlighted in the below segment:

Strengths – The major strengths of CQU lie in its strong brand name that attracts students at a global level and its vast presence in Australia adds to its goodwill. It’s high rating by many ranking bodies gives it a positive image. The employment rate of CQU students is high.

Weakness – The infrastructure of CQU is not up to current standards since it has ill-equipped models. This limits it from offering highly technical courses. The grading system of CQU is criticized at a global level which gives it a bad name.

Opportunity – CQU must focus on improving its technological infrastructure and educational model to introduce more programs and give stiff competition to leading universities. It can also improvise its course module based on patterns followed by university leaders.

Threat – Since CQU operates at a global level, it faces stiff rivalry from international universities that offer similar courses and degrees. The changing technological environment also poses threat to its adaptability and education model(Obeidat, Obeidat & Obeidat, 2016).

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Value and Brand Positioning

According to Ormond, CQU is highly respected around the world because of the high-quality education offered by it. It has positioned itself as one of the best educational service providers that design and introduces courses after conducting effective engagement and interaction with prospective students so that their needs are understood and met(Ormond, 2015). Since the positioning strategy adopted by CQU targets students from all backgrounds, it has been successful in having a steady growth in its student number, degrees and courses offered, campuses, and research centers.

Currently, CQU offers multiple educational programs which are designed keeping in mind the educational needs of the students so that they can have a bright and prosperous future. Its positioning as high standard university helps it to attract a vibrant student population in both national and international markets. Since it accepts students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, it is valued by the audience from a global level.

Marketing aim and Promotional Objectives

As per Ottley, Central Queensland University mainly focuses on its students and it believes in establishing an interactive communication channel so that it can have one-to-one communication with the young population, students, etc so that their current concerns and needs are understood and necessary steps are taken by the university to address the same(Ottley, 2016).

The marketing strategy adopted by CQU includes important elements like branding, school engagement activities, formulating marketing policies, etc. Its marketing aim is to expand its student recruitment by adopting effective advertising and promotional model so that the right message is sent across to potential students(Raffield III, 2015). The marketing team of CQU adopts an effective strategy to gather all service tools and resources in order to have sustainable growth in the competitive educational industry.

The promotional objective of CQU is designed by keeping its students and their academic requirements at its focal point. This strategy helps it to identify its needs and adapt to the changing environment prevailing in the unpredictable educational industry(Saida, et al., 2016). It gives due importance to its people and their culture in order to achieve its business objective. Its positioning strategy has been effective due to the strong and clear communication network used by it.

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Marketing mix strategies:

According to Sayadi, Khalili & Nejad, the requirement of the marketing mix in the case of organizations involved in the domain of higher education is imperative. The case of Central Queensland University can also be implicative of the necessary requirements to moderate the marketing mix and apply appropriate strategic approaches that would tailor the marketing mix to the current business environment(Sayadi, Khalili & Nejad, 2015). The combination of the distinct elements in the marketing mix alongside coordinating them would serve as the University’s promising response towards addressing the needs of customers as well as facilitate reasonable value proposition to customers. The operation of CQ University in the higher education sector is implicative of the organization’s inclusion in the service industry.

The characteristic description of the organization would be liable to provide a formal substrate for developing marketing mix strategies that could be implemented in the case of CQU. The customers in the case of the university would not be liable to obtain ownership and generally derive value from the services provided by the institute. The service products are calculated as the performances on an intangible basis as well as the increased involvement of customers in the production process. The involvement of people as a dimension of the service product is also implicative of the complexities that arise in the case of uniformity of delivering services.

Furthermore, the other characteristics such as the significance of time and the perishable nature of the services in higher education could be assumed as reasonable factors for the classification of CQU as a service-based enterprise. These characteristics reflect the requirement of alternative marketing mix strategies that should be different from the concerns of the marketing mix in the case of products owing to the service-based nature of the higher education industry(Shahzad, 2016). The development of traditional marketing mix strategies intended specifically for educational institutions could be directed towards the resolution of the limitations experienced in the marketing mix strategies for products.

In the case of the marketing mix for CQ University, the elements of the 4Ps have to be considered especially with respect to the services of the institute. The specific elements of the marketing mix can be addressed as follows.

Program is the primary element to be considered in the case of the university’s marketing mix strategy and is the basic decision for the management of CQ University. The consideration of customer needs and developing programs accordingly could be helpful in promoting the University effectively for a wider base of domestic and international students.

The evaluation of educational courses and disciplines provided by the university on a regular basis would be accountable for the moderation of the service marketing mix effectively. The specific activities that can be noticed in the case of CQ University reflect teaching, community services, and research activities in disciplinary streams(Thomas, 2015). The quality of services provided by the university would be a formidable competence for the organization to acquire higher customer satisfaction thereby realizing the effectiveness of the marketing mix strategies(Shahzad, 2016).

Pricing could be based on the tuition fees and issues pertaining to the university’s services. The concerns of pricing in the marketing mix of higher education are largely associated with parents worried about the financial implications of admission of their wards in the education courses facilitated by the CQU. The other costs that should be integrally considered in the pricing dimension of marketing mix strategies include psychological costs, time costs, and effort costs(Raffield III, 2015).

Place dimension in the case of the university can be identified in the different campuses of the CQ University in Australia which provide the services for which customers involve in the organization. The convenience and accessibility of the services could be assumed as a reasonable entity in the marketing mix strategies of the universities. The development of technological advancements especially in terms of information technology has enabled students to avail the courses provided by the university.

Promotion could be an essential influence on the effectiveness of the marketing mix strategy of CQ University. The arguments for promotional strategy effectiveness in the case of higher education institutions are implicative of the necessity for including the distinct elements of publicity through advertising and increasing the media exposure of the institute(Ormond, 2015). The specific implications for a pull and push strategy to promote the services of the organization can be accounted as considerable elements in the marketing mix of the organization.

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Competitive strategies:

The competition intensity in the domain of higher education in Australia is considerably higher and the existence of old and reputed universities facilitates potential challenges for the strategic approaches of CQ University. Therefore the necessity for competitive strategies can be observed considerably for the marketing objectives of CQ University. The specific implications for target marketing could be assumed as cognizable determinants of competitive advantage for the organization(Morgan & McGoldrick, 2015).

Massey & Kyriazissaid that it is essential to observe that the competitive strategies have to be aligned with the objectives of the strategic marketing plan for 2018. The particular references to the utilization of differentiation marketing can serve as a credible attribute in the strategic approach for CQ University which can be otherwise associated with the formulation of particular marketing plans that are directed toward the different needs of domestic and international students(Massey & Kyriazis, 2014). The options for leveraging economies of scale can be profoundly observed in the case of the University which could obtain specific economic advantage from the admissions of international students.

The use of differentiation marketing could be aligned with the estimation of psychographic and demographic factors that could provide appropriate suggestions for tailoring the marketing promotion initiatives according to the behavioral stances of the different students. Target marketing is particularly classified into the distinct elements of differentiation marketing, orchestrated marketing, and concentrated marketing(Marta, et al., 2013). The preferences for differentiation marketing as a plausible competitive strategy for the strategic marketing plan of CQ University are also implicative of the minimal barriers that could be encountered by the integration of the other marketing approaches in the competitive strategies. Competitive strategies are directed towards accomplishing strategic advantage in specific business functions such as marketing.

The differentiation marketing strategy in the case of competitive strategies could be implicative of distinct references to the preparation of unique marketing programs based on comprehensive market research. The marketing programs have to be aligned with the vision and mission statements of the universities leading to considerable advantages, especially in terms of demarcating the CQU from other educational institutes. The target marketing approach would also enable CQ University to emphasize on specific international markets from where students prefer Australia as a popular destination for higher studies such as China, India, and Malaysia(Lowe, et al., 2016).

The competitive strategies that could be implemented in the case of the CQ University are also implicative of the essential references towards the collaborations between the University and industries in order to acquire cognizable support in the value chain outcomes of the organization(Lewis & SIU, 2015). The implementation of competitive strategies is also directed towards the acquisition of support from state and federal governments which could facilitate specific outcomes of funding and recognition.

The recognition facilitated by federal and government agencies can be accountable for depicting the organization as a potential implication for communicating the brand identity of CQ University. The consideration of particular emphasis on market research can be assumed as a notable competitive strategy that could be associated with the outcomes of specific direction towards the identification of market dimensions thereby reforming the marketing mix strategies accordingly(Kehinde, 2016). Reliance to the application of social media as a viable channel for communication with the potential customer base of CQ University could be estimated as a viable competitive strategy. It is imperatively observed that students prefer social media as a source of information alongside interaction with social communities.

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Expected outcomes and Conclusion:

The particular emphasis of the report was largely based on analytical approaches for estimating the feasibility of an organization’s competencies to address marketing objectives. The perceived outcomes from the strategic marketing plan for CQ University in 2018 could be directed toward improvement in the number of international student admissions. Thereafter the marketing outcomes would be observed in the increased communication of the university’s educational courses among the potential student base.

The marketing outcomes could also be related to the improvement in revenues from the increment in admissions. The other noticeable outcomes pertaining to the strategic marketing plan can be associated with the recognition from federal and government agencies which is accountable for promising benefits, especially in the form of funding for the improvement of research activities and infrastructure development.

The report also emphasized on the comprehensive utilization of the particular implications of marketing analysis. Marketing analysis is realized with the help of external environment analysis, evaluation of internal competencies, market demand, and assessment, analysis of competitive intensity, targeting, value proposition development, and the specific evaluation of segmentation and brand positioning for CQ University.

The critical review of the individual analytical approaches also suggests the prominent improvements that could be implemented in the strategic marketing plan for 2018. Consideration for the future trends in the domain of higher education can also be noticed as the essential elements of the report that are essentially helpful for drawing feasible recommendations to improve the marketing competence of CQ University.

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