Date

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership

First Adviser

George White

Abstract

This exploratory, descriptive study identifies marketing activities, marketing tools, and the perceived effectiveness of both towards achieving institutional marketing goals of international schools in the East Asia Region Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS). There is scant research about marketing practices of international schools. An increase in the number of international schools in the EARCOS region coupled with the declining number of students in the past three years signal the need for schools to be more proactive in their marketing practices to recruit and retain students by implementing successful marketing activities, tools, and strategic plans. Though this study focuses on the population of 150 EARCOS schools, it is believed that the results will help inform similarly dynamic theoretical populations like South East Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe where school administrators are looking to improve institutional marketing activities. The return rate of 67 schools, 45% of the population, fell beneath the target sample size, however the demographic distribution of the respondents mirrored the population of EARCOS member schools. The results of the study indicate that schools across the EARCOS region participate in similar marketing activities and use similar tools. The size, age, and location of the school made no significant difference in the results. The most effective marketing activities and tools identified by marketing research, center on the customer and experience-centric concepts of relationship marketing (RM) and internal marketing (IM), yet EARCOS schools indicate that they use more rudimentary activities and tools associated with buying and selling of a product. EARCOS schools also indicated that they find a greater degree of success reaching institutional marketing goals by using RM and IM but employ the rudimentary activities and tools associated with buying and selling more. Simply, EARCOS schools are using marketing activities and tools poorly and they are all doing it poorly together.

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