One of the most crucial factors that drive the success or failure of a business is the marketing strategy. The development and implementation of an effective marketing strategy is becoming an increasingly more difficult task. Many factors contribute to this, such as the technological advancements made in the last 10 to 20 years. New technologies have transformed marketing and allowed us to access parts of the market that would have traditionally been too costly to have pursued. Another major factor is the current instability that we are seeing in almost every industry. With many industries in a contraction phase, choosing how to segment your marketing strategy can be crucial. These factors have an enormous impact on choosing the right segmentation strategy for Nipissing University.
Nipissing Universities Current Segmentation Strategy
Nipissing University uses a post hoc marketing strategy that segments the market in a few ways. According to the University’s mission and vision statements (Nipissing University, 2015 – 2020), Nipissing is basing its segments of the markets towards unique, personable critical thinking middle and working class demographics (Nipissing University, 2015 – 2020). Nipissing also targets Aboriginal and other minority groups as a way of demonstrating that it is able to meet specialized and unique opportunities to help members of these groups grow and become educated (Nipissing University, 2015 – 2020).
This segmentation strategy only applies to the main campus or branch of Nipissing University. There is also the segmentation strategy that applies to Nipissing’s College Partnership Program (Nipissing University, 2018), in which Nipissing segments the market to target middle to working class young professionals looking to finish up their degree requirements. This segmentation can be inferred from their marketing posters that are left around college campuses in Ontario.
Marketing for the main campus is effective if attracting differential groups, as it is located in the northern part of the province where minority and aboriginal groups may be under represented otherwise. Having a University that targets the market for like minded communities that have the similar struggles builds a sense of community and belonging.
As for the college partnership program, this marketing strategy is effective as it gives recent college graduates a sense of being able to complete a degree without having to spend another four years in school. This appeals to the middle and working class, as recent college graduates are more than likely to have already started their career, and are looking for ways to solidify advancements that may appear in the future. These college partnerships can be completed in the comfort of one’s home, so they don’t even have to attend a classroom in order to finish their education.
Effective new strategies
A new segmentation that may be beneficial for Nipissing to consider in their strategic marketing plan would be creating a priori strategy that focuses on the working poor or the destitute and meeting this groups psychological needs. This could create a new member demographic for the University, as many lower income members desire higher education, but mostly remains unattainable. The university has grants and bursaries currently that students can apply for, but this is not included in the strategic plan for potentially new lower income members to the University. This strategy depends upon full paid tuition, with no student loans or other third party agreements.
Segmenting the university to attract those who would have been unable to afford a University degree otherwise could benefit the University immensely as not only would the University be fulfilling its intended purpose to educate members of society, it would also be setting an example to the rest of the education industry that philanthropic deeds are rewarded with respect, esteem, and honour. This would encourage potential new clients to seek partnerships with the university, which could lead to massive monetary gains.
Another added benefit to this strategy lies with new enrollments, especially for those who seek to establish themselves as part of a University that really cares for its students, and not just treat them as a pawn in the mechanics of business. This would improve upon the universities reputation among people and businesses. This reputation is important to any post-secondary education institution as it showcases the educational excellence that can be found at that institution.
Nipissing University. (2015 – 2020). Nipissing Strat Plan. Retrieved from Nipissing University: http://www.nipissingu.ca/departments/presidents-office/strategic-plan/Documents/Nipissing%20Strat%20Plan-FINAL_8Jan15.pdf
Nipissing University. (2017). Degree Completion for College Graduates. Retrieved from Nipissing University: http://www.nipissingu.ca/academics/faculties/applied-professional/school-of-business/Pages/Degree-Completion-for-College-Graduates.aspx
Peter, J., & Donnelly, J. (2015). A preface to Marketing Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.