The marketing plan aims at providing detailed, viable and feasible information regarding the Australian National University (ANU) located in Canberra which is a capital of Australia. It is a national research-intensive university that ensures global standing specializing in the discovery and public policy to address the challenges faced by Australia and the world as a whole. It was founded and created by the parliament of the country in 1946 and ever since it has been listed among the world’s largest universities in providing innovative solutions to the society through education and research (ANU 2014). Its main campus is Acton and has several campuses across Australia and in various countries such as Pakistan, South Asia, and Pakistan as well as in European nations. (ANU quarterly magazine, 2012). The technological advancements and rapid changes in the higher education sector in Australia compel universities to always come up with practical strategies that can increase the number of students they enroll each year as well as maintaining competent staff. Therefore, this paper will provide a marketing plan for 2018 that can enhance enrollments in all the programs.
Market and demand assessment
The number of students that are being enrolled in the Australian Universities is increasing, and also the government is adequately enhancing its efforts to increase the number of institutions in the higher education sector to accommodate both local and international students wish to study in Australia in improving their career growth and development. Thus, there is stiff competition in the industry as they target to enroll an enormous amount of students to their learning institutions as well as hiring professional and competent staff who can later equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities (Ra?iu & Avram, 2013).
The higher education is the major determinant of the population’s knowledge and skills, employment, work participation, incomes, family growth, immigration, economic growth, educational attainment and subsequent generation’s future prosperity (Doherty, Steel & Parrish, 2012). Therefore, there has been a tremendous growth in the sector and as per the year 2013, there was an enrollment of over 1.3 million students. The 2015 consensus data indicated that 41.6% of the 20-year-olds in Australia attended university, the tertiary institutions, vocational education and other diploma level studies which increased from 36.6% in 2010. There is an increased number of international students that enroll in the Australian university as opposed to the domestic ones and there has been a gender imbalance as there are 100 females per 80 males (Australian Government, 2012). As ANU focuses on the research and innovation, many students across the world are aiming to get admissions in ANU, and this increases the demand for both students and universities which resulted in the opening of more campuses worldwide.
Segmentation and target market analysis
ANU's target market include both Australian and international students who would like to enroll in bachelor's, master's, doctoral and other postgraduate degrees and undergraduate programs, research and more educational courses that benefit the community (Australian National University, 2012). Thus, the university’s segmentation is in three categories that include diplomas, undergraduate and the postgraduate. They offer different scholarships to ensure that they reach the targeted audience adequately and achieve a competitive edge globally given that the higher institution of learning in Australia are significantly focusing on providing communities, productive students. ANU aims at having a continuous attraction of the leading practitioners in different fields as well as proving a fertile environment for developing the young talent by ensuring that its teaching is research-led. The legacy of the research excellence promotes the ambition of achieving success in their segments and targeted market (Year Book Australia, 2012).
PEST Analysis: Political environment
The government of Australia is adequately supporting research and innovation in ANU and also ensures sufficient funding of ANU as it was created by its parliament. Many graduates from ANU have been getting jobs in government offices to help them apply their vision and creativity when addressing the contemporary challenges that the government is facing nationally and globally. The Australian government demands the university to increase the number of students being enrolled in various courses as well as catering for those who come from the greater diversity of backgrounds. Furthermore it compels the ANU to ensure sufficient use of the digital technologies to enhance the provision of high-quality learning to all students (Australian Government Department of Higher Education, 2016).
The significant economic issues impacting ANU include the value for money, climate, sector-wide and forms of funding and the employability factors. Many parents who are unable to provide the tuition fees and raise funds for other options to their children which later affects the studies of the students. Furthermore, according to the Vice Chancellor, they are incurring high costs in the provision of resources that include teaching and support, books or paper and the technology solutions that can improve research and innovation. However, the continuous government has helped ANU to overcome the challenges resulting from economic recessions (Craven & Dillon, 2015).
The student’s needs as well as expectations are changing from time to time. The increase in fees compels ANU to become client-centered to ensure that students realize the value achieved for institutional investment in the university. The emergence of technologies has led to students becoming addicts in using the social and media devices for other activities rather than focusing on research and innovation which is the traditional role of ANU in its task of being the guardian and knowledge and societally accepted behaviors of students. Furthermore, social networking gives students, staff, and the overall management to share ideas and opinions.
With the continuous advent of technology, the local and international students can enroll for their studies in ANU. Furthermore, it has an impact on the institution's operational practices and education systems. The increased demand to offer a flexible and distance learning to the students compels the use of new as well as emerging technologies. Thus the professional societies of ANU have been focusing on ensuring that the staff gets the professional development needs to cope up with the rapidly technological environment. A significant growth in electronic devices ownership among students compels for the shift from the traditional didactic teaching model (Griendt, 2014).
No. of international students
Closer to ANU major campuses
Central Queensland University [CQU]
University of New England [UNE]
University of New England
Charles Darwin University
Macquarie is the university that provides service and engagement through the transformative learning and the life experiences through research and innovation. Its objective includes becoming the highest university in Australia regarding discovery and identification of the main projects addressing the needs and opportunities for the students (OECD, 2013). CQU focuses on excellence, equity, and engagement to ensure that there is remarkable growth in the number of enrollments, courses offered, technological infrastructure. (Souar, Mahi & Ameur, 2015). UNE aims at continuously remaining the leading university that provides distance as well as online education. It seeks to serve the community through the continuous pursuit of excellence in research, scholarship, and teaching. Victoria University aims at providing high quality and engaged career based tertiary education to students from all backgrounds as well as provision of innovative translational and applied research to achieve sustainable communities (Olaleke et al., 2014).
Monash commits itself towards international studies in the research and education through the collaboration with governments, industry and community partners. It seeks to achieve a global reputation (Ian, 2015). Melbourne is a direct competitor to ANU as it is Australia's largest university concerning comprehensive research-intensive, growing esteem as well as achieving extensive global networks to ensure the provision of distinctive to the society as a whole and provide innovative solutions that are excellent and that solve the global issues such climate change and terrorism. Their objective is to deepen the professional preparation and ensure students become active citizens. TAFE courses offered by Monash include Certificate III in Business Administration and Health Services Assistance, Advanced Diploma of Accounting, Diploma of Graphic Design, Certificate II in Horticulture and many more others. It launched the Monash online to enhance distance learning and access to teaching materials on the internet. Charles Darwin aspires to continue expanding and improving their significant contribution to critical issues of the society through knowledge and education. Their objective is to ensure the provision of graduates who can become successful in an increasingly complex, connected and diverse world. TAFE courses provided by CDU include but not limited to Diploma of Counselling, Certificate in MYOB 19, Certificate IV in Small Business Management, Diploma of Share Trading and Investment, Certificate III in Education Support (Teacher’s Aide) to mention a few. It offers free online courses to the students including Massive Open Online Course (Australian Government, 2012).
ANU is better than its competitors in various ways. Firstly, its courses are taught by the highly professional professors or lecturers. Secondly, they strongly focus on research which has enhanced its competitive edge. Their weaknesses include a shortage of the on-campus accommodation and lack of the market knowledge as well as research (Siemens, Dawson & Lynch, 2013).
First, they can seek for new sources of funding for their Ph.D. scholarships. Secondly, the potential opportunity for a new and approachable government that focuses on research and innovation.
There is a shortage of the on-campus accommodation and competition among the colleges for the same students.
ANU has a strong reputation in Australia and across the world, and also there is accommodation guarantee for the first year students.
The first includes a catastrophic event that is damaging the reputation of ANU and the second one there is a decline in the local cohort of the prospective students (Sultan & Yin, 2012).
Value and brand positioning analyses
ANU brands itself as a research-extensive and innovative university that specializes in the discovery and the public policy. It is renowned for its excellence in the research, excellence in the graduate and undergraduate education, and high-quality societal contribution. ANU is endowed with the responsibility of producing and nurturing of the intellectual leaders that outstand regionally, nationally and globally. It values creativity in all the outstanding programs, promotes inclusivity, fosters learning, sustained achievement and ensuring a holistic development of its students (Australian National University, 2015). Further, the institution values competitiveness which helps in providing continuous strive to innovate, improve and succeed. ANU branding is student-centered as it encourages engagement and offers diverse opportunities to even the staff and faculty to advance themselves in their careers, leadership, profession and lifetime. Additionally, ANU is known to value preeminence, and respect (IBISWorld, 2017).
Marketing Mix Strategies
The marketing aims and the promotional objectives of ANU for 2018 are as follows. Firstly, they focus on raising awareness of the institution through web marketing. Secondly, they want to increase the student numbers by 30%. Thirdly, aim at enhancing the research profile of the business and public sector locally and internationally. Lastly, they aspire to expand their efforts towards positioning the university as the leading one in innovation through the student-centered programs and professional development.
Since ANU is a service organization, it applies the 7p’s in its marketing mix to address the market situations and trends as well as following the objectives.
The product includes the educational service. However, despite the students being customers, they are also products to the labor market. ANU offers a wide variety of courses in different fields. However, there is need to diversify the programs effectively to ensure that they nurture students with relevant skills, knowledge, and capabilities.
It involves the tuition fees paid by individuals for benefits gained from the academic activities. ANU has to ensure that the price is flexible as parents and students always take into consideration the financial implications of the higher education before making a decision to be enrolled in a specific university. Set the right prices that are realistic and consider projecting the return on investment despite the intangibility of the service.
ANU must distribute its academic offers effectively as a strategy to exceed the customer's expectations, enhance virtual access to the educational materials, and improve the possibility of distance learning and availability degree of the study programs that have to satisfy students. It includes location and teaching methods. The university's portal plays a significant role in providing on-line information (Norton, 2016).
ANU should apply the web marketing and sponsorships to market its brand and image reputation.
I recommend that ANU should have a well-equipped and qualified personnel that include the academic staff who can deliver high-quality services to all individuals in the institution. Stakeholder engagement when establishing training programs is crucial for academic success.
ANU has to ensure transparency in the enrollment process, provision of unique and excellent services to customers and effective hiring, training, and development of the human resource.
There should be provision of relevant items and the courses offered by ANU to create a good impression to the students. The facilities may include modernized buildings and equipment, well-equipped library, different specialty laboratories and recreational areas (Fathali, 2016).
Since ANU's competitive strategies are not publicly available, I recommend the strategies described below. The product development strategy will be the first one, and it will achieve via efficient utilization of its capabilities and given that it receives adequate support from the government (Cynthia, 2014). Furthermore, there should be an increased focus towards developing new technologies that improve the services offered to the students as well as enhancing the university's reputation as an innovative corporation in the higher education sector in Australia. The second one includes the diversification strategy whereby it will offer a broad range of courses that meet the current job markets to all students in Australia and across the world. For ANU to have a significant competitive advantage, it also has to apply the differentiation strategy whereby by it shall ensure uniqueness of its education services and people can easily distinguish its offers from the competitors (Cynthia, 2014). ANU will achieve it through developing ambitious plans for graduate programs to enhance the creation of experiences that are cohesive, unique and integrated for the prospective graduate students.
Media and budget allocation for 2018
For ANU to achieve the tactics and strategies explained in this marketing plan, it will be essential to ensure adequate allocation of the resources including human and financial efforts and the marketing efforts which are detailed below.
Redesigning of Australian National University Magazine. It will require $ 75,000 to finance outside consulting work and research. Time will be spent in graphic design as well as strategic planning as a means to shape inaugural issues of ANU magazine and setting an editorial and a visual direction.
The marketing campaign for the undergraduate student campaign. Over $ 190,000 will be spent in conducting the market research and intelligence, shaping the strategy, designing the concepts and producing new materials for admissions. The deliverables shall include digital and print collateral.
ANU website transition project. The university will have to spend $ 250,000 in designing a new homepage that sells ANU story and integrates into a refreshed web presence. For full transition human capital is necessary for the Web development as well as enhancing the internal and external communications. It compels significant expenditure in the creation of the wireframes and templates for all the departmental pages of the institution of higher learning.
Institutional awareness and visibility campaign. $ 298,000 will be used in developing collateral and messaging pieces and implementing the media schedule for the advertising in the major student recruitment markets to enhance, distance and international education as well as providing introductive information regarding the free online education.
Therefore, to improve the engagement with the media, there is need to conduct the monthly audits of the social media channels as a strategy to benchmark followers and engagement with ANU content. There should also be a quality of the new hires and the regular updates on profiles of the faculty members to achieve the institutional benchmarks.
Expected outcomes and conclusion
Implementation of this marketing plan by Australian National University will yield a variety of benefits to the university. It will increase its market competitiveness and strengthening of ANU brand locally and internationally. As a result, many students will prefer being enrolled in ANU which later increases student enrollment by the end of 2018. Furthermore, it will be easy to establish new campuses in the emerging markets to enhance the accessibility of the programs to students from the diversity backgrounds. Through the efficient budget allocation, the management and council of the university will have simple work of carrying out a cost-benefit analysis for the human and financial capital. Hence, allowing it to seek additional funds from the government as it clearly outlines the expenditures.
Conclusively, marketing plays a significant role in ensuring the academic excellence and success of the higher institutions of learning. It helps universities to understand and plan the competitive strategies they should apply so as to increase the number of student enrollments and attracting a significant number of professionally competent and experienced workforce that can produce graduates who are innovative and beneficial to the society. As discussed in the paper, ANU is the leading university in Australia when it comes to research-intensiveness and it means that it should make efforts to enhance its distance education and international learning to gain a significant share in the world. ANU should fully utilize its strengths and opportunities in the external environment to curb the weaknesses and threats it faces and henceforth gain a competitive edge in the industry. Furthermore, it should reposition itself as a world-class university that offers innovative solutions to the challenges facing human beings in the rapidly changing environment. It means that there should be greater brand alignment, new creative expressions, transforming digital and evolving the mindset.
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