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Background Context

Describe about the Analysis of Marketing Plan of La Trobe for Management Online.

The following report contains analysis of marketing plan of newly launched and commercialized marketing program of La Trobe Masters in Management course. This program is a master’s course of management that is being offered by La Trobe University. This product enables students and prospects to access classes and consultation online through a well developed module. The product has been developed as a result of increasing demand for convenience and flexible mode of learning from the Australia and offshore post graduates students. This has been driven by advancement in technology from the past few years.

This report will involve a comprehensive analysis of situation, customers, competitiveness, marketing objectives, marketing strategies and the marketing Ps in the marketing plan of La Trobe University masters of management online. The report also discusses the current issues that may affect the program and outlines recommendations for improving the marketing plan.

La Trobe University is a public research institute that was established in 1964. The university has 36000 students. The university has over 7000 international students from different parts of the world. The main campus has 26000 students at Melbourne. The remaining 7500 students are hosted by the other six campuses in the country (La Trobe, 2016). The university has had a culture of bringing higher education to students who might otherwise not have a chance to have it. Therefore the University has continuously focused on future to offer online courses to widespread students willing to study with La Trobe University. The University launches online courses to suite diverse student need with desire to offer real world experience that give a global perspective and a society that take knowledge to the next level.

The University has a mission is to serve the society of Victoria for the purpose for higher education, economic, social and cultural benefit of Australian and international communities. This is to be done through access to quality higher education to this disadvantaged in the societies. (La Trobe Act, 2009). The University envisions that it will be different in pursuit of world class research that makes difference in the world’s most pressing issues. La Trobe is to be a social inclusion place that will be globally recognized for excellence.

La Trobe University is offering a managerial course on online platform. The product is in the education industry meant for advancing leadership skills from the undergraduate level. The industry on online platform is a developing one though the traditional industry has existed for years. The studies remain the same with the online platform developed to enhance accessibility, flexibility and convenience. Students are not required to be around the school premises to access classes, library or tutorials. Rather, they are able to access these services from whenever they are and are only required to login in their portals.

Industry Context

The industry is a developing industry that has attracted most of higher learning institution in Australia and around the world. Improvement and advancement of technology has enabled development of the online learning products (Online Education Degrees Booming, 2012). Each institution has a role to position itself in a manner that it will be able to attract both Australian and international students to enroll in their program. Therefore, it a competitive industry that require good marketing planning in order to reach, persuade and convince targeted  students to enroll.

The organization product is a master’s degree in management. La Trobe University offers the Master’s degree in an online interface that allows students to access classes, library and tutorials using their smart phones or computers.  The degree allows the student to develop knowledge in management or leadership.  The student is equipped with tools and skills important to manage companies, government and non-profit making organizations.

The University program targets all the graduates willing to study online. It qualification is an undergraduate degree from Australian university or an equivalent international qualification. The program also allows individuals with prior learning and experience in their professional to enroll for the course. Therefore, the product target markets are all graduates from Australian universities who are more the one million per year and international scholars around the world (Maria, 2016).

The online platform has gained popularity in the past years. 87% of the Universities in Australia have access to internet.  70% of Australia universities have enables students to access online services and information away from universities.  It estimated that 90% of the Australian universities allow students to browse for material online. From a survey carried out by Australia.edu, it showed that there were 207 courses offered online. The program was offered by 23 universities in the county. It showed that 31% of the online courses were exclusively with internet interaction only. It also noted that 90% of the total courses offered online were post graduate studies (Australia.edu, 2016). According to ICEF monitor, the online education market grew by 20% in Australia for the past 5 years.  The market is estimated to grow to million in the next 10 years. Therefore, it can be established that the online educational product are on rise with increasing demand and competition as universities adopt this form of learning.

The major players in Australia offering an online Masters in Management are;

University of southern Queensland- Master of Management

Situation Analysis

The University of Notre Dame Australia offering masters in Business Leadership

Macquarie University- Masters of management

The market leaders in the online course are Seeking Learning, open Universities Australia and Kaplan.

Macro factors that will present opportunities for the Product;

Advancement in Technologies: An improvement of gadgets and internet access will create more connections and accessibility of these two important requirements for an online learning program. Advancements in technology will enhance the interface between the scholar and the product offered by the institution.

The institution target customers for the online Masters degree are individuals willing to continue their studies without leaving their job due to personal reason. It focuses on graduates who are working and cannot quit their jobs for studies. Therefore, the program enables the student to multitask by learning during their free time and comfort. These customers have fixed schedules to afford to attend a lecture in the institution premises. The organization target groups are individuals who can afford internet and gadgets that can be used for learning process. The product also requires individuals with self discipline to can self manage themselves and follow instructions under no or little supervision.

Customers targeted by this service have a need for knowledge and skill in management or leadership. Customers are in need of sharpening of their skills to improve their businesses or assume a leadership role in an organization (Network, 2016). Therefore, the online Masters degree will satisfy their need for better performance in the leadership responsibilities in their respective jobs.

La Trobe University is operating in a very competitive environment. The market has several institutions offering the same course. La Trobe is operating in an industry where the institutions that have specialized on the serve before it launched it service.  The organization masters degree in Management is accessed in the same way like that of its competitors. The difference is the charges and support given by the institution. La Trobe has adopted a distinct culture from the beginning and is evident in the operation the newly launched program of Masters in Management.  The institution offers an interactive service that is supportive to student and also the charges are different from that of the competitors.

The industry has few limitations to entry. Other higher level education institutions can venture into offering Online Masters degree in the future. Therefore it with great importance that the organization establishes it brand appropriately that it continues to grow and increase the market share.

Target Customers

The marketing plan objective of La Trobe Online program was to inform and grow market share of the service in the industry. The marketing objectives were specific, attainable, realistic and measurable. This will enable continues popularity of the program. This will make the program effective as it will be able to attain the predetermined objectives.

Target Markets:

The strategy chosen in the marketing plan of La Trobe University is multiple segments.  This strategy will enable the newly launched program have a widespread customers. Individuals across all courses provided that are graduates from Australian universities or equivalent from other countries. Multiple-segmentation gives them a wider target of the prospect students to enroll for the course.  It is noted that La Trobe Online Masters in Management is seeking to attract scholars in different disciplinary as far as they are in need of knowledge and skills for leading their businesses or assuming a leadership position in an organization. The design for online masters in Management is not specific nor does it require special qualifications. Therefore, a multiple-segmentation for targeting markets is appropriate for its ability to get more prospects to the program.

A niche is not important in this case. The organization is in need of kicking off and requires as many scholars enrolling as possible. Therefore, separating the market and focusing on an individual niche will serve to the disadvantage of the organization.

The product is designed to offer foundation knowledge for leadership. The package allows the student to attain knowledge and skills important in running an organization. The program allows the student study management in broad or can specialize with entrepreneurship and innovation or project management. The package design also allowed to on campus students but permits only 25% online for these students. This restriction is outlined by ESOS on domestic and foreign students.

The organizations student requirement for enrolling is an Australian degree or any international equivalent. It also requires an IELTS score of 6.5 for international students in English. The IELTS for student from Australia is 6.0.  Then the institution requires personal statement stating the student education background. This is followed by a resume from the applicant. Therefore, it can be seen that the application process is easy and requires achievable past requirements.

The program will cost AU$24730 for 120 per 120 credit points for students in Australia and New Zealand. While the cost for international student is AU$28460 for 120 credit points.

Competitiveness

The online Masters in Management will be marketed the La Trobe umbrella. This will establish the brand for the course in the target audience (Hamer, 2011). The La Trobe brand will be used to offer associate to the online Masters in Management brand to increase confidence and awareness of the course. This enables the newly launched program to be adopted by targeted audience. The established brand of La Trobe University of doing thing differently will fasten the adoption phase of the new course (Rungie and Laurent, 2005). For instance, students and former student will approve the course confidence basing their judgment of the course on the previous courses they undertook from the university and give it the same rate. Therefore, the course promoted under the University umbrella brand will give the course a new edge of marketing making it easy to penetrate the market in Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world.

The online masters in management will use the university’s colors, design and symbols. This will promote the brand in the market by distinguishing it from it competitors. These colors, design and symbols will also enable consumers to different the product in the market. These features will enable online Masters in Managements be distinct and unique under the brand features of parent established brand.

The newly launched online Masters in Management will use the Parent university slogan of doing everything differently. This will incorporate the culture of the parent school to the new course (Chawla et al., 1999). Therefore, the targeted audience will receive the information about the newly launched course with the perception that the quality and support services are the same to that of the La Trobe University.

The La Trobe online Masters in Management program is priced at AU$24730 for 120 credit points. Each subject is priced approximately at AU$3557.50. These are the prices for Australian and New Zealand students. La Trobe has priced the course higher for international students at AU$28460 per 120 points and each subject is priced at AU$3557.50. Therefore, La Trobe complete price is AU$49460 for Australians students and A$56920 for international students.

In order to analyze the appropriateness and competitiveness of the La Trobe price, comparison to it two competitors are discussed. For instance, Macquarie University price for online masters in management is AU$ 41000 in one year. For University of Southern Queensland Australia, they charge AU$ 31680 to complete the program for two years (Masterstudies.com, 2016).

Marketing Objectives

Therefore, it can be said that the prices of La Trobe are slightly higher than that of their competitor. This price is can be perceived by potential targeted customers as price for quality. High prices are associated with quality and therefore, the program of Online Masters in Management offered will regarded as of high quality relative to that of its competitors.

Flexibility: The course it portrayed as a flexible program that a student has an option to enroll with more than four intakes in a year. This is different from it competitor who have one or two intakes in a year.

Requirements for entry: La Trobe online Masters in Management does not limit students to pursue the course on the bases of the course they studied on undergraduate level. This is different to other competitors who require the student to have taken a business related course in order to qualify for their online Masters Management course.

Conclusion

From the analysis in this report, La Trobe Online Masters in Management course is a timely product to be launched at the time. This has been driven by advancement of technology and improvement of services through internet. Consumers have changed their preferences to services valuing convenience, flexibility and adaptability. La Trobe Marketing program has a role to inform, persuade and convince target consumers for the new product launched by the university. It has been established that the design of the course itself gives them a competitive advantage to the organization to be able compete with its competitors.

Therefore, it can be summarized that the La Trobe Online Masters in Management course launch in the market is a timely product due to the increasing demand among Australians and international students. The marketing program is effective and the product success in the market is expected due to strong branding and adaptability of the product in the market. 

From the analysis above, the following is recommended;

The promotional activities should be aggressive the first three months. This will create awareness of the masses that a new program has been launched.

Internet marketing is highly recommendable. The marketing program should focus on internet marketing through social media and high traffic websites. This will have a wide range of audiences reached by the promotional message. 

References

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Stair, L. and Stair, L. (2009). Careers in marketing. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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