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This assessment task requires you to analyze the "marketing and competitive environment" of a University brand in Australia. There are some key instructions for this piece of assessment task. The marking criteria is also outlined in the unit profile.

PEST analysis of Australian National University

Higher education industry includes all the universities and education providers in Australia. This industry claims to be one of the top five industries of Australia that are growing with great pace. Government of Australia supports this industry with all its efforts because government also sees potential of growth in the industry (Hollensen, 2015). Researchers suggest that Australian higher education system has undergone many changes since years. The increase number of educational programs and engagement of the universities in research programs are some of the positive changes observed. As the industry is moving towards growth, it is becoming more attractive for the investors (Welcome - Researchers – ANU, 2017). Increased attractiveness of the industry is making it more competitive in nature and developing new challenges for the universities to come up with new ideas to attract students.

Australia is considered as the home of around 43 universities. The Australian universities serve around 1.4 million students from Australia and all over the world. The map below shows the campuses of different universities of Australia at different states.

The market for universities of Australia is very competitive as it includes the number of big players that can compete with each other fiercely and have some of the competitive advantages over the others (Babin & Zikmund, 2015).  The top universities of Australia include University of Melbourne, Australian National University, University of Sydney etc.

It is very important to analyze the market of the industry and for that analysis, the factors that affect the industry needs to be identified. According to PEST analysis, the external factors that affect the industry are political factors, social factors, economic factors and technological factors. Analysis of these factors provides the idea of the attractiveness of the industry (Sheth & Sisodia, 2015). .

Political factors:

As discussed that higher education industry of Australia involves the universities and other education providers that fuel the innovation and give education to the students of the country. The government plays critical role in funding these institutions. Many reforms have been introduced in the higher education framework of Australia by the government that focuses on quality, competitiveness and sustainability (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 2013). For this purpose the government is involves parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders of the industry through consultation papers by talking feedback about the reforms from them. This support and the favorable policies of the government is affecting functioning of Australian National University and the university is becoming more cautious about delivering quality education the students.

Economic factors:

Economic factors are the most crucial factors that affect the functioning of any of the industries in the country. This is because all the industries have common goals of serving their customers and of the economy is not favorable it results in decreasing disposable income of the people and thus reduced the market for the industries. As far as the Australian economy is considered, it is gradually increasing with moderate pace. This increase supports the education industry to function properly (Brown, 2010).  

Social factors:

Marketing mix

Society is main factors that have great impact on the choices and demands of the customers. Australian society is very much motivated for education but the differences of indigenous and non-indigenous communities in Australia still restricts the indigenous communities to take higher education from the universities they want (Helms & Nixon, 2010). The government is taking many initiatives for supporting the indigenous communities to take higher education but the beliefs of common people in the country act as the barrier for them to take the education.

Technological factors:

Universities these days are updating their methods of study and teaching, this is because updated technology attracts more and more students to enroll themselves in the universities (Devlin & Samarawickrema, 2010). The latest technology that has been used by the universities these days is Bring Your Own Device. This model allows the students to bring their own devices at the college campus to study.

Marketing mix can be defined as the tool that helps to analyze the 4P’s related to the company’s marketing strategies. These p’s involve price, pave promotion and product. Marketing mix analysis of the company is done in order to analyze the range of products of the companies, their pricing strategies, their location or point of sale and their promotional strategies (Jobber & Ellis-Chadwick, 2012). 

Product:

Product can be defined as the commodity or the service that is offered to the market. As far as the case of Australian National University is considered, the university serves the customers with majorly two types of products (Gale & Tranter, 2011). The first products is in the form of research programs, second products is in the form of  educational programs in different fields such as marketing, finance, management, etc.

Price:

There are many pricing strategies that acne be used by the universities in Australia. As the university is an established brand, so it does not need to put the prices to penetrate into the market (Maringe & Foskett, 2012).  The pricing strategy of the university depends on the price of the competitor's products. According to the analysis, it has been analyzed that skimming icing is the strategy that has been used by the company as the university has to expand its market.

Place:

Place is the point of sale. In terms of education sector, the headquarters of the university and the college campuses can be considered as the place. Headquarter of the university is situated in Canberra, Australia. All the major operational functions of the university are conducted here.

Promotion:

Every organization needs to promote their product in order to attract the target audience. In this case, the Australian National University has used two of the marketing or promotional strategies. The first strategy that has been used by the university is sponsorship. Sponsorship is the tool that is basically used to create awareness about the brand. The higher education industry is very competitive in Australia, so it is required by ANU to rejuvenate their brand and remind the customers about the presence of the brand. Another method used by the company is online marketing (Network, 2017). Online marketing is the method that helps the company to showcase their products on the web portal so that customers can know about the variety of products the company is serving.

Competitor analysis

According to the analysis of the ranking of universities in Australia, it has been identified that the two closest competitors for Australian National University are University of Melbourne and University of Sydney (Devlin & Samarawickrema, 2010). Both these universities provide tough competition to the Australian National University. This is because; all the three universities provide similar products the customers with standard quality.

The above data suggests that University of Melbourne is ahead of Australian National University in rankings nada los suggests that that world ranking of the universities in decreasing with the year that means the universities in Australia needs to be more active in serving the international students to achieve the top positions.

Australian National University believes in serving the students with the educational and research programs so that segmentation is done according to the interest of the students as well as according to their origin. The target market for Australian national universities is the students who want to pursue research as the university is more inclined towards research courses.

Value and brand positioning analysis of the company:

Brand value of Australian National University is from its resr5dh oriented image. the university has portrayed itself as the university that is best in research program thus the students who wants to perform any research work tends to opt for this university as the prior choice (Newman, Couturier & Scurry, 2010). Although the university is doing well in the research program, the number students at the place is very low as compared to others because the university only managed to attract the students with research career goals towards the university.

Strength

Weakness:

The major strength of the university is its research oriented approach. The university has focused on recruiting the best staff for research and integrates the innovation with the research; it involves the research at staff as well as student’s level. This supports the university to in top universities of Australia.

The less number of universities at the university as compared to other universities is the biggest weakness of the university and the more inclination of university towards research also restricts the university to cater a particular type of customers.

Opportunities

Threats

The major opportunity for the company is to implement such strategies that help the university to increase the number of students in the university.

Threat of competitors is always a biggest threat for nay organization just as Australian National University has. Another threat for the university is change in educational demands of the students as well as involvement of technology on campus.

Conclusion:

To conclude, it can be said that Australian National University is one of the best universities in Australia. the company focuses on research program but it needs to focus on increasing the number of students in the university so that it can compete with the competitors because the market of higher education industry in Australia is too competitive.

References:

Babin, B. J., & Zikmund, W. G. (2015). Exploring marketing research. Cengage Learning.

Brown, R. (Ed.). (2010). Higher education and the market. Routledge.

Czinkota, M. R., & Ronkainen, I. A. (2013). International marketing. Cengage Learning.

Devlin, M., & Samarawickrema, G. (2010). The criteria of effective teaching in a changing higher education context. Higher Education Research & Development, 29(2), 111-124.

Gale, T., & Tranter, D. (2011). Social justice in Australian higher education policy: An historical and conceptual account of student participation. Critical studies in education, 52(1), 29-46.

Helms, M. M., & Nixon, J. (2010). Exploring SWOT analysis–where are we now? A review of academic research from the last decade. Journal of strategy and management, 3(3), 215-251.

Hollensen, S. (2015). Marketing management: A relationship approach. Pearson Education.

Jobber, D., & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2012). Principles and practice of marketing (No. 7th). McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Maringe, F., & Foskett, N. (Eds.). (2012). Globalization and internationalization in higher education: Theoretical, strategic and management perspectives. A&C Black.

Network, A. (2017). Rankings of Australian Universities 2017-2018 | AustralianUniversities.com.au. Australianuniversities.com.au. Retrieved 31 March 2017, from https://www.australianuniversities.com.au/rankings/

Newman, F., Couturier, L., & Scurry, J. (2010). The future of higher education: Rhetoric, reality, and the risks of the market. John Wiley & Sons.

Sheth, J. N., & Sisodia, R. S. (2015). Does marketing need reform?: Fresh perspectives on the future. Routledge.

Welcome - Researchers - ANU. (2017). Researchers.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 12 April 2017, from https://researchers.anu.edu.au

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