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Marketing and Competitive Analysis of a University Brand

1.      Executive Summary

The report is based on an overall comparison of two universities of Queensland. The two chosen university will be The University of Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). There will be a thorough comparison of these two selected universities. The report will include internal environment and external environment analysis of the University of the Sunshine Coast. A strong recommendation will be given to the University of the Sunshine Coast. Being a marketing manager of the University, it is important to develop brand quality for the university. The report will showcase a good relation between both Universities of Australia. It will project how Australian government contributes to developing academic organization structure. The overall characteristics of this report will be based on the academic environment of the selected University.

2.      Introduction

The report will describe the marketing and competitive environment of two universities in Australia. In this context, The University of Queensland (UQ) and University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) are selected for the study. The primary concern will be for University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). The report will discuss the market size and growth potential of the University of Sunshine Coast in this educational industry. It will analyse the target market and segmentation of the University. The current marketing mix which includes product, price, place and promotion of the current market will be analysed too. This study will do the SWOT analysis and as well as PEST analysis. This analysis will highlight the internal and external environment of the selected university. The paper will analyse the brand value and brand positions of the institution. The report will identify the marketing and competitive environment of the chosen university by analysing the all the selected factors. 

3.      Background

The chosen universities for the report are University of Queensland (UQ) and University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). These two universities are reputed universities in Australia. The University of Queensland began their journey in 1910. It has total 51,070 students including undergraduate and post graduate students. Its current rank is 3 in the Australia. It has three major campuses- St Lucia, Gatton and Herston campuses. It has teaching, research, and other locations. The University of the Sunshine Coast established in 1994. They have total 11,602 students. The current rank of the university is 37 within Australia (Corden, 2012). These two selected universities offer a high quality of teaching, learning opportunities, and research facilities. This university meets the requirement of academics, students, and researcher. Both of these universities are based in Queensland, Australia. The structure of the universities offers global outlook with broad aspects. These two universities use high-grade advertising methods with applying different marketing strategies for marketing purpose. They use ad campaigns, promotions by using a wide range of mass media including television, social media platforms, and local television channels. Both of these universities focus on delivering a quality educational experience to the students. The aim of these two universities is to offer leadership to the students for a better world. The following diagram represents the offered courses of University of the Sunshine Coast.

4.      Market Summary

It is seen that the education sector market has drastically changed over the past five years. The universities provide tutoring services to the student for expansion of their current market. Advancement of technology opens the door for online education service. It has become the part of the education industries. Every educational institution now adopts technological advancements. Australia is remarkable in this case. Universities in the country provide a high quality of world class education facilities to their students. Many students across the world are attracted towards these universities. The Australian universities can achieve competitive advantage. Many students come to Australia to get admission in the Australian universities.

The following snapshot is the representation of the overall information of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

5.      Demand assessment

The two selected universities- University of Queensland (UQ) and University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) are also in students’ demand. The educational industry always gets a place in top position after health sector. So the demand of the universities increases day by day. There are a huge number of universities present in the education market within Australia. The universities in Australia gives education more than 1.3 million Australian and international students. The demand is high for both domestic and international students. There is a high chance that these universities will increase more projects in the future and there will also be potential future opportunities for the universities (Davies, et al., 2013). In this report, the marketing manager is responsible for identifying the economic benefits of the development of the universities.  The market summary of these two universities includes online education program to attract more students across the world.

6.      Segmentation and Target market

Market segmentation refers dividing target customers into different groups in which all the group members of a particular group will possess similar characteristics. In this case, the segmentation will be done for the educational industry. Here the universities segment their target customers (students) into different groups who have specific demand or behaviour. The students will be categorized into different subject holders and geographic location (local and overseas). These two selected universities target students across the world (Dolnicar, Kaiser, Lazarevski, & Leisch, 2011). They use any one of the three target market strategy- different marketing or orchestrated marketing or concentrated marketing. It is seen that a huge number of Australian universities use effective strategic marketing planning.

7.      Current marketing mix analysis

Marketing mix includes 4P’s of marketing. This 4Ps include product, price, place, and promotion. In this report, a brief outline of these 4Ps will be given in this section. Australian education market is much competitive than any other country. There is a high rate of competition among various educational institutions. The main focuses of the Australian universities are providing employability and quality education to the students. They aim to get a huge return by attracting students.  Both of these two universities- University of Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast offer customer satisfaction. But the universities face challenges while providing customer satisfaction in the high competitive market.

For every educational industry whether it is a university or college, the marketing mix includes the 4Ps. In this case, the offered product is education or the offered courses. In this case, the selected university is the University of the Sunshine Coast offers undergraduate programs, diploma program, and post-graduate programs. The price refers here is the fees for the particular course or research work in the university. Diploma programmes cost A$10,000 -A$11,800, undergraduate program cost A$10,000–A$12,800 and postgraduate programmes cost A$10,400–A$12,500 (Gribble & Blackmore, 2012).  The place refers here the location from where the students get an education. So the place is university campus, or sometimes they offer online educationalso for distance students. For promotion, the universities sometimes use mass media like newspaper, television or advertising. There are some other factors of the marketing mix. The people of marketing mix include professor, parents, teachers, and students.

8.      PEST analysis

The PEST analysis will describe the external factors of the environment. It is the acronym of Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors of the environment. The report will include PEST analysis of the universities in Australia. 

8.1.Political factor

The education industry in Australia is highly affected by the political factors of the country. The education sectors are affected by different political factors like Government policies and procedures, strategy and process of admission in the educational institutions. Not only the governmental institutions but also private institutions face political procedure changes within their industry. International students use to complaint about visa charges. The visa charges are quite high. After the analysis of political factors showcases that the political environment for the universities is favourable.  But the government should focus on decreasing the visa charges for international students.

8.2.Economic factor

The recent market in the Australia reflects some major issues regarding funding, employability, and value for money. The financial situation is very competitive in Australian educational market. The earning by the people of the country is increasing, so the country is experiencing economic progress. Therefore the universities are in the stable economic situation. But for international students like students from India faces the problem as the course fees of the Australian universities is quite high comparing to any Indian universities. The undergraduate courses are near ten lacks in Indian money. This is because of the changing ranges of currency. This situation affects the international students mostly the Indian students.

8.3.Social factor

The demands of the students within the educational industry are changing day-by-day. The universities are now charging high prices for their educational programs. In this case, students assess the benefits of the offered course and what is the value of their investment. Universities are changing their institutional structure to meet the demands of the students. They also upgrade the teaching styles, technologies so that the students can get better employment opportunities.  The most burning social issue is violence against Indian students (Mazzarol & Soutar, 2012). Many Indian students are murdered, robbed, knifed, mugged and set alight in Australian universities. This situation affects the reputation of Australian universities.

8.4.Technological factor

The recent era is technology based.  The universities offer world-class classroom facilities to their students. The students are now capable of communicating with teachers across the world in their classroom with the help of technology like Skype. Besides that, they can opt for distance educational program.

9.      Competitor Analysis

The country is facing high competition in the education market. Australia is competing with universities of the UK, US, Germany, and France. The universities face lots of completion from these universities of the different countries. Australia attracts more than five lacs students across the world. Besides that, there are lots of emerging universities in the country which creates pressure on the existing universities. There are already 39 universities in Australia which are competing (Wilkins, Balakrishnan, & Huisman, 2012). In this context, a competition analysis will be done for University of Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast.

Factors

University of Queensland

University of the Sunshine Coast

GPA

5

3.2

English Competition

High

High

Fees

AUD$11,700 per semester

A$10,000-A$12,800

Student number

51,070

11,602

Job rate

73%

69%

Staff member number

6703

906

                                                          10.  SWOT Analysis

This section will analyse the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats of the University of the Sunshine Coast. This will help to gather different information about the administration, placement, and academic discipline of the two universities in Australia. The following table is the SWOT analysis of University of Sunshine Coast:

Strength

·         Research facilities with 120-degree programs

·         Teaching quality

·         Faculty services to the university and the larger community

·         Offer leadership

Weakness

·         Underdeveloped campus life and facilities

·         Lack of teaching staffs for many departments and programs

·         Lack of resources for advertisement

·         Inadequate library facilities

 

Opportunity

·         Increase number of students

·         Use advanced technology for learning students

·         Increase research productivity and impact

·         Become leader in Australian market

Threat

·         Huge competition from other regional universities

·         The risk of losing prominent staff and faculty for better opportunities

·         The changes in technology can affect the future growth

 

11.  Value and brand positing analysis

It is seen that the education industry is growing at a fast rate. The value of the university can be defined by how much students enrol in the university and what the job rate is within the university. Every organization should position their brand at a right market from where people get required information about the university. Presently, the University of the Sunshine Coast is increasing their brand value by attracting more students than the previous year (Zebal & Goodwin, 2012). They are successful in positioning their university at the right place. Internal forthcoming branding activities play a huge role to increase the value and brand position of the selected university.

12.  Conclusion

The primary concern will be for University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). The University of the Sunshine Coast established in 1994. They have total 11,602 students. The current rank of the university is 37 within Australia. The Australian universities re can achieve competitive advantage. Many students come to Australia to get admission in the Australian universities. The universities in Australia gives education more than 1.3 million Australian and international students. The demand is high for both domestic and international students. The universities use any one of the three target market strategy- different marketing or orchestrated marketing or concentrated marketing. It is seen that a huge number of Australian universities use effective strategic marketing planning. The University of the Sunshine Coast offers undergraduate programs, diploma program, and post-graduate programs. The visa charges are quite high. After the analysis of political factors showcases that the political environment for the universities is favourable. The earning by the people of the country is increasing, so the country is experiencing economic progress. Therefore the universities are in the stable economic situation. Every organization should position their brand at a right market from where people get required information about the university. Presently, the University of the Sunshine Coast is increasing their brand value by attracting more students than the previous year. They are successful in positioning their university at the right place.

13.  References

Corden, W. M. (2012). Dutch Disease in Australia: Policy Options for a Three-Speed Economy. Australian Economic Review, 45(3), 290-304.

Davies, L. M., Anderson, M., Deans, J., Dinham, S., Griffin, P., & Kameniar, B. (2013). Masterly preparation: embedding clinical practice in a graduate pre-service teacher education programme. Journal of Education for Teaching , 39(1), 93-106.

Dolnicar, S., Kaiser, S., Lazarevski, K., & Leisch, F. (2011). Overcoming Data Dimensionality Problems in Market Segmentation. Journal of Travel Research, 51(1), 215-278.

Gribble, C., & Blackmore, J. (2012). Re-positioning Australia's international education in global knowledge economies: implications of shifts in skilled migration policies for universities. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 34(4), 341-354.

Mazzarol, T., & Soutar, G. N. (2012). Revisiting the global market for higher education. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 24(5), 717-737.

Wilkins, S., Balakrishnan, M. S., & Huisman, J. (2012). Student Choice in Higher Education. Journal of Studies in International Education, 16(5), 98-140.

Zebal, M. A., & Goodwin, D. R. (2012). Market orientation and performance in private universities. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 30(3), 339-357.