I see this confusion all the time. An article in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune highlights a problem at the University of Minnesota: high school seniors are leaving Minnesota to go to college out of state. The U, obviously, would like to keep them here. They are “Tired of getting their pockets picked”. Their solution: create a “marketing communications” (aka advertising) plan to convince them to stay.
While promotional marketing could be *part* of the solution, it ignores three other critical aspects of the marketing mix, namely:
1. Does the University of Minnesota offer a compelling PRODUCT for Minnesota high school seniors, especially compared to other options outside of the state?
2. Is the University of Minnesota PRICED competitively compared to those alternatives?
3. CHANNEL marketing is trickier, but it applies here. High schools seniors (and their parents) are looking for clear job prospects post graduation. (Milwaukee School of Engineering, for example, makes this point brilliantly clear). Does the University of Minnesota have the channel relationships necessary to show students and parents that their significant investment won’t result in their child boomeranging back home?
Commenters on the article aren’t exactly using “marketing mix” language as I have here, but they are highlighting exactly those issues.
Sorry UofM, students have choices in a capitalist system. If they aren’t choosing you, that doesn’t mean their “cheating” you in some way.