Crystallizing the Idea of Marketing: The Gurus Speak

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C h a p t e r T h r e e Theoretical Perspective

Overview

The discussion presented in this chapter includes a variety of topics relevant to the subject of study (marketing), which were not addressed in the literature review. This chapter will introduce: definitions by some of the notable gurus of marketing in the world, along with some of the emerging trends, the role of psychology in marketing, and finally a marketing plan outline along with a sample marketing plan that can be adopted by higher education institutions to promote their programs.

Crystallizing the Idea of Marketing: The Gurus Speak

The notion of marketing has been around for as long as people have been exchanging something of value in return for a product or service. While the term marketing has been defined countless times, the definitions seem to be fairly consistent. According to Barnes & Noble the largest bookstore in the world there are over twenty-thousand books that address the topic of marketing written by thousands of authors (www.bn.com).
In this section we explore some of the prevalent definitions of what the term marketing means and attempt to apply or link it within the context of this study to marketing in higher education. And more specifically to marketing the HRM program at Mt. San Antonio College. These explanations or definitions are made by some of the leading strategist and practitioners of marketing in today’s world.
A brief biographical sketch of these strategist and practitioners will precede each definition.

Philip Kotler

Dr. Philip Kotler is considered by many including the Management Centre Europe to be he world authority on marketing. Kotler is a Professor of International Marketing at the Northwestern University in Chicago, a leading author of numerous book and over a hundred articles. Kotler, is also a renowned marketing consultant and businessman. In his book According to Kotler, Kotler defines marketing as:
“Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures, and quantifies the size of the identified market and its profit potential. It pinpoints the market segments that the company is capable of serving best, and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.” (Kotler, 2005:1)

Jay Conrad Levinson

Levinson is a best-selling author, marketing consultant, and former faculty with extension division of the University of California-Berkeley. He has written over forty books, and more than 170 articles. In his best-selling book Guerrilla Marketing, Levinson defines marketing as:
“…everything you do to promote your business, from the moment you conceive of it to the point at which customers buy your products or services and begin to patronize your business on a regular basis. The key words to remember are everything and regular basis.” (Levinson, 1993:7)

Alexander Hiam

Hiam is a marketing expert, educator, and author. He holds degrees from Harvard University and University of California-Berkeley. He served as a visiting professor of marketing and advertising at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has authored over a dozen books on the subject. In Marketing for Dummies, Hiam defines marketing as:
“the most important thing you can do in business today, even if your job title doesn’t have the word marketing in it. This is true because marketing, in all its varied forms, is concerned with attracting customers, getting them to buy, and making sure that they are happy enough with their purchase that they come back for more.” (Hiam, 1997:1)

William G. Nickels

Dr. Nickels, is Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the University of Maryland- College Park. He has authored and co-authored over sixty text books on the subject of business and marketing. In Principles of Marketing, Nickels defines marketing as:
“…a process of creating exchanges. The marketing process involves many activities, including marketing research, product design, packaging, branding, pricing, delivering, credit, installation, service, selling, advertising, publicity, sales promotion, storage, and more.” (Nickels, 1982:8)

Linking Marketing to the HRM Program

We are able to discern from the definitions presented by Nickels, Levinson, Hiam, and Kotler that marketing is more than one particular activity designed to attract potential “customers” to acquire a product or a service that a business offers. The goal in business is naturally to generate a profit and encourage repeat business. In higher education or in the case of the HRM program the purpose of marketing would be to match college offerings in terms of course, degree, or certificate options with the needs of students. Unlike a business however, as a non-profit public college the purpose of marketing the HRM program is not to generate a profit, but to promote the growth of the program, increase student enrollment, and the number of degrees and certificates it awards annually.

Trends in Marketing

Marketing presents itself in a variety of strategies and tools that can be utilized to achieve the desired outcome as defined by the planning team or organization. In Chapter 2 we discussed several trends and strategies to marketing specifically targeted towards higher education. They included: branding, developing faculty and administrator competencies in marketing, enhance program offerings, adopting business mentality, developing a marketing plan, engaging in outreach, and finally utilizing data retrieved from campus management systems.
These however are by no means the only strategies and trends dominating the current world. In this section we will explore some a few of the top emerging trends. Some of which can be easily adapted to promote programs in higher education such as the HRM program.
Internet Globalization: Technology in print, media, and most notably the internet revolution have greatly facilitated the marketing reach of organizations to limits that were once considered beyond their reach. Thanks to the power of the internet, organizations are able to freely advertise, communicate with, and engage in active commerce with clients all over the world at a relatively low cost (Kotler, 2005:23-24).
Online Research: According to a survey conducted by BIGresearch (online marketing research analysis firm) for the National Retail Federation, 85% of 7,500 respondents reported that they perform online research on products before they purchase them. Another survey completed by comScore (a research company that studies consumer behavior that leads marketing) showed that 63% of online searches actually resulted in a purchase (Gordon, 2006:www.entrepreneur.com).
Mobile Marketing: With the emergence and fusion of telecommunication, organizational, and multimedia devices, advance text, and multimedia messaging devices such as: cellular phones, PDA’s, blackberries, and IPOD’s, the Mobile Marketing Association has estimated that 89% of brands will use text and multimedia messaging to reach their audiences” (Moran, 2006:www.entrepreneur.com).

Role of Psychology in Marketing

Psychology plays an important role in marketing since many buying decisions made by people are a result of a combination of “internal” and “external” factors. The study of psychology in marketing is often referred to as Consumer Behavior (Nickels, 1982:132-133). There are many reasons that lead consumers to buy certain products or services, Nickels (1982:133) identified five external forces and four internal factors that influence a consumer’s decision to buy a product or service. They are as follows:
Nickels (1982:132-154) contends that human beings decisions to purchase are affected by: the society we grow up in, who are parents, how we are raised, who are friends are, the type and level of education we receive, the advertising and promotions we are exposed to, personal feelings and perceptions of products and services, and other peoples perception of products and services. Furthermore, our decisions or motivation to purchase may not necessarily be driven by a need for a particular product or service, but rather a want or desire.
Levinson (1993:292) discusses the psychology of marketing on a much deeper level than Nickels. Levinson explores where decisions are made in the human brain and discusses how to target or market to different groups of people. Levinson suggests that purchasing decisions are made on a subconscious level in the human brain. This is why marketers that have realized this attempt to access the unconscious mind through repetition in advertising. He also observes that studies (unreferenced by Levinson) show that 45% of Americans are left-brained (logical thinkers), 45% are right-brained (emotional thinkers), and 10% are balance-brained (equally logical and emotional thinkers). With this insight Levinson asserts that an effective marketing strategy needs to be repetitive and targets both left and right brained people.
The products or services that you sell need to be portrayed in marketing campaigns as logically and emotionally appealing. To logical thinkers it needs to be perceived as the most practical choice for their purpose, and for emotional thinkers it needs to appeal to their sense of: “achievement, pride, security, self-improvement, status, style, power, conformity, and love” (Levinson, 1993:293).

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Marketing Plan: A Template and Sample

Marketing research, analysis, and budgets are often conducted and complied by businesses in the form of a marketing plan. A marketing plan is a key component of a company’s business plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which is an independent government agency designed to provided assistance and support to small businesses, describes a marketing plan as:
“…the focal point of all business ventures because it describes how you plan to attract and retain customers–the most crucial aspect of a business” (ww.sba.gov)
The following section will present an outline or template to serve as a guide for anyone interested in developing a marketing plan (see Table 4, next page). This particular outline has been developed by the SBA. Additionally, a sample marketing plan is included in this section that was specifically modeled for the HRM program at Mt. San Antonio College.
The template presented in Table 4 is by no means the only format that can or should be followed. The SBA’s template is simply a rough guide. Marketing Plans present themselves in various format and their components can be modified. It is up to each organization to select or develop a plan that would be most suited for its individual needs, rather than try to model their needs to fit into a generic outline or template.
The sample HRM marketing plan format used is based on a basic template provided by Mplans a marketing plan software developed by a software company in California called Palo Alto Software, Inc. (www.mplans.com). Table 5, shown below includes an expanded marketing plan outline developed by Mplans.
The next few pages in this chapter will include a sample marketing plan specifically tailored for the HRM program at Mt. San Antonio College. It is vital to bear in mind that a marketing plan is not an academic document, but rather a business document that is typically brief, concise, and limits or refrains from the usage of references and bibliographies with regards to much of the data and statistical information presented.
Furthermore, the plan is written with the assumption that the readers of the plan are familiar with reading such documents and are not in need of detailed descriptions. Brief statements and summaries are very common in business communication.
Hospitality & Restaurant Management Program Marketing Plan (Sample)

Executive Summary

The Hospitality & Restaurant Management (HRM) program at Mt. San Antonio Colleges is (Mt. SAC) a professional career development program that is designed to prepare students for various careers within the hospitality industry. Students enrolled in the HRM program are able to earn college credit towards a certificate(s), an Associates of Science Degree in Hospitality & Restaurant Management, or transfer to a 4 year university to further enhance their education and earn a Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management.

Situation Analysis

Prior to the year 2003 the HRM program has been operating as a part-time program at Mt. San Antonio College, with no permanent program director or coordinator to oversee the efforts of growth and marketing the program to its full potential.
With the appoint of a full-time faculty and program coordinator beginning in Fall semester of 2003, new initiatives have been explored to aggressively market the HRM program and increase students enrollment, and the number of certificates and degrees being awarded through the programs.

Market Needs

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has predicted that job the growth in the employment market in the United States would steadily increase at a rate of approximately 15%. This prediction has been consistent since 2003, and continues to be the projection for the next decade to the year 2016. This growth is also reflected at the individual state level as well. In California, the NRA forecasted a 15.4% growth in the job market from 1,369,700 to 1,580,000 between the years 2006 and 2016. As a result the California job Market is expecting to create an additional 210,300 jobs over the next 9 years (National Restaurant Association, 2007:1-2).
The addition of new jobs in the economy creates a need for new qualified and trained employees. This need in the job market is an area that the HRM program can fill by recruiting, educating, and training candidates that would occupy the new jobs constantly being created in the hospitality industry.
Presently, there has be an tremendous interest in the HRM program by prospective students that are aspiring to pursue a variety of areas of specialization in the hospitality industry ranging from: lodging management, food & beverage management, culinary arts, event planning, club management, and more.

Target Market

The HRM program focuses on recruiting and training a variety of students that typically fit into 6 groups that include:
Undecided/Undeclared Majors: Students are just taking hospitality classes to gauge their interest in the field.
Students currently working in the hospitality industry and are interested in gaining additional skills for professional advancement to higher positions.
Students pursing certificate programs.
Students pursuing an Associates of Science (AS) degree.
Students interested in earning college credits without earning a Mt. SAC degree.
Student pursing both an AS degree and transferring to a 4 year university.

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SWOT Analysis

The SWOT highlight keys characteristics of the HRM program in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strength and weaknesses are descriptive of our current internal factors that may be controlled, manipulated, and exploited if necessary to the advantage of the HRM program. Opportunities and threats can be internal or external conditions that may or may not be within our power to manage and address.
Our objective is to highlight the strengths in our program, and attempt to use it for promotional purposes whenever possible. Weaknesses are addressed and minimize if possible. Opportunities are ceased whenever possible to advance and grow the program with the ultimate goal of turning the opportunity into a permanent strength. With regards to threats it is vital to identify them in a timely manner and develop way to tackle them in a proactive manner rather than being reactive. We attempt to see threats as a challenge that we need to adapt or respond to in a positive manner if possible.

Strengths

Quality Training for Success: Highly qualified faculty with international industry experience are dedicated to ensuring that students who at attend our program receive solid practical skills that would prepare them for success in the real world as employees, managers, or entrepreneurs.
Accelerate Graduation: Courses are offered on a rotational basis to ensure students graduate in a timely manner without delay. Full-time students may earn a degree in 2 years, and a certificate in as little as 1 semester. Experienced students may even challenge courses and earn credit-by-examination.
Transfer Rate: 40% of Mt. SAC students enrolled in the Hospitality & Restaurant Management (HRM) Program plan on transferring to The Collins School Of Hospitality Management, located at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. The Collins School Of Hospitality Management is ranked among the top 3 schools in the country. With that in mind the HRM program at Mt. SAC established the strongest articulation (transfer) agreement in California with The Collins School of Hospitality Management enabling our student to transfer most of their HRM credits to the Collins School.
Strategic Location: We are conveniently located in Los Angeles County within driving distance from major attraction spots like: Downtown LA, Hollywood Blvd., Disneyland, Sports Arenas, Beaches, and Ski Resorts.
Job Market: California leads the country in the number of Food & Beverage facilities, Sales, and Employment Opportunities and growth. In fact the National Restaurant Association estimates a 15.7% job growth over the next 10 years.
Affordable Tuition Fees: As a public community college partially subsidized by the State of California, Mt. SAC is able to offer course at a very reasonable rate of $20 per credit unit. Most courses are 3 credit units each; therefore the price of a regular class is $60.

Weaknesses

Local Recognition: As a fairly new discipline at Mt. SAC the HRM program is still attempting to gain wide spread recognition in the community.
Support & Marketing Personnel: No permanent structure or group exists on campus that would be commissioned to solely handle the task of marketing the HRM program in the community. This task is currently handled full-time by faculty in the program, with assistance for various departments.
Lack of Commercial Training Lab: The HRM program does not have its own independent training labs or classroom. Currently a home-economics foods lab is being shared with other programs. The same is true of the lecture classroom, which is shared with 2 other programs. This limits the flexibility of the HRM program to expand the number of class offering and accommodate students in facilities that are comparable to industry standards. An independent professional commercial grade training lab is a key attraction factor to many prospective students.
Lack of Funding to Develop New Facilities: Approximately $15,000,000 is necessary to build a state of the art training facility for a comprehensive hospitality program. These funds are not currently available.
Curriculum Approval Process: The current college approval process for the amendment and development of curriculum is too slow and lengthy to allow the HRM program to make changes in a timely manner in response to industry and student needs. Currently the process takes about 1 year.

Opportunities

Carl Perkins Grant: The Carl Perkins federal funding (a.k.a VTEA grant) for vocational and technical education programs is a great financial source that allows the HRM program to possess a budget that would truly support the efforts and needs of the program, students, and faculty.
High-Schools and ROP’s: There are numerous local high-schools and Regional Occupational Programs (ROP’s) that can be targeted for future enrollment.
Internet Marketing: This is an area with great potential and relatively low cost that could potentially attract hundreds of students due to its global reach. Thus far we have not utilized this option to its full potential.

Threats

Competition from Private Vocational Schools: The emergence of private vocational schools with greater resources than Mt. SAC may affect our enrollment.
Competition from Other Community Colleges: Neighboring community colleges are either developing new hospitality programs or expanding their existing ones.

Competition Analysis

The HRM program has determined that any neighboring college that offers hospitality related programs either certificates or degrees would serve as direct competition.
Presently, there are 5 colleges located within a 35 mile radius from Mt. SAC that offer hospitality related programs. Two of these colleges are private vocational schools, while the other three are public colleges.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
List of Tables 
List of Figures 
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 
1.1 Terminology Used
1.2 Background
1.3 Problem Statement
1.4 Aim of the Research
1.5 Research Methods and Design
1.6 Motivation for the Research
1.7 Results
1.8 Chapter Division
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 
2.1 Overview
2.2 Scope and Limitations
2.3 Organization of the Review
2.4 Discussion
2.5 Opinions, Theories, and Suggestions
2.6 Summary
CHAPTER 3 THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE
3.1 Overview
3.2 Crystallizing the Idea of Marketing: The Gurus Speak
3.3 Linking Marketing to the HRM Program
3.4 Trends in Marketing
3.5 Role of Psychology in Marketing
3.6 Marketing Plan: A Template and Sample
CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH METHODS AND DESIGN
4.1 Methodology
4.2 Research Design
4.3 Sampling Design
4.4 Data Collection
4.5 Marketing Strategy: Description and Chronology
4.6 Data Analysis
CHAPTER 5 FINDINGS
5.1 Overview
5.2 Longitudinal Analysis
5.3 Pre-Post Analysis
5.4 Summary of Results: Answering the Research Question and Addressing the Problem Statement
5.5 Answering Other Research Questions
CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 Conclusion
6.2 Financial Issues
6.3 Recommendations
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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