Consumers’ Views of University Promotion Campaignbevidence From Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong

EXTENDED ABSTRACT - Throughout the marketing literature, branding in tertiary education tends to be examined on a broad perspective of the service provider and consumers. Little has been written about how cross-cultural values would have influenced on the positioning of global education brands. Drawing on the literature in marketing and theory in building brand preference in both services and education marketing, this study examines the perceived values that students in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong on overseas university education, and the media they gain the relative information. By comparing and contrasting the results, they have apparent implications on the positioning of global university brands in Asian markets.



Citation:

Kim Shyan Fam, Brendan J. Gray, Regan Lam, and Zhilin Yang (2002) ,"Consumers’ Views of University Promotion Campaignbevidence From Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, eds. Ramizwick and Tu Ping, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 159.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, 2002      Page 159

CONSUMERS’ VIEWS OF UNIVERSITY PROMOTION CAMPAIGNBEVIDENCE FROM MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE AND HONG KONG

Kim Shyan Fam, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Brendan J. Gray, University of Otago, New Zealand

Regan Lam, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Zhilin Yang, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

EXTENDED ABSTRACT -

Throughout the marketing literature, branding in tertiary education tends to be examined on a broad perspective of the service provider and consumers. Little has been written about how cross-cultural values would have influenced on the positioning of global education brands. Drawing on the literature in marketing and theory in building brand preference in both services and education marketing, this study examines the perceived values that students in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong on overseas university education, and the media they gain the relative information. By comparing and contrasting the results, they have apparent implications on the positioning of global university brands in Asian markets.

This paper begins with a literature review on standardization and adaptation of the product offering. This provides an insight into look the needs of various target markets. An institution may develop globalize brands by offering distance learning programs which usually being adapted to the needs and wants of the host market. Factors such as education programs offered, the overall reputation of the university and symbolism play an important role in influencing consumers’ perceptions among the three Asian markets.

This study involved a survey of potential international students in the three Asian markets, namely Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Likert-scale questions in the form of a six-point balanced type were used to determine the importance of each of the 19 promotional tools and 34 promotional messages used by the universities. ANOVA technique (F-test) was used to access the significant differences in mean responses by students from the three Asian markets. Principal component factor analysis with a varimax rotation was then used to determine the underlying dimensions.

In total 1096 responses were collected at various private colleges in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong using judgmental sampling method. There were three major findings about this study. Firstly, students in each country considered themselves to be the major decision makers and University agents were the least likely to influence students in all three markets. Secondly, both WWW and newspapers were "important" sources of information overseas universities in all three markets. Factor analysis was then used to determine underlying dimensions of the 19 media tested. The dimensions were grouped into seven promotional factors. Results indicated that the WWW medium is still the most important source of information, followed by print media and broadcast advertising. Regarding the promotional messages, the 34 promotional messages were reduced to five underlying dimensions using factor analysis. Our results suggested that the "quality of the educational institution" dimension should be treated as a key "selling point" rather than the "level of cultural integration" dimension, the least important of the five dimensions, of the host country. For instance, our findings revealed that the Malaysian students opted quality of learning environment as being most important to them while the "career prospects" dimension was rated most important by both Hong Kong and Singaporean students.

This study extends current theory and expands the branding university literature into the area of broader cross-cultural context. Further research should investigate other Asian markets such as Japan, Korea and China to determine whether standardized branding and positioning strategies still hold in countries with more diverse cultures.

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Authors

Kim Shyan Fam, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Brendan J. Gray, University of Otago, New Zealand
Regan Lam, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Zhilin Yang, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong,



Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5 | 2002



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