Internet has emerged as the platform to facilitate private education institutions to provide authentic learning opportunities to the students around the world and digital media platforms in this context, have turned out to be a mainstream channel for such initiative of the private institutions. Students around the world are now embracing the change as well as started to explore this innovative mode of learning. Based on the current growth of online teaching practices developed by the private institutions, Boling et al., (2012) mentioned that by 2019, almost 50% of all courses and learning programs will be delivered online. Similarly, Allen and Seaman (2016) mentioned that between 2016 and 2017, the total number of institutions introducing e-learning platforms has increased by 21% and online learning has slowly been growing over the last few years. Such growth indicates that there is an increasing demand for online learning, which facilitates the business development initiatives of private institutions under World University. However, many private institutions often end up making digital media blunders, as they lack knowledge about the use of social media in business. This occurs because making an investment and providing advantageous options to students is not the solution for the slow growth of digital mode of learning. World University needs to consider the following aspects to expand its business online.
- Appropriate use of social media channels
- Implementation of marketing mix elements
- Integrated Marketing Communication
Many small, medium size and start-up firms often use digital media channels to penetrate in the market and create their presence in the eye of global audiences. For example, Pearl White –a small firm in Australia grabbed the attention of people by making their customers aware of the benefit of natural ingredients in tooth paste (Pearly Whites, 2018). The knowledge sharing initiative through social media helped Pearl White to hold the top position in the market. So, in the case of World University, it is worth mentioning that the use of social media and integrated marketing communication approaches could serve as the base of attracting learners from different nations. Here, social media is one of the greatest innovations of technology which not only enhances the ability of people to communicate but the capability to market directly to the regions or the audiences the business wants to reach. Likewise, the terminology “Integrated marketing communication” is a simple concept, which ensures that all sort of communication including business are appropriately linked together (Luxton, Reid & Mavondo, 2015). The following paragraph describes how World University can leverage social media channels and integrated marketing communication approaches to implement the business decisions it has taken.
Applying social media channels to the business of World University
As put forward by Fine (2017) social media has obtained credibility and popularity over the years as a reliable sources information and platform where the business could interact with their respective audiences. Likewise, the education institutes adapting these developments into their systems as well as trusting the group resources and mechanisms to enhance the student life. Thereby, Lester (2012) mentioned that the use of social media in education could provide students with the ability to get more relevant information to interact with the learning groups and other private institutions that make education convenient. So, with the use of such networks, World University could adopt social media for sharing and interaction and the students on the other hand, could also gain benefits from online tutorial as well as resources which are shared through social media network. Following are the popular social media channels used by businesses due to optimum benefits.
LinkedIn: Linkedln is known as the online analogue networking channel, which is suitable for businesses, especially for Business to Consumer (B2C) businesses (Quinton & Wilson, 2016). However, most of the businesses use LinkedIn for sharing the content of the businesses on a regular basis. Here, Quinton & Wilson (2016) particularly mentioned that as LinkedIn is also useful for recruiters and job seekers, visitors strongly rely on the site. The author has specified that almost 33% of the overall users of Linkedln are the learners and they visit the page to find new learning blogs and articles (Quinton & Wilson, 2016). On the other side, the businesses like Coca Cola on a regular basis highlights their content such as Coca Cola journey and the brand shared the stories over 2000 since their first launch on the site (Florenthal, 2015). Thus, these initiatives of the business indicate that World University can leverage this site to find new learners and to share their learning content.
What is to share: World University needs to share the type and name of the courses it provides, associated learning programmes, imagery contents of online learning practices
Frequency of the post: Three to four times in a week
World University needs to keep its description and profile page relevant to the keyword SEO, but the networks of learners and the contacts are the most valuable content on Linkedln; thereby, World University should ensure the courses it provides and faculties it holds are appropriate and different than conventional educational institutes. Nonetheless, holding only one channels does not strengthen the trust of the users, the organization needs to leverage other social media channels such as Facebook.
The large social media channel, Facebook provides personal connection but for promotion it remains as the most relevant tool. Total number of users on Facebook may be irrelevant here but Tess (2013) conducted a research and found that almost 59% users of are young adults such as the students and they are regularly active on Facebook. So, Facebook will also be an appropriate channel for World University because Facebook acts as sponsor here; World University just needs to provide the content of its learning programs, so that Facebook further design the given content of the page and then publish the item. So when the users tap on the link the URL appears “Bitly.,” which does enough to shrink down the given links. According to the survey conducted by Kuo et al., (2014), sponsored page has the highest visitors because people rely on the content; for example, 71% of users of Amazon comes from the sponsored page on Facebook.
Techniques of applying marketing mix elements to World University’s business
Product: As entire business is run through online medium and social media, the users should know the details of the learning programs which means, World University needs to publish registered coursers such as BBA, MBA, M.Sc, Health Science and others in bold letters with associated links. Thus, tapping on the link will lead the user to another page for revealing the details.
Price: As this is a new mode of learning and the entire process is done through social media channels, the pricing of the learning programs should not exceed the price charged in the traditional media. However, as this is a new initiative of learning, World University can use skimming pricing because Chikweche and Fletcher (2012) mentioned skimming pricing strategy remains effective when the competitors in the market are less in number.
Promotion: In order to promote the products and services, organization can use the social media tools. For example, on the profile page of Facebook and LinkedIn, World University needs to reveal its customer loyalty scheme such as “StudyTogether”, which provides rewards to the learners who introduces another students. To attract students, the organization also needs to reveal that payment for non-refundable fees are transitioned in less than five minutes.
Place: All learning programmes, courses and promotional items such as loyalty scheme and other relevant details should be given on the official website of World University; however, the organization can use the mentioned social media tools to place the products. Nonetheless the organization needs to ensure that payment details and course fees are given only on the official website.
Applying the technique of Integrated Marketing Communication
Advertising: As put forward by Kitchen and Burgmann (2015), when a business is using a paid form of introducing ideas or products, it should be an identified sponsor. Thus, by using Facebook and LinkedIn advertising message such as “create the base of your career at World University with innovative learning opportunities under world class faculties” should be tailored to the target audiences. Hence, Valos et al., (2016) mentioned that the advertising could also target the individuals based on their profile characteristics. For example, the online banners ads are targeted to the audiences on the basis of the sites they visited.
Personal selling: According to Luxton, Reid and Mavondo (2015), personal selling leverage people to form relationship with the target audience with the purpose of selling products and services. In the case of World University, the organization can sell its products and services to the private institutions through the hired agents.
In conclusion, it can be ascertained that “World University” can gain the highest exposure because online learns is still a new trend in many nations. Due to poor presentation of such new ideas, people are not aware of such learning. However, emphasis on the social media tools and design of marketing mix elements can certain help World University to meet its business goals. However, the budget could be major barrier for World University because hiring a sponsored media requires large investment. Nonetheless, this challenge can be overcome when other business aspects discussed above are implemented properly.
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Pearly Whites (2018) - Home Teeth Whitening Kits & Products. Retrieved from https://au.pearlywhites.com/
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