“An in-depth review of integrated marketing with an emphasis on developing a comprehensive integrated marketing strategy. Examine the pitfalls and possibilities of integrated marketing, explore how IM differs from promotion and integrated marketing communication, and review the basic steps for writing and managing an integrated marketing plan. Discuss information on conducting a situational analysis, setting goals, developing strategy, budgeting, evaluating programs, and options for increasing faculty support of marketing.”
Assumption: Strategic planning, institutional research, and marketing should be in the same division.
- See also: Core research: where to start?
What are the challenges?
- Decentralization, lack of resources, institutional buy-in, missing the big picture, org. chart silos, avoidance of organizational change.
- Bias toward reflection rather than getting things done.
Definitions of marketing
- An exchange process: giving something of value to receive something of value.
- We need to ask what our prospective students want from us.
- We’re looking for commitment, passion, energy from them.
- The delivery of customer satisfaction.
- AMA has changed its definition of marketing four times. Current definition: Processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationshops in ways that benefits the organization and its stakeholders.
What is the nature of planning?
- Thinking about the future
- Organizing these thoughts
- Goal: blend marketing and planning
What is the nature of Integrated Marketing?
“A listening first, database-dependent approach to marketing that includes a willingness to segment and coordinate such strategic assets as produce (customer), price (cost), and place (convenience) to develop effective promotion (communication) for key tarket audiences.”
Example: University of Phoenix sells convenience.
Integrated Marketing Communications
“A comprehensive, coordinated institution-wide effort to communicate mission-critical values and messages in ways that target audiences notice, understand, and respond to. IMC stresses data-driven segmentation, message integration, and evaluation.”
IMC is a subset of integrated marketing
Successful planning is …
- Clearly assigned — who does what?
- Information based — where’s the data?
- Scheduled — while we’re focusing on the day-to-day, the environment changes … we need to revisit periodically.
- Supported by the chief executive officer.
- Continuous and persistent
- Focused — don’t do everything at once; pick a few things to do well.
- Adapted to its context.
Points to consider
- Develop the plan with colleagues.
- Share several versions with key instititional leaders and governance groups before going live with the plan.
- Revise the plan as necessary to accomodate the suggestions made by reviewers.
- Avoid using marketing jargon.
- The plan has two distinct audiences: for those inside the institution and for those you seek to enroll.
- Use clear, conscise lanage.
- Make sure goals, strategics, and tactics included with the plan are consistent with those of the institution.
- Include discussion of techniques for implementation.
- Gain consensus first.
- Include multiple-year goals — three years may be maximum for this type of plan.
- Promise no “silver bullet” interventions in the plan or in the discussions undertaken to create the plan — these things take time.
- Include some quick successes — e.g., one year projects.
All of these are required for successful change management: vision + skills + incentives + resources + action plan = change.
- Without vision: you get confusion.
- Without skills: you get anxiety.
- Without incentives: you get gradual change.
- Without resources: you get frustration.
- Without an action plan: you get false starts.
Governance and process
Senior marketing team
- Co-chair: president or chancellor.
- Co-chair: senior marketing leader or champion (regardless of title).
- Sets overall goals, objectives, and budgets.
- Usually only meet monthly, or twice a year over time.
Marketing implementation team
- Ensures the day to day design, implementaiton, and evaluation of institutional marketing efforts.
- Key people from admissions, advancement, faculty, alumni, communications, graphic design, IT, physical plant.
- Teams work best with 8-12 people; could be up to 30 at large schools.
- Assures impact on overall communications.
Achieving focus in an unfocused environment
- Handle only a few topics.
- Provide palpable benefits to participants. How a stronger institution will benefit everyone.
- Explain how plan affect the budget.
- Chose an appripriate planning period (maximum of three years).
Two big budgeting decisions to resolve up front
Plans are resource driven and they affect the budget, so …
- How shall these efforts be funded?
- Example: 70% reallocated through costs reductions by consolidating programs.
- Example: 30% from new funding.
- Who will benefit from new program?
- 70% for institution-wide reputation advancement.
- 30% to build “steeples” — the critical core themes that make a difference. Usually only build one at a time
Elements of a final integrated marketing plan
- Mission statement — 1 page
- Vision statement — 1/2 page
- Situational analysis (prioritized) —SWOT — 3 pages
- Position statement —1/2 page
- Positioning statement — 1/2 page
- Prioritized target audiences — 1/2 page
- Points of pride/vivid descriptors — 1/2 page
- Target geographies prioritized marketing goals: short term and long term — 1/2 page
- Marketing communication goals — 1 page
- Marketing a ction plans (MAPs) for year one — 15-20 pages
- Marketing myopia.
- Although we’re in the education business, that doesn’t say what we do.
- Remember the companies that thought they were in the railroad business when highways were being built.
- How we educate really defines us
- Mission statement should be 2 or 3 lines long — ashort, easily memorized mission statement. A long statement will be relatively ineffective.
- Asks the question: what do you do, for whom, in what context?
- It will help focus resource on the important activities.
- How do you create a mission statement and brand that is unique? Depends on how well can you tangibly demonstrate it.
- [JC: the mission statement is an organizing principle to bring activities together into a cohesive whole.]
Vision (values) statement
- Realistic, credible, attractive view of the future.
- Something employees can “see, feel, hear, and taste.”
- Can be as specific as a mission statement or as vague as a dream for the future.
- Anticipate adoption (20/60/20 rule)
- 20% are ready to participate right away.
- The majority can be won over with consistent strategy over time — they may wait to see if you’re serious.
- 20% may not be ready, perhaps for good reasons.
Values should serve as the basis of hiring, training, management decision making, employee empowerment.
The values acid test: how do you spend your time and money? Budget is financial representation of what you care about.
Note that these are probably already established, such as hard work, fairness, success within community, respect.
External environmental analysis
Determine critical success factors
- Customer needs and wants.
- Industry growth trends.
- Competitive structure.
Determine potential external threats and opportunities.
- Economic trends.
- Technological trends.
- Government/ and legal trends.
- Social and cultural trends.
Key trends in higher education
- International competition.
- Government accountability.
- Accountabilty for outcomes .
- Demographic shifts — ATMs ask “English” or “Spanish” — also by region.
Critical success factors
Understand what the market demands
- On-going market monitoring.
- Knowing the segment. What is a customer? “An individual, group, or organization that purchases, influences, and/or consumes a product and/or service offering.”
Understand key factors for success
- For a commodity market, convenience strategies become important.
- For an image product, powerful marketing and distribution are necessary.
- If I communicate with everyone the same way, I’m not going to get very far.
- Sizing the market and its projected growth.
- Local//regional/national/international competitors.
- Key market segments and future trends.
- Other market factors.
Use your research librarians!
- Change in demand.
- Higher Education Act.
- Federal funding and banks.
- Cost/benefit of new technology.
- Technological innovations.
- Changing customer preferences.
- Demographic projections — with 6-9,000 schools, the mix is changing quickly.
- Family compensation patterns.
Internal environmental analysis
- Leadership — what areas are most important to institutional leadership?
- Target marketing.
- Sales and profitability.
Quote: An employee without information cannot take responsibility. An employee with information cannot help but take responsiblity. (no atrribution)
Why culture counts in achieving organizational success:
- Stories — people learn through stories.
- Rites and ceremonies.
However, changing a culture takes time.
The big picture
- Who are the major competitors?
- What do they offer that you don’t?
- What is the biggest gap?
- What drives competition?
- Who are the key competitors?
- What future competitive moves will be made by competitors?
- Where are we competitively vulnerable?
- How will our competitors react to our moves?
Competition is going to get tougher
- Competitors are numerous and, for many institutions, brands are roughly equal.
- Products lack differentiation or switching costs.
- The product is perishable.
- Capacity is augmented in large increments: new programs and facilities for increased enrollment.
- Exit barriers are high.
- Rivals are diverse in personalites or background.
SWOT — Strengths, opportunities, opportunities, threats
- Personal attention.
- Strong academic reputation.
- Little deferred maintenance.
- Beautiful campus.
- Good value for cost.
- Geographic location.
- Locally taken for granted.
- Increasing tuition.
- Campus climate.
- No research.
- Lack of student focus.
- Identity crisis.
- Emergence of new market segments.
- Rapid growth in region.
- Economic upswing.
- Energence of “value” based orientations.
- Increased competition.
- Downturn in economy.
- Loss of jobs in region.
- Costs of new faculty.
Start be stating your assumptions: estimates of future operating conditions.
Typical assumptions could be:
- Academic reputation will remain strong.
- Retention rates will maintain.
- Successful athletic team will provide “boost.”
- Market will get tougher.
- Parents get “smarter” concerning financial aid.
You may brainstorm your school’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. However, how do you know? You need data to back up your assumptions.
- The markets you wish to impact or enter.
- Establish your base at home first.
- High school students.
- Parents of high school students.
- Arriving students.
- Current students.
- Guidance counselors.
Positioning (Trout and Ries)
- Positioning is w hat you do to influence the target audience’s perception.
- The position statement describes your current situation (regionally or nationally).
- The positioning statement is a vision of how you want to be perceived in relationship to competitors.
- However, i f you’re not in the top 5-6 places in a particular category, then you need to work on awareness first.
- Product attributes — example: the school has an 11:1 ratio.
- Benefits offered — the reason the attribute. Never assume people will understand on their own.
- Product class — top schools, medium, low, etc.
- Higher education is following a similar path that heath care providers blazed over the past 10 years: reinforcing strengths, and getting out of uncompetitive businesses.
Prioritize criteria for institutional advantages.
Create vivid descriptors
- Short, pithy, elevator speech.
- Make sure the descriptors are in line with your position.
- Test, test, test.
Create goals and objectives
Goals state, in a general nature, what you want to accomplish over 2-3 years.
- Student retention — costs $500-2,000 to attract a student … makes sense to keep students.
- Faculty/staff involvement.
- Lowering discount rate.
State all objectives to include the following factors:
- Has buy-in.
Marketing action plans
- What actions are to be taken?
- Who is responsible for each action?
- When will the action be taken?
- How much will be budgeted for each action?
- Focus on how the plan’s progress will be monitored.
- Should provide contingency plans if performances fall below expectations or situation changes.
Types of controls
- Revenue analysis: evaluate the goals in relationship to the results achieved.
- Market share analysis: are you gaining or losing ground compared to your competitors?
- Expense to sales ratios: are you overspending for your results?
- Customer satisfaction: how good are experiences in relationship to expectations?
Quote: You may be getting better, but you’d better be getting better more than your competition, or you’re getting worse. (Tom Peters)