Taylor’s Education Group has been a household name in Malaysia for four decades known for producing all-rounded graduates with on-hand work experience which will enable them to be competitive and assertive in the working environment. Taylor’s has contributed much to Malaysia’s economic prosperity seeing as Taylor’s is expanding not only domestically but also internationally. Taylor’s started with humble beginnings, with only a small block in Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur offering only one program. Today, Taylor’s has 5 campuses including the very recently established Taylor’s Lakeside Campus which offers a multitude of courses which comprises of diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Apart from that, Taylor’s’ 10 year mission is to become a university of 20,000 students renowned for its teaching excellence and the distinctive quality of its graduates. At the rate Taylor’s is growing, there is no doubt that mission can be accomplished in 5 years let alone 10 years. Taylor’s effective mission statement, “Wisdom. Integrity. Excellence” is undoubtedly one of the reasons why many students are attracted to this educational institution. Taylor’s’ mission statement positions students to think of Taylor’s as a premium and exclusive educational institution that offers excellent education quality while inculcating discipline at the same time. Taylor’s core purpose to educate the youth of the world to take their productive places as leaders in the global community also plays an important role in drawing students into the educational institution. In addition to that, Taylor’s also promises 5 core values in all of their programs. Firstly, Taylor’s believes in “Respecting and caring for each other”. Taylor’s promises to create an environment where everyone is appreciated disregarding personal, cultural, racial or religion differences. Taylor’s does this by providing a safe place to express your opinions. Besides that, exercising responsibility will also be encouraged. The efforts of individuals and groups will also be recognized and respected. Secondly, Taylor’s also believes in “Being dedicated to a culture of excellence”. Taylor’s will systematically and purposefully do the best they can to achieve their organizational goals. Thus, Taylor’s will continually look for methods to improve themselves through continual learning and adopting methods which will contribute to Taylor’s’ long term objectives and goals. Thirdly, Taylor’s also believes in “Openness in communication”. Taylor’s promotes being honest in daily exchanges, and if this is done in a kind and respectful manner, trust and understanding will be developed. Fourthly, Taylor’s believes in “Acting with integrity”. Taylor’s will obey the codes of conduct and be ethical in their daily processes to build a culture of openness within the organization and society at large. Fifthly, Taylor’s also believe in “Being passionate in what we do”. Taylor’s believes by doing things passionately, it will inspire others to want to do better. Lastly, Taylor’s believes in “Creating enjoyable environments”. This assignment is mainly to study the Taylor’s education group, in terms of how they market their programs and education. The main focus in this assignment is the newly built Taylor’s Lakeside Campus. From here, we’ll analyze how the Taylor’s education group has successfully turned this project into a great profit making campus. This assignment will study their marketing strategies by analyzing the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats (SWOT Analysis), the company’s segmentation and positioning strategy and the company’s marketing mix. We’ll also provide recommendations to improve their marketing strategies at the Taylor’s Lakeside Campus towards the end of this assignment.
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The two types of internal factors that affect the company to reach its objective are strengths and weaknesses. Firstly, the strength of Taylor’s college is it has a strong background and a history of 42 years. The forty two years of history include proven experience in university level education and training with growing emphasis on research to further enhance the quality of the university. This can be proven by the recognition from Ministry of Higher Education with the prestigious Excellence in Research and Development award 2005/06. Taylor’s University had developed a strong brand name and causes an increase in market share and brand equity. It has a famous slogan that is “Wisdom, Integrity, Excellence”. Taylor’s University’s drive for wisdom, quest for integrity and thirst for excellence made it become a famous academic institution and is able to deliver a high quality education. Besides that, the strength of Taylor’s university is it offers a variety of high value and quality national recognized programs. The university offers architecture, design, biosciences, business, communication, IT, engineering, hospitality, law and medicine program. The academic activities adapted to the more recent socio-economic trends resulting in the development of a broad range of courses. The variety program that Taylor’s University provided proven that it is a powerful one stop education organization. The linking arrangement with foreign universities ensures the quality assurance of the courses and examinations. Moreover, the high development in teaching and learning skills are the strength of Taylor’s university. The establishment of Integrated Teaching and Life-long Learning Center at Taylor’s (InTeLLeCT) is to ensure the provision of relevant, innovative, and excellent learning experiences at Taylor’s. It creates learning experience through excellent teaching, outstanding academic student support initiatives, and an innovative and technology-driven learning environment. (Taylor’s University 2011) By investing in InTeLLect, it ensures the continuous improvement of human resources by creating an experienced academic and support staff to educate more quality students. The high quality lecturers can be proved by one of the lecturers from the School of Engineering Dr TVN Padmesh for being awarded with the “Young Scientist Paper Award” 5th International Conference of Environmental Science and Technology 2010 in Texas, USA from July 12-16. In addition, geographical location and comfortable campus environment also adds to the strength of Taylor’s University. Taylors University is located at Subang Jaya and there are high amount of population and fast rising developments. It is well connected to the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam and the townships of Petaling Jaya therefore it is a good location. Taylor’s university offers the best campus environment and provide the best facilities among the competitors. The facilities provided are new and comprehensive, an example of facilities that is provided is the library, sports and recreation centre, hostel, lecture theatres, student central, sick bay, experiment labs and food court. (Taylors 2011)
On the other hand, the weakness of Taylor’s University is it is charging a higher price than other’s competitor in the education market. For example, Taylor’s university is charging double the price of Help University College for the business program. The higher price charge sometimes will affect the consumer decision to choose Taylor’s university and unsatisfied consumers may end up going to other universities. Taylor’s university must ensure that the price charged should create superior value and provide value-added services to the consumer. Besides that, the weakness of the university is the choices of twinning program that it offers are limited. For example, Help University College is the biggest competitor at this point because it offers more university choices and has better partner universities. Taylor’s university should improve the choices for partner universities to gain its market share.
The two types of external factors that affect the company to reach its objective are opportunities and threats. The opportunity of Taylor’s university is there is an increase in the awareness of the importance in attaining tertiary education. Nowadays, most organisations are hiring employees with either a diploma or a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, this encourages Malaysian parents to finance their children’s education to get at least a Bachelor’s degree for a better career. Besides that, Malaysia acts as one of the world excellence centre for education had created an opportunities for the university by an increases in international student. It is estimated that there are about 70,000 international students from more than 100 countries currently studying in public and private higher education institutions in Malaysia. (Study in Malaysia Handbook 2011) Malaysia is a diverse country with rapid economic development, stable politic, disaster free and it offers an affordable cost to the international student for higher education opportunities will attract more international student in the future. Taylor’s university can consider providing more choices for world best partner university to increase its opportunity by increase competitiveness and grow its market share.
The threat of Taylor’s university is it facing the increasing size of its competitor. For example, to cope with the increasing demand for quality education in the region, HELP University College will be opening a new state of the art ‘Green Technology’ Campus in Subang 2 The campus is 600,000 sq ft and it is strategically located between Kota Damansara, Subang, Sungai Buloh, and Shah Alam. Due to the increase awareness of public to prevent and preserve the environment, HELP University College new campus will attract more attention from the public. By improving the facilities of Help University College in the new campus, providing a better partner university choice and offer a lower prising education, Taylor’s university will faces a higher competition. (HELP International Corporation 2008)
Direct competitors are firms that offer products and services that are functionally the same. The direct competitors of Taylor’s university are those private university college and college for example HELP University College, INTI University College, Sunway University College, and KDU College. Those University and college offer the similar courses and the differences between them is the brand familiarity and the quality of education provided. Taylor’s University branding themselves by providing quality education, good campus environment and good facilities have made differences between itself with other brands. The extra value that Taylor’s provide causes a higher price charge for the program. Taylor’s university have to ensure that they will deliver what they had promised the consumer to gain market share and create customer satisfaction for building customer relationship.
An indirect competitor is the businesses that are offering close substitutes products and services. These competitors are probably targeting the markets with a same or similar value proposition, but delivering a different product. The indirect competitors of Taylor’s university are the government’s higher education institutions such as polytechnics, teacher training colleges, community colleges, Public college and Public universities. Some examples of these institutions are TAR College, University Malaya, and Politeknik Port Dickson(PPD). The public system has become competitor because the number of public universities and community colleges is increasing. The cost of studying in a public university is cheaper because 90% of the public universities’ funding came from Malaysian Government and the balance 10% is from student fees. (MoHE 2008)
Segmentation & Positioning Strategy
Pie Chart 1.1
The pie chart shows the Malaysian household monthly income distribution. The information is sourced from MP Amirsham’s reply to Dr Michael J Devaraj’s question during a parliament assembly in July 2008.
Demographic factors are the most popular bases for segmenting customer groups. One reason is that customer usage rates, needs and wants always very closely with demographic variables. Besides, demographic variables are easier to measure than other types of variables. Therefore, demographic segmentation is used in this assignment which divides the market into groups based on income for education in Taylor University Lakeside. The three market segments which relevant are low-income, medium-income and high-income.
Low-income segment (household’s monthly income RM4-5k)
Medium-income segment (household’s monthly income RM5-10k)
High-income segment (household’s monthly income >RM10k)
Firstly, low-income segment indicates the household’s monthly income between RM4000 and RM5000. The people from this segment only able to pursue the education provided by national university or government’s subsidy universities. Their families cannot afford the expensive tuition fees because they have to spend the money in their daily expenses. Secondly, medium-income segment indicates household’s monthly income between RM5000 and RM10000. The people from this segment able to pursue the education provided by private universities in the country such as Taylor University and Sunway University. The standard of living is higher, so they willing to spend more money in education. Thirdly, high-income segment indicates the household’s monthly income more than RM10000. The people from this segment normally will send their children to foreign country for world-class education in United Kingdom or Australia. They totally have to power to cover the expensive living costs and tuition fees of their children at overseas.
Taylor’s Education Group targets affluence customers which are under medium-income segment with high quality facilities and services. This is because customers from medium-income segment have the right size and growth characteristics. Generally, the customers from this segment plan to study locally. With the approximately RM96000 of household’s annually income, people will choose to study at private college in the country.
Local private colleges and universities find it easy to choose a differentiation and positioning strategy. In several cases, two or more competitors will go after the same position. Therefore, each of them will have to find its ways to set itself apart. For instance, Taylor University, Sunway University and Help University put in a lot of effort to decide on a value proposition. Therefore, Taylor’s Education Group well known for quality in certain segments differentiates itself by the outstanding image, service and slogan. The slogan had successfully been used to communicate with the consumers by sending the message of value and promises that the university will deliver. The slogan of Taylor’s university had effectively create differentiation between its competitor and position itself as providing superior customer value and leads to the gain of competitive advantage.
Furthermore, Taylor goes for ”more for more” positioning strategy. ”More for more” positioning involves providing the most classy services, products and changing a higher price to balance the higher costs. Taylor’s Education Group differentiates its offer by invested at least RM450 million to build a unique lakeside campus that appeal to people from the medium-income segment. Taylor’s study environment and facilities are way better than its competitors. Taylor’s Lakeside Campus is a state-of-the-art modern tropical university campus, designed to meet the needs of students and in line with the nation’s goal of becoming a local centre of education excellence. The campus is surrounded by a revived 5.5 acre human-made lake and its landscape made up of trees, groundcovers, flowering shrubs, and water plants, which provide a stimulating and rich natural environment.
In contrast, compared to Help University College, who using ”the same for less” positioning strategy just to offer a great deal to everyone. By offering this positioning strategy, customers will tend to join Help University College due to the affordable tuition fee. However, the low-prices brand in an effort to lure customers away from market leader. Because of the low cost operations, the buildings and campuses separated and students have to take the shuttle bus to reach specific building for classes. This action brings a lot of inconvenient to customers and triggers them from joining. Customers from medium-income segment normally will chase for the university that fulfil a minimum requirements such as everything in one campus and safety. Besides, high quality study environment and facilities will also make customers chase for it.
By offering high quality education and services, Taylor’s Education Group hopes for higher sales and stronger position within targeted market segment. The lakeside campus successfully developed a stronger position and creates more total sales than its competitors. Although its overall tuition fee above RM18000 per year, compare to other colleges is much more expensive, but customers are still willing to study in this university. As a result, Taylor Lakeside Campus gets a more stable, much greater market share than other college could. Taylor’s Education Group planned positions that give their services the greatest advantage in selected target markets, served the preferences and needs of well-defined targets markets and yet succeeds because it just meet the right value proposition.
Taylor provided impressive and comfortable 4-storey library, retail Podium, Experimental Theatre, 600-pax Auditorium, 300-pax Lecture Theatre and outdoor Amphitheatre. The 4-storey library is so amazing, packed with different computers, facilities and resources. There are also different types of closed study room and discussion rooms in the library which allows students to have discussions among their friends without interrupting other students in the library. Besides, the Retail Podium is where inter-connecting streets lead to banks, cafes, convenience stores, shops and an array of service amenities. Everything of this made Taylor Lakeside campus so outstanding compared to others. In conclusion, the “More for More” positioning strategy totally more successful compared to “The Same for Less”.
Marketing Mix (4Ps) Analysis
The main product that Taylor’s University offers is in a form of service in which they provide education in return for tuition fees. However, there are also other products that the Taylor’s education group offers which include accommodation and basic necessities such as food and drinks which is provided by the campus’s cafeteria and restaurants around the campus. The product that the Taylor’s education group provides is one of the reasons to the new Taylor’s Lakeside campus’s success. Firstly, Taylor’s University has provided potential students with many choices of programs which include a variety of pre-university programs, a range of bachelor’s degree programs and also a PhD program in business administration. With a mixture of so many different courses, students who are seeking a tertiary education would find Taylor’s as a potential institution to further their studies. It is also important that we recognize the programs Taylor’s University offers are programs which are popular among today’s students and also in demand among parents. With a combination of providing a wide-range of education programs along with programs which are popular, Taylor’s have found the perfect product that it can offer to the education market.
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Another type of product that Taylor’s University offers is the accommodation and dining service. With the presence of a student hostel located next to its main campus, student’s who are from overseas or a different state need not worry for a place to stay, or for transportation as the campus is only a walking distance away. Not to forget, the many different restaurants and also the cafeteria that is located right at the student hostel. This is one of the advantages the Taylor’s Lakeside campus has over its competitors, students who study at Taylor’s need not go a long distance in order to search for good and quality food. With the convenience that is provided by Taylor’s University, many students find themselves attracted to its product.
The campus’s structural design has also gained much attention from both prospective students and also parents. Investments made for its attractive architecture has definitely made an impact on the success of this campus. In a survey our group did, we have found that 50 percent of students were initially attracted to study at this new campus due to its attractive design.
On average, to complete a bachelor’s degree at Taylor’s University could cost up to RM80, 000. This price of course varies depending on the course the student engaged in. Here, we will concentrate on the pricing strategies that Taylor’s University had used for a bachelor of business degree. At Taylor’s University, to complete a 3 year bachelor of business program would cost an average of RM80, 000. This fee is arguably rather high for a university in Malaysia. When compared to HELP University College, the price to complete a 3 year bachelor of business program is two times higher of that of HELP’s. It only cost up to RM40, 000 in order to obtain a business degree at HELP University College. So why is it that Taylor’s University is making much higher profits compared to HELP University College? The answer is simple, the target market are of those among the medium income segment. From pie chart 1.1, it can be seen that 20.7 % of Malaysians are either in the medium-income segment or the high-income segment. For parents or guardians earning more than RM5, 000 a month, it would not be much of a problem to afford to send their child to complete their studies at Taylor’s University, provided that they have proper financial management. However, people may question to why parents send their child to Taylor’s University when they can save the money and send their child to a different university. The answer again is simple; parents want their best for their children. Most parents who are in between the medium-income segment and the high-income segment would not hesitate to send their child to a more renowned University provided that it has quality education, a superior campus and also a convenient location.
Taylor’s main campus is located in a location that is accessible to target market. It is strategically located in the urban areas of Subang Jaya which is well known as a student hub consistent of all types of household such as average and above average income household. It is also well linked with other township such as Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, and Klang making it a easily accessible educational institution for students to pursue their studies. On the other hand it is located thirty minutes away from Kuala Lumpur which is the capital city of Malaysia. In addition Subang Jaya is linked by highways for example Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong and Federal Highway allowing students who does not live in Subang Jaya reaching the campus much easier.
Taylor’s uses several promotion tools to persuasively communicate customer value and build customer relationship. One of the tools is advertising. Taylor’s does their promotion through major media types such as television, newspaper, direct mail magazines, radio and the internet through websites such as facebook twitter, youtube and their very own Taylor’s website. Another promotion tool that Taylor’s uses is sales promotion. Taylor’s encourages purchases of their product by offering discounts such as early birds discount for consumers who register early or pay their fees early. Another discount is children and siblings discount for those who have other siblings studying in the same institution. Other incentives are scholarship such as top achiever scholarship which is based on SPM results. Another promotion tool used is building good public relations. Taylors sponsors events such as sports competition, charity events to build their image in the public. Other than that Taylor’s uses other public relation tools such as news and written materials to promote their product, facilities and so on. For example Taylor’s promote the beauty of their new lakeside campus and the facility it provides in a magazine. The last promotion tool that Taylor’s use is personal selling. Taylor’s uses sales person such as consultants and counselors to promote their product and build customer relationship through personal interaction. Taylors present their sales by giving a presentation of the products offered at Taylor’s in events such as career day and Taylor’s open day. Another example is Taylor’s sending some sales people to high schools to promote their product and to build long term customer relationship with students who are soon taking their SPM and to those who haven’t decided what they want to do after they finish their secondary school education.
One way to improve the product Taylor’s University provides to students is to provide more parking spaces for students who drive to the campus. Based on our observation and research, we have found that many students are unhappy with the parking system and lack of parking spaces imposed by Taylor’s University. Some have even threatened to leave if a solution is not found. To avoid a bad reputation and a loss of consumer confidence, it is important that they construct more parking lots or change their parking systems. However, a cheaper and more convenient way for the company is to adjust student’s timetables in order to make the campus less crowded at certain times. For example, the management at Taylor’s University can move more morning classes into the afternoon in order to avoid over-packed parking slots during the morning.
A pricing strategy that we would recommend is to provide more student aid for programs which are less popular among students and parents. The student aid would be for those who are not able to afford the entire tuition fees imposed by Taylor’s University. This way, the company will also benefit from less popular programs as parents from lower-income segments will also be able to afford to send their children for these less popular programs.. From the way we see it, the Taylor’s Lakeside campus has been profiting huge amounts of money from student fees due to the crowded campus, therefore, we would not recommend a change in price of student fees in order to avoid a congested campus which may deteriorate its quality. An increase in price of student fees may well cause Taylor’s University to lose its main target segment which are the medium-income earners as for most of them, the price is just right. It may however not have much effect on the high-income earners as it is still affordable for most of them. Also, reducing the price by a fair amount may cause more low-income earners to send their children to Taylor’s University to further their education. This would cause the campus to be overcrowded which may in turn decline the campus’s quality. Therefore, the only recommendation we have is for Taylor’s University to provide more student aid for programs which are less popular among students and parents. However, Taylor’s Education Group is a private limited company which therefore inhibits us from viewing their financial statements which may prove our judgements wrong.
In order to improve its placing Taylor’s would need to built more campuses in much more strategic locations in order to make its product easily accessible. Kota Damansara and Puchong are some of the examples of strategic locations. Other than building more campuses, Taylor’s can build more campuses that offers tertiary educations. Right now the only place students can undergo their tertiary education is at Taylor’s main campus. To have more campuses that offers the same tertiary education would improve its placing.
On the other hand, to improve its promotion, Taylor’s can increase its outside sales force. Taylor’s can do house to house personal selling by sending sales consultants to houses. Instead of the customers come to Taylor’s, Taylor’s can go to their potential customers. This introduces a much more personal interaction between the two or more people. Customers will feel much more relax to express their need since they are in their own house. Consultants will be able to observe and make quick adjustments to solve customer problems. Another advantage of doing this house to house personal selling is it can build a much better customer relationship. Another Taylor’s can do is to improve its promotion is by providing much stronger incentives by offering promotional tools such as premiums or patronage rewards. For example Taylor’s offered Ali cash reward for being a loyal consumer by studying in their institution for three years.
The Taylor’s Lakeside Campus is currently becoming more and more popular. Due to the rising competition from other educational institutions such as HELP University College and Sunway University College, Taylor’s Lakeside Campus has to constantly strive to distinguish themselves from other educational institutions. Taylor’s being a well-known educational institution for over four decades certainly has its advantages. This gives a perception to people that Taylor’s is a well-established educational institution on the basis of the amount of years it has been running. Thus, Taylor’s is able to use this opportunity to charge a higher price compared to other local universities. However, Taylor’s must deliver the people’s money’s worth through academic excellence and by providing a conducive environment. Take for instance Taylor’s Lakeside Campus. Taylor’s Lakeside Campus still manages to draw many students despite the expensive cost of education because of its past records of academic excellence and also the very peaceful and relaxing environment at Taylor’s Lakeside Campus. Taylor’s Lakeside Campus managed to combine both elements of work and play which is very much commendable. Taylor’s Lakeside Campus targets the high-income segment. This is very much evident in the cost of education of Taylor’s which is comparably higher than its competitors. Taylor’s Lakeside Campus is very appealing as it practices the “More for More” positioning strategy. This strategy requires Taylor’s to provide outstanding facilities and environment. In return, Taylor’s will earn a higher brand positioning in the minds of the people. This will then attract them to enrol in Taylor’s. Taylor’s Lakeside Campus is a force to be reckoned with in the education industry. From strategic locations to academic excellence, Taylor’s Education Group is certainly making a tremendous effort up till now for it to be able to withstand the adversities of time. In short, no educational institution is perfect. However, one can strive to deliver the best value it can to satisfy customers. Taylor’s Lakeside Campus can indeed be classified into that category as the epitome of educational institutions.
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