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Marketing And Competitive Environment Of University

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Question:

Analyze the "Marketing and Competitive Environment" of a University brand in Australia.
 
 

Answer:

Background of the University

The University of Melbourne or the Melbourne University as it is known informally is one of the premier educational institutions operating in Australia. The University of Melbourne is a public research university located in Melbourne one of the finest cities of Australia.  The University carries 164 years legacy with it which makes it the second oldest universities operating in the country. The organisation has a wonderful vision statement of preparing students for the future and making them fit enough to glorify them as well as the university all across the world. The University of Melbourne is known for its authentic educational vibe and great environmental setting operating in the north of the Melbourne Central Business District. The organisation carries a total of 45, 411 students with around 3.600 students studying in the doctoral programs. The courtesy for the establishment of the university goes to Mr. Hugh Childers way back in the 1852 when he was the finance minister of the country. As per Times Higher Education, Melbourne University is ranked 33rd in world and Academic Ranking of World Universities have placed Melbourne University in the 40th position all across the world when both the organisation has given this University the first position in Australia (Schaper, 2016).

 

Market Summary

The education division in Australia has experienced significant changes in the last few years. Australia is well regarded for providing effective and high quality education to international students and has already contributed around AU$ 20billion in the form of export income of the country in 2010 which is a total increase of around 24% as compared to the last financial year recordings.  The Australian education market is significantly rich now as most of the educational organisations have developed their infrastructure to suit the needs of the students and have also offered myriad educational options for the students.  In this context it is important to mention that statistics state that by 2020 Australian education industry would be worth over a 100billion which is a great sign for the education industry for the country. In the last few years it has been seen that students have preferred Australia in-spite of having options like US, Canada and UK. Looking at the constant rise in the education market of the country there are number of Universities which have started operating like La Trobe University, Monash University and also older universities like Sydney, Victoria and Queensland Universities which has made the education market highly competitive (West et al., 2015).

Demand Assessment

The demand of education in Australia has experienced steep rise in the last few years which clearly exhibits the interest shown by students to study in the Australian Universities. Key forecasts shows that the smaller educational markets along with the support received by bigger institutions like Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney Universities will receive a huge footfall by 2025. The footfalls of students will increase by around 61% and the demand will exceed the supply by 2025 itself. The growth of online education has been a major contributor in the growth and development of the demand in the Australian Education Market. It has been seen that the demand to get education in Australia is huge in the Asian Continent. Students from developing countries like India, China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia have showed their interest to study in Australia which definitely increases the demand of education in the country. The graph displayed below clearly shows the consistent increase of interest among the students to pursue their higher education in Australia (Baker, 2014).

 Fig 1: International Student Enrollment Australia (Baker, 2014)

Segmentation and Target Market of Melbourne University

Segmentation and targeting is one of the key tools for the effective implementation of a marketing strategy. Segmentation could be defined as the process of choosing the right market segment to sale the products and targeting is the process of making analysis to segment the market for marketing. The University of Melbourne has to compete significantly with number of key players operating in the market and hence segmentation and targeting will have to be to the point for the organisation. The organisation uses the demographics which includes understanding of age, gender, income, education, ethnicity et cetera, physiographics which is linked to understanding personality, emotions, choices and beliefs for segmenting its market. It also uses benefit analysis to segment its market which helps the organisation to provide the best possible offer to each student effectively (Boone & Kurtz, 2013).  Melbourne University targets its market based on the size of the region, by assessing the potential profit it might get and also by making the offers easily accessible to the different segments possible.

 

Current Marketing Mix of University of Melbourne

The marketing mix of the organisation involves Product, price, place and promotion. The marketing mix of the organisation is discussed below.

Products/Offers: The Melbourne University offers different courses and subjects for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Engineering, Science, Law, Arts and integrated courses are available in the University. The core product of the organisation is the quality education provided by experienced and efficient faculties. The augmented product provided by the organisation is the state of the art technology completely Wi-Fi Enabled campus and other online educational courses. It also offers vocational and crash courses on number of different subjects like linguistics, cooking and sculpture and architecture (Wirtz & Lovelock, 2016).

Price: The organisation is a world class educational facility and it makes sure all the students get best attention from the faculties and the staffs. As the organisation is focused on providing the best quality education it has kept its price higher than the other Universities. Hence it could be said that the organisation uses the premium pricing tool to attract students (Ahmed, 2014).

Place: The University of Melbourne has 12 different residential colleges through which it mainly distributes education. The Trinity College, Ormond College and St. Mary’s College are very renowned. The Libraries are effective source to provide education with around 3.5million books and 32000 copies of E-Books and huge number of journals. The organisation also has an extremely effective cloud database through which online education is distributed (Kotler & Armstrong 2013).

Promotion: The organisation is mainly focused on promoting its products through its websites, newspaper and articles and also through mass media like Radio and Television. It also does direct marketing through direct communication, leaflets and hoardings (Hair & Lukas, 2014).

 

PEST Analysis of Melbourne University  

The PEST analysis is an effective tool to understand the external environment of the organisation. The PEST analysis involves discussion of Political, Economic, Social and technological aspects.

Political: The tertiary education sector of the country is highly rich and contributes to the overall development of the economy and hence the Government is highly supportive to the education sector of the country. The Government of Australia and the education ministry have collaborated to provide the universities flexibility to operate in the market to provide education to each and every student. The HESP (Higher Education Standard Panel) is responsible to standardise the overall service system of the universities. The Australian Higher Education Support Act 2003 helps the Universities to get grants and endowments from the government.  Hence it could be said that the political environment is suitable for the organisation to operate (Armstrong et al., 2014).

Economic: The country has one of the developed economies in the world. Even though the Economic Recession of 2008 affected the economy it has been able to recover. It is important to mention that the people in Australia have better purchasing power and they are also ready to pay for quality education which helps the organisation to provide effective education.

Social: The University of Melbourne, Sydney, Victoria has been able to influence the society effectively and make people aware of the importance of education and this has carried the legacy making Australia one of the favored educational destinations now. The increasing competition in the job market in the country has influenced education in the country (Baines e al., 2016).

Technological: The technological advancement in the field of education has helped the organisation to provide the best possible result. The inclusion of Wi-Fi and State of the art technology will help the organisation. On the other hand cloud based classes and virtual communications have helped the students to communicate effectively (Pride & Ferrell, 2016).

 

Competitor Analysis

The Education Industry of Australia has become highly competitive and hence it is important for the Organisation University of Melbourne to assess its competition in the market.  There are number of key players in the market like University of Sydney and the Victoria University are two of the key competitors who have almost equal market share. Apart from this University of NSW and CQ University have also been able to compete in the market in the last few years. Hence it could be said that Melbourne University has strong competition against these universities (Buckley et al., 2016).  

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis of the Melbourne University will highlight its strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats.

Strengths

  • Renowned University with global presence.
  • Great accessibility.
  • Expertise in teaching traditional and nontraditional students.
  • Effective faculty and focus on larger community.
  • Comprehensive quality education.
  • Ranked one in Australia.

Weaknesses

  • Lack of funding in certain programs.
  • Lack of staffs in certain positions.
  • Few controversies regarding merger have affected the goodwill of the organisation.
  • Increasing investment in infrastructure has weakened the capital position of the organisation (Verger et al., 2016).

Opportunities

  • Effective collaboration between Government bodies and the university.
  • Developing educational social trends in Asia and Africa.
  • Enhanced opportunities of expansion program.

Threats

  • Excessive competition in the market.
  • Employee attrition.
  • Lack of effective competitive strategy (Malysheva et al., 2016).

Value and Brand Positioning Analyses

Brand positioning could be described as the process of placing an organisation among the consumers which helps the organisation to create brand loyalty. Brand positioning is important for the organisation as the present day students are highly driven by brand names and hence Melbourne University needs to create a position for itself among the consumers. Since the organisation has been able to provide quality education through premium investment it has positioned itself for upper level consumers.  Its market is focused on the young and rich class students who are looking to get quality education by spending money. Hence it could be said that the organisation has been able to position itself among the rich student groups effectively creating significant value for its services (Campbell & Proctor, 2014).

 

References

Ahmed, M. (2014). Principles of Marketing.

Armstrong, G., Adam, S., Denize, S., & Kotler, P. (2014). Principles of marketing. Pearson Australia.

Baines, P., Fill, C., & Rosengren, S. (2016). Marketing. Oxford University Press.

Baker, M. J. (2014). Marketing strategy and management. Palgrave Macmillan.

Boone, L. E., & Kurtz, D. L. (2013). Contemporary marketing. Cengage learning.

Buckley, P. J., Burton, F., & Mirza, H. (Eds.). (2016). The strategy and organization of international business. Springer.

Campbell, C., & Proctor, H. (2014). A history of Australian schooling. Allen & Unwin

Hair Jr, J. F., & Lukas, B. (2014). Marketing research. McGraw-Hill Education Australia.

Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2013). Principles of marketing 15th global edition. Pearson.

Malysheva, T. V., Shinkevich, A. I., Kharisova, G. M., Nuretdinova, Y. V., Khasyanov, O. R., Nuretdinov, I. G., ... & Kudryavtseva, S. S. (2016). The sustainable development of competitive enterprises through the implementation of innovative development strategy. International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, 6(1).

Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2016). Foundations of marketing. Nelson Education.

Schaper, M. (Ed.). (2016). Making ecopreneurs: developing sustainable entrepreneurship. CRC Press.

Verger, A., Lubienski, C., & Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2016). The emergence and structuring of the global education industry: Towards an analytical framework. World yearbook of education, 3-24.

West, D., Ford, J., & Ibrahim, E. (2015). Strategic marketing: creating competitive advantage. Oxford University Press.

Wirtz, J., & Lovelock, C. (2016). Services marketing: people, technology, strategy. World Scientific Publishing Co Inc.

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