By Peter Hanami
Traditionally in Education we have thought and focused on only a limited number of target markets. Primarily most institutions focused on high school graduates.
As the market changes new segments are being identified and actively marketed. These changes are ultimately changing the face of institutions and Education as we know it.
Education Marketing is a new form of marketing that captures the needs of a segment and caters to them by providing specialist courses and programs.
For Example: As children grow up and leave the family home, mothers find themselves with a lot of new free time. They want to pursue new goals and gain new information and skills, many want to re-enter the work force or start their own businesses around their lifestyle.
In Japan there are many new segments emerging for education institutions.
When we market courses to any segment we must remember that we are marketing to people. People marketing is more detailed and involves more planning and skill than product marketing. Why? As people we are more detailed.
For Example: We change our minds, are swayed by new information, by personal recommendation and by others experiences.
These steps can all happen just in the initial learning phase!
As a lecturer I use to survey new students who entered my classes to ascertain how they found out about the institution, the course and the class.
Each semester I was always surprised by the responses. Students shared their answers willingly as no one had ever asked them and they were proud to explain how they came to be at the institution.
For Example: One story I recall was that a student who lived in the countryside was driving home one night when his car broke down. He flagged down a car and got a lift with a passing motorist. The motorist was on his way home from work and so invited the student to join him and his family for dinner. They talked late into the night finding many common interests. They became friends and through exposure to the family the student learned about the Education institution and the course he was now studying.
The institution never really knew where or how students came to them, they were just happy to have them. How the world has changed.
New segments require new marketing. New approaches involving staff with skills never before seen on campus. New ways of organizing information, people and courses.
Students are now sought after customers.
What new segments are you actively marketing to? How many new marketing staff have you employed? How has your marketing approach changed?
Copyright. Peter Hanami.
All rights Reserved. 2005.