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Marketing Plan of University Assignment Help

 

Executive Summary

This is a marketing plan of CQ University, Australia for the year 2018. This is a brand level marketing plan that focuses on all the markets and products of CQ University. The aim of creating this plan is to develop such strategies for CQ University that will help it attain competitive advantage and its marketing objectives.

Before devising the strategies, we analyse the current market position and strategies of CQ University as well as its competitors. We also analyse its external as well as internal environment with the help of PEST and SWOT analysis. We analyse the value and brand positioning of CQ University.

With the help of all these analyses, we devise marketing and promotional strategies for CQ University that will help it to achieve its marketing objective of increasing brand awareness and brand association in 2018.

Background

The Australian Education industry is growing at a fast pace. Data reveals that there are more than 1.3 million students studying in Australian Universities (Data Snapshots, 2017) Australia is one of the preferred locations to study for many international students. In fact education is the largest service exported by Australia. (Data Snapshots, 2017)

There are a total if 1410,133 students were enrolled in all Australian universities as of 2015. Out of these, there are 363,298   international students studying in Australia.

 

(Data retrieved from Universities Australia, Data Snapshots,2017)

 

2015 saw a growth rate in the number of students from different categories. This can be clearly seen in the table below:

(Data retrieved from Universities Australia, Data Snapshot, 2017)

CQ University or Central Queensland University claims to be “Australia’s largest regional university” It offers undergraduate and post ........

ive advantage and its marketing objectives.

Before devising the strategies, we analyse the current market position and strategies of CQ University as well as its competitors. We also analyse its external as well as internal environment with the help of PEST and SWOT analysis. We analyse the value and brand positioning of CQ University.

With the help of all these analyses, we devise marketing and promotional strategies for CQ University that will help it to achieve its marketing objective of increasing brand awareness and brand association in 2018.

Background

The Australian Education industry is growing at a fast pace. Data reveals that there are more than 1.3 million students studying in Australian Universities (Data Snapshots, 2017) Australia is one of the preferred locations to study for many international students. In fact education is the largest service exported by Australia. (Data Snapshots, 2017)

There are a total if 1410,133 students were enrolled in all Australian universities as of 2015. Out of these, there are 363,298   international students studying in Australia.

 

(Data retrieved from Universities Australia, Data Snapshots,2017)

 

2015 saw a growth rate in the number of students from different categories. This can be clearly seen in the table below:

(Data retrieved from Universities Australia, Data Snapshot, 2017)

CQ University or Central Queensland University claims to be “Australia’s largest regional university” It offers undergraduate and post graduate courses. It also offers distance education option and it is in fact a pioneer of distance education in Australia. There are about 30000 students enrolled with the University.  The university is located at more than 20 locations all across Australia. (CQU, 2017)

It was founded in 1967 and was originally located at Rockhampton as Queensland Institute of Technology. It was conferred with the status of a full University in 1992 and thus it became the Central Queensland University. (CQU, 2017)

CQU collaborated with CQ TAFE in 2014 and now it has the honour of being the first dual sector, comprehensive university in Australia. (CQU, 2017) The university offers short-term as well as long-term courses including certificate courses, diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and research programs in a vast area of subjects. (CQU, 2017)

CQ University is ranked among the top 500 universities of the World. The graduate employment rate of CQ University is almost 10% higher than that of the national average of Australia. The university has also been recognised as “Australia’s only change maker campus” by Ashoka U, a global social innovation group. (CQU, 2017)

But a mere 0.029% of total students enrolled in Australian universities study in CQ University as of 2016. It is clearly not the market leader. But it is continuously striving to grow.  We can see the growth in the number of enrolled students in various courses in CQ University in the below table from 2014 to 2016.

STUDENT ENROLMENTS BY COURSE TYPE

COURSE TYPE      

2014      

2015      

2016      

Vocational Education and Training

6,376

9,433

8,847

Undergraduate and non-award

14,490

15,103

16,296

Postgraduate Coursework

4,744

4,986

5,281

Research Higher Degree

419

427

412

*Data correct as at December2016 (data retrieved from CQU website, 2017)       

 

Market and Demand Assessment

The current market share of CQ University is not that attractive. But it is slowly climbing the ladders of growth. (Australian Universities, 2017) And since Australia is a favourite education destination for students from all around the world, there is a huge growth potential.

 

The Annual Report of CQU, 2016 presents the following data regarding the number of students studying in CQU.

Total number of students: 31,217

Students studying via distance mode: 13, 747

Students studying on campus: 16,538

Indigenous students: 907

International students: 5189

Students studying in remote and rural areas: 19247

First in Family students: 4647

Female Students: 17,263

Male Students: 13,939

Other Gender: 15

Students enrolled in Higher Education: 21,942

Students enrolled in VET: 9,637 (Annual Report, CQU, 2016)

These data reveal that CQU is an inclusive university and it targets students from almost all segments. The university wants to provide education opportunities to all the sections of the society equally. It is increasing its reach by providing education through distance mode so that even those who are working can complete their education.It also wants to increase the number of international students being enrolled in the University to increase its inclusiveness by engagement. (CQU, 2017)

PEST ANALYSIS

  1. Political

The political environment of Australia is extremely favourable for the education industry. The Govt. of Australia provides a lot of funds and grants to the universities of Australia. The universities can take advantage of these grants and policies to improve their standard of education.

  1. Economic

Australia is an economically strong nation. The currency rate of Australia is also high. And this is the reason for many international students not being able to secure admission in Australia. Thus it becomes a disadvantage for Australian Universities as compared to universities in other countries.

  1. Social

Australia consists of mainly white population although many students of colour also study in Australian universities. The Govt. of Australia is striving to provide a fair and equitable education system to all, regardless of their race, colour, religion, gender and social status.

But on the ground level, the international students often face a lot of racial discrimination from local students. This at times turns into violence too. As a result, many international students are sceptical about taking admissions in Australian Universities.

  1. Technological

Technologically, the Australian Education System has advanced a lot. Distance learning and online learning is a reality. Cloud based and Virtual Classrooms are becoming highly popular. Universities are investing in high-tech education systems like e-library, online lectures etc. This provides a huge potential for the University to grow and increase its reach.(PEST, 2017)

Competitor Analysis

A very close competitor of CQ University is Queensland University of Technology. Both are almost neck to neck in all aspects like Graduate Satisfaction, Graduate Employment and Student Experience in both Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses. (QILT, 2017)

Queensland University of Technology is ranked at 276 in the world’s top universities ranking while as CQ university just entered the ranking in 2015 and is currently placed somewhere between 401- 500 (Australian Universities, 2016)

If we compare the Vision 2020 of both the Universities, we find out that CQ University aims to become a much larger university by 2020. (CQU, 2017) While as QUT wants to be a University for Real-World that creates graduates who are agile, curious and resilient learners and who can contribute to the world in a sustainable and ethical manner. (QUT, 2017)

QUT is employing the strategy of collaboration by closely collaborating with students, teachers, industry and the community to achieve its Vision 2020. It is being responsive to the needs of its students to be able to keep on fulfilling their educational needs. It is using interactive programs to engage more with its students.

In order to become better than QUT, CQU needs to improve its customer engagement. In other words, CQU should increase its interaction with the students to understand their requirements. It should increase its social media presence in order to connect with its students. It should also create partnerships with various industries. The study environment should be made inclusive where teachers and students can freely interact and share ideas with each other as well as with the university management. CQU also needs to keep on innovating to attract more and more students.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Weaknesses

 

  • Distance Education Facility
  • Robust Sports Program
  • Good relations with other Universities
  • Good ERA ratings for Research well above world standards
  • Above national average Graduate Employment Ratings
  • Better Student Experience ratings
  • Inclusiveness
  • Social Innovation
  • Global Outreach through study tours and Exchange Programs
  • Better Indigenous student numbers
  • Pathway programs to increase employability
  • Student Support through Scholarships
  • Presence in almost every part of Australia
  • A strong partnership with  business and industry as well as Govt. and the community as whole

 

 

 

  • Lack of Opportunity for Students
  • Staff inefficiency
  • Lack of integration between students of different races and religions
  • Weak Financial Structure
  • Inability to cope with changing student needs

 

 

Opportunities

Threats

  • The political environment of the University presents a great opportunity for CQU. CQU can avail various Govt. grants to strengthen its infrastructure and increase its reach.
  • The advancements in technology in the education industry can be used by CQU to outperform its competitors
  • CQU can use cloud and virtual classrooms to increase its reach and attain its vision of becoming a larger university
  • It can foster better partnerships with industry as well as the community
  • The fluctuating currency rates pose a major threat to CQU
  • The high inflation rate is also a threat as many international students are not able to cope up with skyrocketing prices
  • The social in-acceptance of international students by the locals is the biggest threat to the University as a large number of students avoid studying in Australia due to this
  • Another threat to CQU is the growing competition in the education industry of Australia
  • As more Universities joining the league, competition is getting fiercer by the day

Value and Brand Positioning Analysis

Value refers to what an organization is going to provide to its customers. In this context, Value is what the students get from the University. A student enrolled in any university will get the degree he is studying for, but apart from that, what he gets is the actual value. For e.g. the value of CQU lies in providing greater Graduate Employment Rates than any other university in Australia. Another value that CQU provides to its students is the ability to study from anywhere through distance mode. (CQU, 2017)

On the basis of these value prepositions, CQU should position itself as an education brand for everyone from all parts of the world and all social strata. CQU should promote itself as a university that doesn’t discriminate and that helps students in getting jobs with good salaries. (Brand Positioning, 2017)

Marketing Aim and Promotional Objectives

The marketing aim of CQU for 2018 is to increase its brand awareness and brand association locally as well as globally.

To achieve this aim, CQU can use various mediums of promotion. The most efficient and most reachable way of promotion is Social media. Apart from that CQU can also use its own website and other well-known educational websites as well as Search Engines to attain its marketing aim.

Promotional Objectives of 2018

1

To increase social media presence by being active on all possible social media platforms

2

To create and share useful and relevant content on social media daily

3

To have 5000 followers on each social media platform by the end of 2018

4

To produce at least one viral video or post in a week

5

To increase website traffic by superior content creation on the website blog

6

To promote all big and small events organized by the University on print, TV and Social Media through regular posts and press releases

7

To create separate digital marketing and content marketing teams

8

To improve SERP Ranking of CQU website  by the end of 2018

 

 

9

To encourage its alumni to share their feedback on various online education platforms and review websites as well as on their social media pages

Marketing Mix Strategies

Marketing Mix refers to the way in which an organization uses the 4 P’s of marketing, Product, Price, Place and Promotion to be able to attain its marketing aim. With changing situations and aims, the marketing mix needs to be changed. (Marketing Teacher, 2017)

Keeping in view the marketing aim of CQU for 2018, it should adapt the following marketing strategy.

  • Product

The three main products of CQU are undergraduate courses, postgraduate courses and research courses. The ERA ratings of Research for CQU in almost all subjects are above average. Hence, it is the strongest product of CQU. CQU can leverage the strength of its research by providing integrated courses.  The curriculum of the all the three courses should be revised keeping in mind the global requirements.  The curriculum should be in line with the employment opportunities present in various industries.

  • Price

Pricing is a very important factor for enabling CQU to increase its reach. It will be better for CQU to use going-rate pricing so that it can adhere to Australian education regulations and attract a larger population of students. Apart from that, it should also provide scholarships to meritorious students of underprivileged backgrounds. This will enable CQU to attract students from lower social strata too.

  • Place

CQU is already present in almost 25 locations across Australia.(CQU, 2017) But to attain its marketing aim, it should create off-shore campuses as well instead of relying on agents. It should also start providing online certificate, undergraduate and postgraduate courses to reach to wider audience directly. It should share lecture videos online to help more and more students take advantage from this.  CQU should go for more direct recruitment wherever possible to increase its brand association.

  • Promotion

The target market of CQU is between the age group of 18-35 for all courses and modes of learning. (Data Snapshots, 2017) This means all of them are internet-savvy. Hence, CQU should make extensive use of internet as a promotional tool. It should increase its social media presence. It should invest in digital marketing and content marketing.  It should use social media to create and share useful content with its target audience to attract them towards the university. It should turn its satisfied alumni into brand advocates. These alumni can share their campus experiences and career growth through social media posts and videos to create credibility for the university. (Online Content Marketing…2017)

Media and Budget Allocation for 2018

Total budget that should be allocated to Marketing Activities (in $’ 000) is 7000

The percentage distribution of this amount to various advertising and promotional media is given below

Media

Percentage of total  Marketing Budget

TV

10%

Print

5%

Search Engine marketing

20%

Social media marketing

30%

Search Engine Optimization

10%

Social Media Optimization

10%

Content Marketing

15%

Expected Outcomes and Conclusion

By using the above stated strategies, CQU would be able to increase its brand awareness and brand association. Through extensive use of social media and the internet, it can appeal to its target audience, i.e. the millenials. With the help of an efficient digital marketing and content marketing team, CQU would be able to garner a lot of social media followers which in turn will increase its brand awareness and brand presence. Creating and sharing useful content on social media platforms will help CQU to gain trust of its audience which in turn will increase customer engagement as well as brand association.

All the strategies mentioned in this marketing plan would enable CQU to considerably increase the number of students seeking admission in CQU. The social media presence combined with the alumni feedback, SEO and other digital marketing techniques will place CQU in the map of extremely influential universities.

References