Factors affecting the Target Market and Internet Marketing Efforts
Internet Marketing Objectives
The Internet Marketing Process for Victoria University
How Victoria University can best utilize the Web 2.0 Marketing:
Other benefits of using Web 2.0 Marketing:
Marketing and promotional efforts are done to ensure a continuous growth of operations by creating awareness among the most potential customers and offering them the products or services in the most effective and efficient way (Millman & El-Gohary 2011). Like traditional electronic and print media, web 2.0 marketing has also emerged as a successful medium of promotion for the last few years. Web 2.0 marketing tools include all internet or inbound marketing mediums that are used by the general public for interaction and sharing information with their family members, friends, relatives, and other community members (Software and Information Industry Association 2011). This paper presents the internet marketing efforts of one of the most recognized universities in Australia -- Victoria University. The purpose of the University behind using web 2.0 marketing tools is to create awareness among its prospective students in the local and international markets and increase its student strength by giving admissions to those students who totally meet its admission criteria.
The paper starts with an introduction to the internet marketing techniques; their importance in the present times, and usefulness for the educational institutions and universities. The main section of the paper discusses the marketing efforts which are needed by the Victoria University to get the maximum benefits from these internet marketing tools and techniques. It presents the core marketing objectives, the target market and audience for the internet marketing campaign, the internet marketing process, and the major benefits which Victoria University can realize from these next generation community-based marketing tools and techniques. The internet marketing process is a comprehensive process where the Victoria University will assess the need for internet marketing tools, select the best tool among different available options, and choose the contents and other features for its promotional campaigns that are to be run on that selected marketing tool or medium. The paper concludes with highlighting the major areas covered in the paper and discussing its key findings.
Organizations always remain in a quest to find out new techniques and tactics to attract more and more customers. They use various types of marketing tools to promote their product or service offerings to the most potential target customers (Millman & El-Gohary 2011). Same is the case with universities and educational institutions. They offer their admissions in different courses and programs at different levels of studies to those students who fully meet their admission criteria and follow a specified roadmap for admission. To invite applications for admissions from prospective students, these universities and educational institutions have to communicate their admissions offerings and criteria in all those marketing and communication mediums which they deem necessary for this purpose. Traditionally, they used to market their educational program offerings on print media (newspapers), electronic media (televisions), and educational seminars held at their own campuses (Zhang, 2001).
Now-a-days, these traditional mediums are not fulfilling the requirements of an ever-changing Global environment. Now students search for admissions in their required fields of studies over the Internet on different platforms; like social media networks, blogs, wikis, etc. These are collectively called as Web 2.0 marketing tools (Millman & El-Gohary 2011). Thus, there arises an immense need to use these modern promotional mediums to attract potential students for admissions in different programs. Social media marketing has become the most cost-effective promotional medium of the present times (Software and Information Industry Association 2011). Universities and educational institutions have also recognized its importance for the promotion and growth of their operations. As students are getting more and more involved in modern technologies and ways of communication, universities have adopted the internet marketing and social media network as a strong tool for promoting their educational program offerings.
Victoria University is a well-recognized higher educational institution in Australia. It offers a wide range of programs and courses at undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate level studies. It invites applications for new admissions throughout the year on all major communication medium and its website. Victoria University has a very comprehensive website which gives all kinds of information to its visitors; including university profile, programs offered, detail of campuses, departments, and faculty, facilities and services, job portal, contact information, etc. (Zhang 2001). This website also provides useful links to various related websites, internet places, and social media networks like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. These links are also an effective medium for promoting the educational programs being offered by different departments of the University (Software and Information Industry Association 2011).
The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss the ways in which Victoria University can effectively utilize the modern internet marketing tools and techniques to promote its educational services, ensure a steady growth in its operations, and achieve its overall marketing objectives.
TARGET MARKET AND AUDIENCE
Victoria University has opened a number of campuses in the country since its formation in 1916. The courses being offered at undergraduate, bachelors, masters, and higher levels fall under all the major fields of studies; including Business Management, Law, Arts, Engineering and Technology, Medical and Health Sciences, Vocational education and workforce development, etc. Therefore, the University has a broad market to target for these programs. In addition to the traditional promotional mediums, the University can attract the potential candidates for these programs through inbound marketing techniques like leverage blogs, social media networking sites, and search engine advertising. The target audience for the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate courses are the students who have successfully passed their previous examinations in their respective fields of study and want to get admission to the higher studies in the current session. Thus, the target audience also varies for each program category.
Factors affecting the Target Market and Internet Marketing Efforts:
The factors which will affect the internet marketing and promotional efforts for Victoria University for its different program categories include location of campus, availability of respective faculty members in each campus, fee structure for each course, and the facilities and services which will be provided by the University to its newly admitted students. These factors will be considered while designing the internet marketing campaigns for different programs (Millman & El-Gohary 2011). A number of benefits are also associated with these factors which will not only help the University in targeting its audience in a better way, but also be helpful to the potential students in making their decision about the University.
1. No need to advertise for each campus separately:
The first and the foremost important factor is the location of campus. This factor will largely affect the decision of students that whether they should choose Victoria University as their new educational institution or not. The students will choose this university if its campus where the students' favourite courses are being offered is located nearby their residence. On the other hand, if students will found the campus farther from their residence, they will prefer a nearer university or educational institution to get admission in their favourite program (Bulotaite 2003).
After analysing this factor, the University will realize that the social media networks and other internet marketing tools will make the decision easier of choosing the location for advertisements. These next generation marketing tools will enable the University to promote its educational program offerings over the Global platform where students from all over the world can interact and share their personal views and comments about Victoria University. Therefore, these internet marketing efforts will save the costs which the University used to expend on promoting its program offerings separately for each campus located in different localities of the country.
2. Availability of Important Information:
Another big advantage of these inbound or internet marketing efforts will be the availability of all types of information to the prospective students and their parents. The traditional mediums of promotion like television, newspapers, radio, and seminars were not effective in this regard. A big drawback of these mediums is the lack of space or time for a lengthy and complete promotional ad (Software and Information Industry Association 2011). For example, if Victoria University has to market its service offerings on the television and intends to give complete information about its profile, campuses, programs offered, services and facilities, location, contact numbers, events and seminars, job portals, and others, it will have to run a lengthy advertisement which will cost it many times than a normal short ad (Bulotaite 2003).
In other words, more space on the newspapers or time on the television will require greater marketing budget. Conversely, Victoria University can make free account on the social media networking sites and create blogs for fulfilling its aforementioned marketing objectives. It can create its own pages on these sites where it can put all kinds of information including fee structures, faculty members, and campuses and make them accessible to all kinds of visitors…