Market segments Essay Example

  • Category:
    Marketing
  • Document type:
    Assignment
  • Level:
    Masters
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MARKET SEGMENTS 7

Target Market for the Regional State University

Target Market for the Regional State University

Introduction

Kotler (1972) once argued that marketing is a generic concept that applies to all organizations. Since then, various companies and institutions have recognized that they cannot survive not unless they adopt they adopt effective marketing strategies. However, to come up with an effective marketing strategy, an organization must begin by identifying its target market through segmentation. Weinstein (2013) defines a market segment as a subgroup of individuals or organizations with common characteristics that make them have similar product needs. Therefore, identifying the market segment is important for an organization since it enables a company to customize its marketing mix in a manner that suits the needs of each segment. There are different bases that a company uses to segment its market, which includes demographic, geographic, behavioral and psychographic segmentation. A target market is a group of customers that a company or institution has decided to focus its marketing efforts on (Weinstein, 2013). Having a well-defined targeted market ensures that an organization develops a good product, price, distribution and promotional strategies and the same applies to the university. Given that the high school students that the university has depended on as its primary target is dwindling, its continued success will depend on how well it identifies an alternative target market for its services. This paper recommends the potential target market that the university should focus on going forward.

High school students are the main target market of most universities. This is attributed to the fact that high school students are the main consumers of university and college products and services as they seek to acquire higher education. However, considering that the number regional high school students have been shrinking, the university needs to identify alternative target markets to ensure that its operations are not affected by the declining number of high school students in the region. Fortunately, the market for universities is wide and has many different market segments that the university can begin focusing on to compensate for the high school consumer market.

The first potential target market for the university would be working adults without college degree. Statistics indicate that there is a large population of American adults without a university/college degree (Ryan & Bauman, 2016). This indicates that there are potentially a high number of American adults that are working but lack a degree and would want to attend a university for advancements in the current careers, as well as to open career opportunities for themselves considering that most employers now want to have only employees with good education and skills. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2015 report on the education attainment rate, it was discovered that 88% of American adults aged 25 years and older have a high school diploma with only about 33% having attained at least bachelor’s degree (Ryan & Bauman, 2016). This clearly indicates that there is a large population of American adults in employment without college degree that would want to enroll for bachelor’s degree for career advancement purposes. As the adult population without a bachelor’s degree is a promising potential market that the university should begin targeting now that the number of high school students that it has been targeting as its primary target market is shrinking.

The other potential target market for the university would be the international students. The world has become a global community, thanks to the recent spate of technological advancements. America is regarded as one of the countries that offer the best quality education in the world. As such, a large number of students from other countries are seeking to study at American universities and colleges. Some of these students are fresh from high schools while others are seeking to advance their career. A study conducted in 2015 by the Institute of International Education found that there are approximately 975,000 international students at American universities and colleges, which marks about 10% growth compared to the previous year (fig. 1) (Zong & Batalova, 2016). This implies that international students currently accounts for about 5% of student enrollment in higher education in the United States.

Market segments

Source: The Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education 2015 study also projects the number of international students at American universities and colleges to continue growing in the future due to the growing demand for American education from the international students (Zong & Batalova, 2016). As such, this market is evidently lucrative and the university should consider targeting it. To attract these international students, the university needs to conduct a study to understand their educational needs, the programs that the majority need, the mode of study that is appropriate for them among other critical needs for this growing higher education consumer market and come up with products and services that suit these needs. This way, the university will appeal to the international students, thus making it the preferred university of choice for the international students in the country.

Senior adults would be the other potential market segment that the university ought to consider targeting with its educational products and services. Study indicates that the world is experiencing a growing population of senior adults with developed countries, such as the United States recording the highest growth in population of the elderly people. Currently, for every seven Americans, one is a senior citizen. Statistically, 46.2 million (14.5%) Americans are currently senior citizens aged 65 years and over. Administration for Community Living (2016) report projects that the population of the elder persons will reach 98 million by the year 2060 which would be a double digit compared to 2014. This demographic trend indicates that there could be a potential opportunity for the university to provide educational programs to these older persons especially those with a continuing interest in learning even if they do not have an interest in attaining a degree. All that the university will need is to identify their educational needs and introduce programs that suit their learning needs.

Lastly, the university should consider targeting professionals in different fields of study. The demand for continuing education by professionals with degrees in different fields of study has been growing as professionals seek to acquire more knowledge and skills. Therefore, this trend provides the university with the opportunity to begin targeting professionals with its educational programs to compensate for the shrinking population of high school students. The U.S. Census Bureau 2015 study found that about 33% of the population has attained at least a bachelor’s degree (Ryan & Bauman, 2016). Although these people have gotten employment in different industries, the majority are still in need of furthering their studies to the highest level possible, such as Masters and PhD level. Therefore, it would be important for the university to introduce programs, such as Masters and PhD level in different fields of study to cater for professionals that needs to further their studies beyond bachelor’s degree.

Conclusion

Although the number of high school students is shrinking, this market analysis report has found that there are other potential markets that the university can begin targeting to ensure its continued operation and success. The market segments to target based on the analysis include working adults without a college degree, international students, senior adults and professionals seeking to further their education. The university needs to understand the educational needs of these potential markets and develop products and services that suit the needs of each market segment.

References

Administration for Community Living. (2016). Administration on aging (AoA). Retrieved from http://www.aoa.acl.gov/aging_statistics/index.aspx

Kotler, P. (1972). A generic concept of marketing. Journal of Marketing, 36(2), 46-54.

Ryan, C. L., & Bauman, K. (2016). Educational attainment in the United States: 2015. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p20-578.pdf

Weinstein, A. (2013). Handbook of market segmentation: Strategic targeting for business and technology firms, third edition. New York, NY: Routledge.

Zong, J., & Batalova, J. (2016). International students in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/international-students-united-states