Investigating the effective marketing education strategies in attracting students in private schools

Document Type : Research Paper


Business Management, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Ilam University, Ilam, Iran



The goal of all companies, whether in products or services, is survival and prosperity. In order for a company to operate successfully, it is very important to select and develop a marketing strategy to meet the needs of customers (Kingsnorth, 2019). A marketing strategy is a set of integrated decisions and actions in which a business is expected to meet its marketing objectives and focus on the needs and values of its customers. Marketing strategy is related to decisions related to market segmentation, targeting, and developing a positioning strategy for product, price, distribution, and promotion decisions (Olson et al., 2010). In general, marketing strategies are the starting point for successful and large-scale production and customer engagement (Vanhuel et al., 2021). In recent years, marketing for the supply of other than goods has expanded greatly, including educational services marketing. Marketing managers, with the orientation of world activities towards services, should enhance their awareness of modern marketing methods of various services, including modern marketing methods of educational services (Tajabi and Sedeghiyan, 2015). Currently, many schools are facing a range of challenges, including declining enrollment (Aggarwal, Purushotham, & Sullivan, 2013). Schools are one of the providers of formal education that try to help the community meet its needs on their own. One of the important changes that the educational system of the country has experienced in the years after the Islamic Revolution is the operation of Private schools alongside public schools. These schools are administered under the Ministry of Education of the country and in accordance with its goals and policies, with the participation of the people (Abbaszadeh, 2018). Private schools have grown significantly in many developing countries alongside public schools in recent decades (Kitaev, 1999, Srivastava, 2007). Parents choose private schools for their specific features such as higher quality of education, religious courses or specific educational language (Marinede Talance, 2020). Today, the use of marketing strategies to create a public image of schools has occupied a more prominent place in the work of school managers (Avila de Lima, 2021). In general, non-governmental institutions, especially in education and training, want to think about their survival. They must pay attention to two basic principles, first, they must have a look at the market and its fluctuations, and then look at the issue of competition with their peers (Karimi nejad et al., 2021). Given the importance of finding private schools in the eyes of current families and public opinion, and with regard to the lack of studies related to marketing strategies in Private schools, this research gap is worth considering. Therefore, we intend to always answer the question of which are the effective strategies in marketing private schools?

The present study is a practical research in terms of purpose. It is a qualitative research in terms of nature and deals with qualitative data. Qualitative research is a kind of research that produces findings that are not obtained by resorting to statistical operations or other counting methods. The major part of analysis in qualitative research is interpretive (Strauss & Corbin, 2011; translated by Afshar, 2013). The main data analysis method of the study is thematic analysis. Thematic analysis is a method that uses an appropriate and flexible approach for qualitative data analysis (Brown & Clarke, 2006). Thematic analysis is a method for identifying, analyzing, and reporting patterns within data. Each theme contains an important topic about the data that is related to the research question. To determine whether something is considered a theme in a research, the researcher's judgment is essential (Kermani & Tajik, 2014).

The statistical population of this research includes experts in education, university faculty members, and informed managers of private schools. The selection of experts and opinion leaders for the interview was done by non-random snowball method. The snowball sampling method is a non-random method used to study small groups or groups that are not easily identifiable. In this method, the researcher first interviews a few people from the target population. Then he asks these people to introduce other people who may be interested in the research topic to him. The researcher continues to interview new people in the same way until no new concept is discovered and the research reaches theoretical saturation. Theoretical saturation occurs when the researcher no longer sees any new concepts in the data. In this case, the researcher ensures that his research is comprehensive and complete (Homan, 2016).

Based on 12 interviews with experts in the field of research, 17 sub-themes and 5 main themes were identified. The main themes of the research include physical appearance, preferred promotional activities, human origins, effective communication, and core missions. physical appearance includes four sub-themes: transparency in costs, financial facilities, discount programs, and reasonable tuition. This section refers to the financial missions that are entrusted to the school principal or principals, who by considering these matters can attract the trust of families towards themselves and inform them of the costs and facilities of the school. They can also facilitate the payment of tuition for families by providing facilities and facilities to them. Physical grooming includes four sub-themes: sports facilities, cleanliness of the school environment, welfare facilities, and convenient location of the school. With these qualities, families and students will be satisfied with the appropriate facilities of the school and its appropriate environment. This can make the school a attractive place for students. Effective communication includes three sub-themes: providing transparent information about the performance of the school, appropriate communication with students, and appropriate communication with parents. Respecting students and their families, as well as providing transparent information about the performance of the school and their children, creates a space of trust between the school and families. Human source includes three sub-themes: modern teaching methods, grooming of the school staff, and professional staff. This section refers to issues such as improving the performance of teachers and teaching in new ways that lead to better learning for students, as well as the beauty of the school staff's attire and their professionalism in fulfilling their duties. Preferred promotional activities include three sub-themes: cultural-artistic activities, extracurricular classes, and extracurricular classes. These also help to improve the skills of students and also create an environment for the cultivation of students' academic and non-academic talents.


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