According to Masterson, Phillips, and Pickton, (2017), the basics of marketing plan implementation are divided into seven (7P’s), usually product, promotion, place, price, physical evidence, people and process.
Product. When it comes to educational offers, it will refer to curriculum and services. There is no point in developing a product or service that no one wants to buy, yet many businesses decide what to offer first, then hope to find a market for it afterwards. Successful companies find out what customers need or want and then develop the right product with the right level of quality to meet their expectations, both now and in the future. Review the perfect product provides value for the customer. All programmes offered by IMU are monitored and reviewed periodically to ensure they are of international standards, conform to best practices and satisfy the relevant regulatory requirements. Modules and Programme are monitored on an annual basis as required in the Academic Quality Management System. Programmes are reviewed after a full cycle of delivery according to the procedure on Programme and Teaching and Learning. This value is in the eye of the beholder we must give our customers what they want, not what we think they want. Feedback from Professional Education Advisory Committee (PEAC), Academic Council professional bodies and regulatory authorities are also taken into account when making a decision on the need to review an existing programme. The Dean of School, who works together with the Programme Director and Working Group, is responsible for identifying changes to the programme. Do a survey – Find out what the customer needs for now and whether they believe these will change in future. Beware the product quality trap – we cannot take it too far by trying to sell the product example we try to sell the Medical Sciences programme when the customer really wants a Biomedical Engineering to pursue their study. The customer has their expectation and definitely they do a study or survey before they enrol as such programme. The product also can be the physical good features, Quality level, accessories, packaging, warranties, product lines and branding.
Price. A product or service is only worth what customers are prepared to pay for it. IMU has to do the price positions in the marketplace. The price needs to be competitive, value-adds or better value for money. Flexibility – All the payment should be flexible according to the terms and conditions. The customer can do a payment via instalment, through counter or online banking, and give the due date when they supposed to settle the payment. Differentiation: Do some differentiation in term of payment such as EPF, PTPTN, provide scholarship example from MARA, JPA and etc. Discounts: Offer the customer discounts for early bird registration, get discounts if payment are made early or full settlement and the staff, children and spouse also can get discounts if they enrol in this university. Allowances: If the student get a scholarship from the company, meal allowance are provided. Get a feedback from customer: The customers will tell where to place IMU in relation to our competitors. Get to know the customer expectation: The more we charge, the more value or quality our customers will expect for their money. If we are the most expensive provider in the market, customers will expect us to provide a better service. Everything that the customer sees must be consistent with these higher quality expectations for packaging, environment, promotional materials, website, letterheads, invoices, etc.
Place. The product must be available in the right place, at the right time and in the right quantity, and distribution costs to an acceptable level. The place where customers buy a product or service, for example they can come to Main Campus in Bukit Jalil or go to Clinical Campus at Seremban, Kluang, Batu Pahat or Kuala Pilah to get an information or register for the programme. Organize an Open Day three times a year, Foundation in Science exploration twice a year, and we can be running a free workshop for high school students. Place also means ways of displaying our product to customer groups. This could be in a shop window, education fair and it could also be online for registration. Make it easier for the customer to engage with us. The internet must place even more to emphasis on the company website and other online activities, as there are fewer points where the customer will interact with the company.
Promotion. Sales promotion are value adding tools to prompt an immediate sale, whether through traditional in-store or direct and online channels, by adding urgency. Sale promotion is important to satisfy customer’s needs and wants (Open University Malaysia, 2017). Advertising message. Video is one of the most popular advertising and communication formats among advertisers for presenting products and services. We can also promote our services or apps and let people download it directly. Creating publicity for the educational Institution. Send out a monthly newsletter, host a free event, organize donations or volunteer for a local charity or Non-Profit, and we can partner with a local high school (private or public). Business to business approach. Partners with leading healthcare institution, IMU with Melorita in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The purpose of the MOU was to strategically promote IMU’s Nursing degree program, among other initiatives. The promotion for both is who are using services from Melorita and they want to pursue study with IMU they can get 10 percent discounts. Business to customer approach: Every month the Marketers will join the Education Fair or Exhibitions, from there we can also give a promotional product such as keychains with the company logo, T-shirts with the product name and pens with the image of the company. Explore new channels: The traditional way normally we use a newspaper, magazine, and etc. The latest channels that we can use for the promotion are using online such as Instagram, Facebook, website, web apps, Twitter, Television advertisement, Radio advertisement and etc. Online advertisement: Using the online promotion position administrations, for example TopUniversities.Com, which target clients scanning for a comparative education programme for world wide. Printed promotional material such as brochure or banner to grab the attention of the customers. It should be easy to read, interesting and enable the customer to identify why and where they should buy our product.
People. Everyone who comes into contact with your customers will make an impression. Many customers cannot separate the product or service from the staff member who provides it, so your people will have a profound effect positive or negative on customer satisfaction. The reputation of the company rests in the hands of the staff. They must be appropriately trained, well-motivated and have the right attitude. Create candidate-focused content: Publishing in blog posts, eBooks, photos, videos and more targeted at candidates. These content assets are the ideal way to tell your company story and engage prospective employees in your brand. Reward the staff: By giving the staff some incentives such as Bonus Marketing or Tip, it will motivate the staff to more productive and creative. All employees who have contact with customers should be suitable to the role and have a good teamwork. Every employee can potentially reach a mass audience via media online and encourage them to keep in touch, stay on-message with the customers. Make customers happy by giving excellent services, get good opinion on review sites and educate the customer while communicating with them. It is good for our business.
Process. The process of delivering the product or service is very important, and the behaviour of those who deliver it, are crucial to customer satisfaction. A user-friendly internet experience, waiting times, the information given to customers and the helpfulness of staff are vital to keep customers happy. Customers are not interested in the detail of how your business runs, just that the system works. However, they may want reassurance they are buying or get a service from a reputable or ‘authentic’ company. Identify where most customers initially come into contact with your company, whether online or offline and ensure the process is smooth. All the process should be standardized and sometimes need to customized for a sentence reasons. Make it number of steps are simple and complex, for example put a flow how to do online register in website and follow the steps. We need to remember, for sentence process customer are involved in, and the customer will get true experience along the way either bad or good experience.
Physical evidence. According to Gbadamosi, (2013), a clean, tidy and well-decorated reception area or homepage is reassuring. If the digital or physical premises aren’t up to scratch, why would the customer think our service is. The physical evidence demonstrated by an organisation and must made up from its conducive environment; spatial layout and functionality; and signs, symbols, and objects (Corporate branding). The interior of any service environment is important. This includes the interior design of the facility, how well it is equipped, internal signage, how well the internal environment is laid out, and aspects such as temperature and air conditioning. The most effective Direct Marketing is using a business card and it is a better first impression of our services or brand. Finally, corporate image and identity are supported by employees’ dress. The major reason why dressing in proper business attire is important for every business professional is because it presents a visual image and sends a message that the employees are professional.