The integrated marketing communication plan for Berkley needs to take into consideration the best communication tools that will maximize public awareness and lead to improved enrolment. We will examine the different communication tools or promotional mix and see how germane each will be in providing an optimal enrolment response. Each marketing tool should embrace the AIDA model: get Attention, promote Interest, engender Desire and stir Action to enrol at Berkley. Firstly, Berkley should use advertising: this is the act of using paid representation, especially in the media, to promote ideas, goods or services to a target market. Advertising can be immensely effective in the process of informing, reminding and persuading perspective students that Berkley is the ideal institution for them. Advertising on Television can be effective but expensive. Ideally, the advertisement should run during prime time or during the broadcast of special sporting events when viewership is at its peak.
The downside of using advertisement is that this may call for a large budget and viewers often want to skip advertisements when watching a program. Advertisement may also be placed in specific newspapers with high circulation. However, we have recently seen cases of newspaper going out of business because of the recent downturn in the economy. Advertisement in Magazines can reach a target market segment but has its limitation in terms of widespread publicity. Advertisement on the internet or in directories can be the most cost effective and potentially reach a worldwide market. A great website by Berkley may boost student enrolment since data on the institution and the necessary application forms online will help students to quickly enrol. Online competition from other universities may mitigate enrolment response. Berkley may also use Sales Promotion to encourage enrolment. This refers to the process of using a communication tool such as discounts and enrolment fairs to increase public awareness sales. It may be directed at high schools within the state or nationwide. Berkley would provide the necessary promotional items to be displayed on public notice boards at these schools. Sales promotion has its limitation in that it can also be expensive to print promotional materials and do follow up work. Public relation is another way to improve enrolment.
This refers to the process of leveraging and controlling attractive information directed at the public at large. Berkley may use media briefing. The media would run stories of Berkley’s great record of providing excellent academic services. The downside of using this approach is that some members of the target audience will be sceptical of the positive “spin” of the data put forward and not enrol. Finally, Berkley may use personal selling to enhance student enrolment. This refers to the process of using face-to-face communication to get attention, generate interest, provoke desire and finally encourage the target market to take decisive action to acquire the product. The company may utilize events such as career fairs at high schools and similar events to deliver effective offers to prospective students. The public then has the ability to seek immediate clarity, additional information and be guided by a knowledgeable representative to accept Berkley’s offer. Many persons are very comfortable to speak with a “live” person and Berkley’s personnel get the chance to build a relationship that could translate into actual enrolment. Personal Selling can only reach a limited market without attracting high costs. My advice would be to deploy a promotional mix of the tools and this will definitely improve enrolment.
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