Strategic marketing for higher education: image building and promoting academic programs

Çetin, Rubeena Khanam
Turkey is rapidly moving into the national and international competitive higher education market. As a consequence the issue of marketing strategies, policies and practices is emerging as an area of interest. This PhD thesis focuses on four premier universities of Turkey (two public universities and two private universities) their prevalent marketing practices, strategies employed for building, protecting, enhancing and communicating institutional image are explored. Marketing knowledge implemented for promoting, communicating and for increasing the attractiveness, recognition of the academic programs are also analysed. Methods include quantitative technique in the form of a survey of department administrators (N=163) are assessed to explore the purposes for which marketing techniques are implemented in the universities. Qualitative techniques in the form of interviews of the university administrators (N=30) are examined to make inferences about how educational marketing practitioners are formulating policies for the practice of marketing techniques in the universities. Interview schedule for PR officers (N=4), documents and materials for communication purposes were collected mof the respective universities to determine the marketing tools and activities prevalent in the universities and for what purposes. Overall findings of the questionnaires, interview studies, PR activities, communication materials and the literature review show that, marketing knowledge can be utilised for the higher education to achieve institutional purposes. Strategically, for achieving enrollment, attracting prospective students, communication to various public's, enhance and develop institutional image and reputation, and increase the recognition and attractiveness of the academic programs. Additionally the most significant result of the study is that universities adapt manifold strategies and plans to achieve, communicate and resolve institutional needs and goals. Marketing strategies are implemented more actively when competition arises and to capture the prospective markets and target groups. This study concludes that a well-planned and strategically defined marketing plan when incorporated in the university's overall planning will provide beneficial for the universities and foster them to accomplish their aims for communicating and enhancing the intended institutional image and increase the recognition of the academic programs. Similarly, communication tools and PR activities can be organised in a progressive manner to provide fruitful results for higher educational institutions. Therefore, practical implications for the higher education in terms of strategic planning of marketing to achieve specific objectives are recommended and discussed.
Citation Formats
R. K. Çetin, “Strategic marketing for higher education: image building and promoting academic programs,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2002.