A determination of the extent to which marketing communication tools influence parents and prospective students’ choice of private higher educational colleges in the Lao PDR.

Khammavong, M 2016, A determination of the extent to which marketing communication tools influence parents and prospective students’ choice of private higher educational colleges in the Lao PDR., Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A determination of the extent to which marketing communication tools influence parents and prospective students’ choice of private higher educational colleges in the Lao PDR.
Author(s) Khammavong, M
Year 2016
Abstract This thesis extends research on marketing communication and promotional mix strategies. Extant literature reveals that there is a dearth of academic research and literature on marketing communication, promotional mix, and IMC in Lao PDR HEIs. Promotional mix is defined as a form of marketing communication consisting of advertising, publicity, sales promotion, direct marketing, personal selling, events, and sponsorships. Promotional mix tools have been employed as a significant component of marketing communication strategies. In today’s complex and highly competitive marketplace, promotional mix can play a major role in the process of increasing student recruitment and building image and reputation of higher education institutions (HEIs).

This thesis applied a mixed methods approach, consisting of two separate but interrelated studies. Study 1 (Chapter 4) involves semi-structured interviews with directors (n=5), marketing managers (n=5), and academics (n=5). This study aims to determine the ways in which PHE providers employ promotional mix tools as a part of their marketing communication strategies to influence students and parents’ choice of college. Study 2 (Chapter 5) comprises two phases: Phase 1 is a survey of private college students (n=250). Phase 2 involves semi-structured interviews with parents (n=3) of prospective students.

Findings from Study 1 indicate that traditional media advertising, electronic media, discount offers, provision of sponsorships and college activities, college information, orientation and open days, brochures, school visits and internships, face-to-face, and word-of-mouth communication are considered to be effective PM tools. The analysis also confirms that directors, marketing managers, and academics adopt multi-roles and functions in their institutions despite having limited experience and knowledge in educational marketing communication, promotional mix, and the integrated marketing communication field. Lack of systematic marketing planning and strategy and funding are commonly found among private higher education institutions (PHEIs).

Findings of Study 2, reveal that advertising, direct communication; special information, scholarships, college guide books, social media, financial incentives, and discount offers have an impact on students and parents’ choice of college. Importantly, students and parents report that social media, including Facebook, college websites, and YouTube played a significant role in influencing their college choice. Findings from Studies 1 and 2 have a significant practical, research and government policy implications. Key recommendations are provided for improving marketing communication, promotional mix and IMC practices in PHEIs.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Subjects Quality Management
Entrepreneurship
Keyword(s) Marketing Communication
Higher Education
Promotional Mix
Private Higher Education
Lao PDR
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Created: Thu, 30 Mar 2017, 12:34:23 EST by Denise Paciocco
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