Education today is one of the most dynamically growing promising areas of the economy. Marketing of educational services is a science that studies the market of paid educational services; activities for their distribution and promotion; philosophy of educational business. The use of marketing enables each educational institution to monitor the situation on the labor market and, in accordance with it, adjust the volume and quality of educational services.
The participants in marketing relations are educational institutions, consumers (individuals, enterprises and organizations, the state), intermediaries, as well as public structures involved in the promotion of educational services on the market.
An important role among the subjects of marketing of educational services is played by the personality of the student himself, since he is the material carrier of educational services, as well as their final consumer.
The main objects of marketing of educational services are goods and services, it can also be institutions, territories and individuals. It can be noted that in most cases, the object of marketing of educational services is any object offered on the market for exchange.
The objects of marketing of educational services actively interact with each other. For students, the location of the educational institution is important, and what opportunities it has for their living, in this situation, special attention is paid to such an object of marketing educational services as a territory.
The following features of educational services can be distinguished:
- educational services are not material and not tangible until they are purchased;
- educational services are inseparable from the subjects of their provision, are produced and consumed simultaneously;
- inconsistency in the quality of educational services. The quality of educational services affects the development of society as a whole, and hence the need for the quality of educational services to meet the requirements of state control;
- significant length of educational service in time;
- non-permanence of educational services.
The purpose of marketing educational services is to create conditions for the development of the education system, which will ensure the satisfaction of the educational needs of the individual and society as a whole, taking into account the needs of the regional labor market; preservation and development of the education system in market conditions.
A special role in marketing in the field of education is given to the state. It provides legal protection of subjects of marketing relations from monopoly, as well as from dishonesty in business and advertising.
The state establishes lists of professions and specialties for which education is conducted, forms the basic range of educational services. It conducts attestation and state accreditation of educational institutions, i.e. acts as a guarantor of the quality of educational services, its compliance with educational standards.
To determine the essence of marketing of educational services, one should refer to its functions. From a marketing point of view, the functions of an educational institution include:
- the provision of educational services to students, the transfer of the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities (both in content and volume, and in terms of assortment and quality);
- production and provision of related educational services, as well as the provision of influences that shape the personality of a future specialist;
- providing information and intermediary services to potential and real students and employers, including agreeing with them the conditions for future work, the size, procedure and sources of financing of educational services, etc.
Central to the marketing of education is the development of a marketing mix, which includes:
1. Service as a commodity: the range of educational services is quite wide, constantly and intensively updated, taking into account the requirements of customers, society, scientific and technological progress. The processes and technologies for the provision of educational services are quite flexible and easily reconfigured.
2. Price of the service: prices for educational services are formed under the influence of the market, competitors acting on it, the magnitude of effective demand, the price can also be used to position the service.
3. Service distribution channels: a set of independent organizations involved in the process of meeting the demand for services and making them available to consumers.
4. The system for promoting services to the market: promotion activities are aimed at specific target groups of consumers of educational services, at possible intermediaries. The main tools of the promotion system in the market of educational services include advertising – any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of educational services by a clearly defined advertiser; sales promotion – a system of short-term incentive measures and methods to encourage the purchase or sale of an educational service; personal sales – verbal presentation of educational services in the course of a conversation with one or more potential buyers with the aim of making their sale; public relations – planned ongoing efforts aimed at creating and maintaining relations of an educational institution with various segments of the public. Thus, the marketing of educational services has a number of features due to the specifics of the service itself and the education sector as a whole. These include: the active role of the end consumer of educational services; delayed nature of revealing the results of the provision of educational services; priority of cooperation and limitation of the efficiency of competition of educational service providers; the special role and importance of the state in the educational sphere, as well as the need for its participation in the development of education.
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