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Transcript of RCTP
This paper is an edited version of the original presentation Cretney-Barnes conducted in 2004 at the Association of Development and Alumni professional in Education Australasia Conference located in Freemantle, Australia.
Strategic campaigns change the way the public looks at you
Dr Lianne Cretney-Barnes.
At time published Cretney-Barnes was director of the office of marketing and development at Edith Cowan University (ECU), Western Australia.
Currently an executive director of marketing and development at Murdoch University.
Won awards from the Australian Marketing Institute National Awards for Marketing Excellence in both 2002 and 2003.
The article shows the importance of producing a well-designed marketing campaign based on predetermined factors such as strengths and weaknesses, markets perception and attitude, competition and market trends. A well-designed marketing campaign can positively shift consumer perception of a service and increase demand.
Purpose of article
The purpose of the case study is to communicate the universities outcomes from the marketing strategies that aim to reposition themselves in the education industry.
The overall impression is that although the article is structured well and is written by a credible source, the case study doesn’t support the data/findings causing the results to be vague and only claims. Although, Cretney-Barnes paper is an edited version the information presented outlines a framework that can be utilised further by opposing universities when modifying their marketing strategy.
The problem represented by Cretney-Barnes for ECU was that:
· The university was the 3 or 4th university preference resulting in lower enrollments
· ECU was WA school leaver’s last choice of university.
· Non-school leaver market (20-35yr) had greater growth potential
· ECU’s wide variety of courses and delivery options was virtually unknown
· University perceived as a tertiary education or marginally better then TAFE
· ECU did not have a recognizable brand
Paramewaran and Glowacka (1995):
To create a competitive advantage in the market higher educational institutions such as ECU, are expected to maintain or develop a distinct image. This can be shown through her objectives to improve the university image.
Kotler and Fox (1995):
Higher educational institutions images are formed on limited and inaccurate information due to the perception of the public. This perception is likely to hinder the enrollments at universities and the recommendations by students to attend those education institutions. To form the public image of ECUs, Cretney-Barnes decided to differentiate ECU by focusing on its areas of strength and to capitalize on its flexibility of program delivery.
Based on previous research it can be concluded that Cretney-Barnes undertook a strategic decision to reposition the University by concentrating on its area of strength and program delivery. The strategy aimed at changing customer attitude. The objectives were:
· Increase first preference
· Increase non-school leaver enrollments (20-35 year old)
· Shift perceptions of ECU as a real alternative to the other universities
The educational service must be positioning correctly towards the specified target market and needs to be redefined/structured to achieve the marketing objectives.
Law and Verville (2011):
Law and Verville (2011) explains that in order for businesses to grow, approaches to corporate identity, product design, research, distribution, partnership and even business models will need to be reconsidered. In order for the ECU University to be successful when repositioned, they should have also adapted to the approaches mentioned by Law and Verville (2011). This can be shown through her repositioning objectives.
If institutions don’t create an image they wish to be perceived by the public and are not clear about their positioning the competing universities will do it for them.
Sucharit’s (2011) figure ‘Integration communication marketing for repositioning of specialised government banks’, provides a guideline of factors that will produce an effective marketing strategy including that the communication channel is right for the target group, the message is right to the point and utilised various communication equipment.
The strategy ECU conducted was across 3 years from 2000-2002.
Why they campaigned?
A strategic decision was taken to differentiate the university by focusing on its areas of strengths and to capitalize on its flexibility on program delivery
What the strategy involved:
· To assist with university-wide brand consistency the university created logos, determined corporate colors and designed templates and disseminated these throughout the university
· Changing the advertising approach and attitude
o ECU utilized 3 of Perth’s leading radio stations during August and September, as this was the perfect time to target non-school leavers
§ The radio stations gave tens of thousands of dollars of free publicity promoting ecugreatcareers website
§ The radio also conducted media stunts, supplemented the marketing activities, ‘I love what I do’ and ‘Free the Bored Worker’s day’
· ECU also produced two undergraduate prospectuses of youthful writing and design style and two postgraduate prospectuses, one targeted towards career advances and another targeted at research students. The reasoning for doing this can be examined by Russell (2005 p. 68) as shown below:
“Prospective students often look to the physical evidence that surrounds the service in forming their evaluation of the service. Aspects such as the campus and its surroundings, as well as other evidence that forms customer perceptions, including the prospectus …are important”
· ECU reformed promotional activities, focusing on a workshop, newsletter and improved promotional materials provided for careers counsellors and database was used to track contact with schools.
The outcomes that were achieved from the marketing strategy were as follows:
· The first preference applications were 31.7% higher in 2003 compared to 2002
· ECU held 27.9% of market share for first preference (4.8% more than the same time in 2002)
o ECU was the only university to have increased market share for each category
· Non-school-leaver enrolments as at 31 January 2003, enrolments in this category increased by 34.8% over the previous year
· Shift in public perception in 2001 on the ECU brand
o Now seen as practical and theoretical; accessible, not elitist and flexible
o Much of the shift in perception can be attributed to the ECU- the start of a great career marketing strategy, evident from a student survey taken on orientation day in Feb 2003
· ECU won Campaign brief’s inaugural best media strategy award
· Finalist in both its 2001 advertise of the year and campaign effectiveness awards
· Market strategy recognised by the Australian Marketing Institute
o Winning a state award and then the national title at the 2002 national awards for marketing excellence in the education category
· The author Cretney-Barnes is credible
· The purpose of article was achieved
· Article written in format for intended audience of presentation
· Manhas (2010) indicated that brand identity and positioning are pivotal concepts in positioning against competitors and will build a strong customer base and brand equity. Cretney-Barnes did this throughout her article.
· According to Wells and Spinks (cited in Khodarahmi 2009), setting a message and selecting appropriate media channel is significantly important to organisations in order to fulfil objectives and achieve success, while increasing public relations confidence regarding the organization’s strategy and activities. Cretney-Barnes has demonstrated this through the external analysis of examining competition, customers and market trends.
· Throughout her research and implementing the marketing strategy, she has contributed to goal identification, which was the 3 objectives to be improved during 2000, 2001 and 2003. A baseline was established, the subject of what needed to be done was identified and past performance patterns were discussed.
o As mentioned by Botan (1997), a strategic marketing communicates, adopts steps, strategies to address the problem with target public and employs a number of measurable tactics through to implement those strategies, which is clearly displayed within Cretnet-Barnes marketing strategy.
Strengths/Usefulness of article
· Edited version
· No source provided in regards to ECU market performance post strategic campaign
· No supporting data with findings mentioned in relation to the change in the perception of ECU
· Demographic characteristics not given for survey
· No references
o By analysing Baines, Harris & Lewis (2002) article it is evident they have supported their findings with other sources of information. Cretney-Barnes lack of referencing diminishes credibility.
· No illustrations, tables or graphs which could have been used to represent data more effectively
· Cretney-Barnes didn’t state what internal and external factors were utilised in developing their marketing strategy
o In Sucharit’s (2011) figure, ‘Factors for success of repositioning’, it indicates what internal and external factors are incorporated in constructing a strategy. By addressing what factors Cretney-Barnes may have utilised, the article would have been a more useful resource for those searching for a framework to determine internal and external influences.
Weakness/limitation of the article
Evaluative method: Historical figures are compared against the figures in the timeframe after the marketing effort to determine the effectiveness of the marketing campaign.
Descriptive method: Edith Cowen University measured consumer perception by quantitative research. Surveys were conducted on orientation day in regards to student’s perception of ECU.
Market performance methodology
Lianne Cretney-Barnes article ‘Strategic campaigns change the way the public looks at you’ is a contribution to the field of education of marketing.
The approach of the article is a case study based on application of general, unelaborated marketing theories, which does not contribute any original or innovative ideas into the marketing field.
This article is an edited version of Cretney Barnes presentation who’s objective was to provide a case study on ECU demonstrating the power of strategic marketing and it's effects on the public. Which have been achieved.
The article has a thesis that an effective marketing strategy will alter consumer perception, create positive relevant assosiation and create brand equity.It focuses on the process of determining the ECU institutions problems, setting objectives, implementing a strategy and monitoring the effectiveness of its strategy.
The article does have limitations and problems due to the lack of supporting documents and an unelaborated framework.
However the article is an edited version of a live presentation Cretney-Barns conducted therefore an expectation of an academic quality article is not realistic.
The university strategy implemented throughout the 2000-2002 campaigns is still successful with ECU being recognised by other Western Australia universities and students.
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University of New South Wales
School of Business framework