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An evaluation of marketing tools for overseas study consulting services in hanoi = đánh giá công cụ marketing cho dịch vụ tư vấn du học ở hà nội

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

DAU THU HUONG

AN EVALUATION OF MARKETING TOOLS FOR OVERSEAS
STUDY CONSULTING SERVICES IN HANOI

Major: Business Administration
Code: 60 34 05

MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION THESIS
SUMMARY

Supervisors: Dr. Nguyen Thi Phi Nga
Ha Nguyen, MBA

Hanoi – 2012


TABLE OF CONTENT

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABSTRACT
TÓM TẮT
TABLE OF CONTENT
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 1: A THEORETICAL BACKGROUND OF SERVICE
MARKETING, MARKETING IN EDUCATION, AND MARKETING IN
OVERSEAS EDUCATION SERVICE
A . OVERVIEW OF OVERSEAS STUDY OF VIETAM
B. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1.1. An overview of service marketing
1.1.1. Concept of service marketing
1.1.2. Fundamentals of service marketing
1.2. An overview of marketing in education
1.2.1. Basic concepts and views on marketing in nonprofit
organizations
1.2.2. The adoption of marketing by non-profit organizations
1.2.3. Characteristics of non-profit marketing
1.2.4. Marketing procedures for non-profit organizations
1.2.5. The importance of marketing in education
1.3. An overview of marketing in overseas education services
1.3.1. International Education services
1.3.2. Marketing in international education
1.3.3. Education agents
1.3.4. The role of agents
1.3.5. Typical marketing tools
1.3.6. Proposed model
CHAPTER 2: EVALUATION OF MARKETING ACTIVITIES OF
OVERSEAS STUDY CONSULTANTS IN HANOI
2.1. Analysis of marketing activities of OSC in Hanoi
2.1.2. Evaluation of the frequency use of each marketing tool
employed by OSC
2.2. Evaluation of marketing tools used by overseas education
consultants from students' perspective
2.2.1. Evaluation of the most popular marketing tools
2.2.2. Evaluation of most expected/ chosen marketing tools



2.2.3. Comparison between the level of actual use and selection /
expectation of students of oversea study marketing tools
2.3. Comparison of perceptions of the effectiveness of marketing
promotion tools hold by students and overseas study consultants
2.4. Evaluation of marketing activities by each marketing tool
2.4.1. Evaluation of each marketing tool
2.4.2. Evaluation of OSC by tools
CHAPTER 3: SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVING MARKETING
ACTIVITIES OF OVERSEAS STUDY CONSULTANTS
3.1.1. Solution for Group 1
3.1.2. Solutions for Group 2
3.1.3. Solutions for Group 4
3.2. Specific solutions for each marketing tool
3.2.2. Solution for Tool 2 - Advertising
3.2.3. Solutions for Tool 3 – Education fairs
3.2.4. Solution for Tool 4 - Direct consultancy and recruitment
3.2.5.Solution for Tool 5 – Websites
3.2.6. Solution for Tool 6 - Banner advertising
3.2.7.Solution for Tool 7 – Directory submission
3.2.8. Solution for Tool 8 – Email marketing
3.2.9. Solution for Tool 9 - Seminars
3.2.10. Solution for Tool 10 - Pr
3.2.11. Solution for Tool 11 – Tele marketing
3.3. Expansion and renovation of other types of marketing tools
3.3.2. Introduction to friends, relatives, acquaintances (words of mouth
advertising)
3.3.3. Old customer care
3.3.4. Overseas study links
3.3.6. English center
CONCLUSIONS
REFERENCES
APPENDIX


AN EVALUATION OF MARKETING TOOLS FOR OVERSEAS
STUDY CONSULTING SERVICES IN HANOI
Dau Thu Huong
MBA Candidate, 2009 – 2011
School of Business – Vietnam National University, Hanoi
Supervisors: Dr. Nguyen Thi Phi Nga
Ha Nguyen, MBA
INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
Overseas education has become increasingly popular in recent years as it is
viewed as offering the student likelihood of better future employment. It is
the undeniable benefits of the abroad study and the much improved living
standards of Vietnamese people that make overseas study on the rise. In the
context of international economic integrations, overseas study has gone
beyond the traditional limit in the educational sector and become a
lucrative business for overseas education consultants (OSC).
The overseas study consulting market in Vietnam is highly competitive.
Hundreds of education consulting centers and non-profit organizations are
operating in big cities. Regrettably, the increasing number of students
studying overseas has not received a much needed concern from
authorities. In Hanoi alone, not least to say in Vietnam, there has not been
official statistics of the number of students studying overseas, education
markets for Vietnamese students as well as the number and effectiveness of
OSC.
From the educational aspect, the Ministry of Education and Training
(MOET) has not taken full responsibility in managing the study of
Vietnamese overseas students, the quality of OSC and the prestige of the
educational institutions which are the destinations of Vietnamese students.
From the business aspect, the Ministry of Planning and Investment is only
in charge of calculating the number of OSC. Information of OSC can only
be found in newspapers, forums or data bases of international education
institutions.
For all the reasons mentioned above, it is necessary to have a study on the
performance of OSC. Indeed, there has not been any study on this field in
general and on marketing activities of overseas education consultants in
particular. Therefore it can be said that “An evaluation of marketing tools
for overseas study consulting services in Hanoi” is of theoretical and
practical significance.
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2. Objectives of the study
This study will be conducted to get insight into the marketing activities of
OSC in Hanoi and examine the needs of students for overseas study
service.
On the one hand, the study evaluates the promotional activities of OSC in
Hanoi to find out the answer to such questions as” Which marketing tools
does each OSC use and focus? “How is each tool conducted and evaluated
in relation to others?” etc. On the other hand, the thesis also studies the
consumer behavior through surveys of targeted students who have the need
to study abroad in order to evaluate the effectiveness of promotional
activities of OSC from the students „perspective.
From the two aspects of the research, the thesis will give the answer to the
question whether these marketing and promotional activities can meet the
requirements of the consumers or not and the ultimate aim of the study is to
point out solutions to improving the marketing activities of OSC.
Hopefully, after a model to evaluate the effectiveness of OSC is made, the
study can propose solutions to improving marketing and promotional
activities in overseas education consultancy, contributing to the
improvement of quality and prestige of OSC in Vietnam‟s educational
market.
3. Scopes of the study
Because of time constraint and limited ability of the author, a survey of 9
typical OSC in Hanoi is conducted. With regard to students answering the
questionnaire, they are 100 senior students from Departments of External
Economics, Business Administration and Finance and Banking of FTU
where the author is working and 200 senior students from FPT and Thang
Long University.
It should be taken into account that FTU is a well established university
which is dubbed as Vietnam Harvard while Thang Long is the first private
university which has won recognition for the quality of teaching and
studying and FPT is an emerging private university which is backed up by
the famous FPT group. These universities, in the author's observation, have
a high rate of students wishing to study abroad. It should also be noted that
the object of the study are university students rather than high school
students. Furthermore, the concept of customers here refers to students who
want to study overseas. It is hoped that in the near future, with a larger
budget of time, a larger-scaled study which covers a wide variety of objects
will be conducted to find more comprehensive solutions to improving the
effectiveness of OSC.
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4. Methodology of the study
The method of analysis, synthesis, comparison, interpretation, induction
and socio investigation are employed in the study. Based on the theoretical
background that has been mentioned in the study, 11 marketing tools will
be included in the survey questionnaires for students and marketing staff
and leaders of 9 OSC. Questions will be from general to specific to find out
the popularity of marketing tools, the effectiveness of each tool in the eyes
of both OSC and students. Survey and interview results are given in the
form of figures to compare the popularity and effectiveness of different
marketing tools.
5. Structure of the study
Apart from the Introduction and Conclusion, the thesis is divided into 3
chapters as follows:
Chapter 1: A Theoretical background of service marketing, marketing in
education, and marketing in overseas education service
Chapter 2: An evaluation of marketing and promotion activities of
overseas education consultants in Hanoi
Chapter 3: Solutions to improving the effectiveness of marketing and
promotion activities of overseas education consultants in Hanoi

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CHAPTER 1: A THEORETICAL BACKGROUND OF SERVICE
MARKETING, MARKETING IN EDUCATION, AND MARKETING
IN OVERSEAS EDUCATION SERVICE
AN OVERVIEW OF OVERSEAS STUDY OF VIETNAM
There are an increasing number of types of scholarship available to study
overseas.
In the coming years, the market of oversea study of Vietnam will have a
new and significant trend and change. The markets receiving students
studying abroad will be extended to other regional countries such as Japan,
South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Thailand, etc
due to their lower costs, and shorter distance from home.
The overseas-study consulting market in Vietnam is highly competitive.
Hundreds of education consulting centers and non-profit organizations are
operating in the big cities.
B. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1.1. An overview of service marketing
1.1.1. Concept of service marketing
1.1.1.1. Concept of service
Put in the simplest terms, services are deeds, processes and performances.
Generally, services are not tangible things that can be touched, seen and felt
but rather intangible deeds and performances. To be specific, services can
be whatever value a business delivers to customers
1.1.1.2. Concept of marketing
Because marketing activities bring about exchanges, marketing is an
essential function in an economic system. In a free-enterprise economy,
resources are allocated by interaction of supply and demand in the
marketplace. Marketing activities and institutions' provide the framework
and mechanisms for this interaction and exchange taking place.
Importance of Marketing
If marketing is the engine that drives the organization, then marketing
research is the process that keeps the engine tuned.
1.1.1.3. Concept of service marketing
Generally, service marketing is known as a form of marketing which
focuses on selling services and a form of marketing based on relationship
and value.
1.1.2. Fundamentals of service marketing
1.1.2.1. Characteristics of service: The services have unique characteristics
which make them different from that of goods. The most common
characteristics of services are:
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Intangibility.
Inseparability.
Perish ability.
Variability
1.1.2.3. Mar-Mix in Marketing Service
1.1.2.3.1. Product policy
A product in general is a broad concept of things or set of activities that
bring values to customers. Customers don‟t actually purchase goods or
services but they purchase the benefits and values that goods and services
offer them.
1.1.1.3.2. Pricing policy
Price plays an important role in services marketing mix and has a large
impact on profit and also decides the value of the primary service that is
offered to customers.
1.1.1.3.3. Place Policy
Distribution channels in service industry are a broader concept in
comparison with the traditionally known ones. Distribution channels are
comprised from such factors as service products, negotiation, information,
ownership and promotion.
Decisions in service distribution
In order for enterprise to have an effective distribution channel, enterprise
needs to base on the features of the service that it is offering together with
the true demand of the market. Accordingly, enterprise should consider
making the right decision to get the best result.
1.1.1.3.4. Promotion Policy
Communication makes things clear and help company position itself in the
market so that the customers can have more awareness of the value of
service.
Communication in service includes such things as advertisement, personal
communication, and promotion
1.1.1.3.5. People Policy
Human factor plays a significant part in service marketing. Therefore, the
enrollment, training, motivating and managing human resource have great
impact
1.1.1.3.6. Process Policy
There are several steps in designing service supply process, namely
generating the idea of service, building supply scenarios, modeling service
supply in the physical environment including the relationship between
service providers and the end-users, and perfecting the model.
1.1.3.7. Physical Evidence
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In a word, physical evidence are the combination of both tangible factor
such as facilities, uniforms, location, etc and intangible factor such as
experience, skills, etc which help to build up brand and company‟s image.
1.2.5. The importance of marketing in education
The role of educational marketing is to:

investigate the market, its definition and understanding and
identifying potential consumers of goods and services;

providing appropriate products and services to customer‟s needs at
the time, place and right price;

providing customers with optimal, quality and reputation
educational services;

attracting consumers by targeting their needs and aspirations
intuition.
The educational marketing has several functions, namely:

research of the market by trying to find the main consumers of
education;

marketing‟s policies linking the main requirements of the education
market;

adapting education‟s services to the needs, expectations and
demands of consumers for products and educational services;

promoting optimal efficient management, using materials and
information resources in order to achieve the main objectives set.
1.2. An overview of marketing in overseas education services
1.2.1. International Education services
There is little research on international education services, which is the
immediate discipline of this research. Nonetheless, a range of perspectives
abound.
1.2.2. Marketing in international education
The supply of transnational (or cross-border) education plays an
increasingly important role for the economic growth of a country
1.2.3. Education agents
An education agent is defined as an individual, company or other
organization providing services on a commercial basis to help students and
their parents gain places on study programmers overseas..
1.2.4. The role of agents
Agents have only a limited role in raising general interest in study abroad
but they play a very important role as intermediaries helping to convert

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interest from students, particularly younger students (and their parents),
into actual placements in institutions abroad.
1.2.5. The importance of marketing in education
The role of educational marketing is to:

investigate the market, its definition and understanding and
identifying potential consumers of goods and services;

providing appropriate products and services to customer‟s needs at
the time, place and right price;

providing customers with optimal, quality and reputation
educational services;

attracting consumers by targeting their needs and aspirations
intuition.
The educational marketing has several functions, namely:

research of the market by trying to find the main consumers of
education;

marketing‟s policies linking the main requirements of the education
market;

adapting education‟s services to the needs, expectations and
demands of consumers for products and educational services;

promoting optimal efficient management, using materials and
information resources in order to achieve the main objectives set.
1.3. Marketing Communication: Channels and Promotion Tools
Personal and nonpersonal communication channels can be used for
marketing communications. Within both of them there are many
subchannels. The marketing communications mix is now thought of as
consisting six major modes or types of communication alternatives.
1. Advertising
2. Sales promotion
3. Events and experiences
4. Public relations and publicity
5. Direct marketing
6. Personal selling
1.4. Typical marketing tools
(1) Direct mail
(2) Advertising
(3) Education fairs
(4) Direct recruitment and consultants
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(5) Partnership
(6) Online marketing,
(7) Conferences
(8) Press Relations (PR) and Advertising
(9) Telemarketing
1.5. Proposed model

CHAPTER 2: EVALUATION OF MARKETING ACTIVITIES OF
OVERSEAS STUDY CONSULTANTS IN HANOI
A survey is conducted to study the use of the 11 typical marketing
promotion tools by the 9 overseas education consultants as follows:
Tool 1: Direct mail
Tool 2: Advertising
Tool 3: Education Fair
Tool 4: Direct recruitment and consultancy
Tool 5: Website
Tool 6: Banners advertising (banners)
Tools 7 Listings
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Tool 8: Email marketing
Tool 9: Seminar/ Workshop
Tool 10: Public Relations (PR)
Tool 11:Tele marketing (phone call)
2.1. Analysis of marketing activities of OSC in Hanoi
2.1.1. Evaluation of the use of each marketing tool employed by OSC
In marketing activities, the tools of advertising, education fairs, websites
and seminars/workshops are the most popular choices for overseas
education consultants, followed by Tool 4- Direct recruitment and
consultancy while Tool 8- Email marketing- accounts for 88.89%. The
remaining tools, Tool 1 - Direct mails and Tool 11 - Tele marketing are
employed by 77.78% of companies. The least used tools are Tool 6- Banner
ads on websites and Tool 10 - Public relations, accounting for 66.67%.
Most companies say that they are hanging banner advertisements on streets
rather than on websites. Particularly, Tool 7- Directory submission- is not
used by any company interviewed.
2.1.2. Evaluation of the frequency use of each marketing tool employed
by OSC
Tool 5 - Websites - is the most popular tool. The next popular tool is Tool
4- Direct recruitment and consultancy with rate 4 which is usually carried
out at the company‟s headquarter or at education fairs. However, there are
also some cases in which companies go directly to schools to deliver talk,
consultation, trial lessons and direct recruitments.
Other equally popular tools are Seminars/ Workshops and Advertising with
4 points. Most ads are on papers and television rather than on radio stations
and magazines. Up to 88.89% of companies surveyed said they appeared
on television just to participate in television programs on education,
overseas study or to sponsor TV programs rather than record information or
advertise on television. Therefore, this activity can be classified as public
relations.
The remaining tools, including Tool 1 - Direct mails, Tool 3 - Education
fairs, Tool 6 - banner ads, Tool 8 - E-mail marketing, Tool 10 - Public
relations, and the Tool 11 - Telemarketing scatter in the scale from 2 to 3
points, which means that these tools are not used frequently. The least
frequently used tool is Banner advertising. Tool 7- Directory submission is
not taken into consideration as it is not used by any company.

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2.1.3. Evaluation of marketing tools from the perspective of OSC
Tool 2 - Advertising and Tool 9 - Seminars/ Workshops are considered as
the two most popular as well as most effective tools whereas Tool 3 Education fairs is used by all companies but not at a frequent basis. Tool 5 Websites is also employed and at frequent basis by all companies but is not
evaluated as an effective tool. One of the tools that is considered as the
most effective tool is Tool 4 - Direct recruitment and consultancy- ;
however, it is not employed by all companies, and is used at a quite
frequent rather than most frequent basis, Tool 10 - Public relations is
considered as the second effective tool but is not popular with many
companies and also not used at a regular basis. Tool 8 - E-mail marketing is
used by quite many companies but neither at a frequent basis nor
considered as highly effective. Compared to other tools, Tool 1 - Direct
mails is also quite popular, but surprisingly companies do not use very
often and effectively. Tool 11- Telemarketing is ranked the third in terms
of the number of companies using as well as marketing effectiveness.
It is clear from the table that besides the marketing tools companies use
frequently and highly effectively, there are still some marketing tools many
companies use frequently but not so effectively (in the perspective of the
overseas education consultants) or vice versa, effectively used but not at a
regular basis.
2.2. Evaluation of marketing tools used by overseas education
consultants from students' perspective
2.2.1. Evaluation of the most popular marketing tools
The highest percentage of students (82.26%) says that they see Ads to get
overseas study information. It is interesting to notice that they do not see
ads on television, radio stations but mainly on electronic newspapers. The
next popular tool is Websites, from which 79.03% of students find
information to study overseas. However these sites are mostly owned by
foreign schools, educational institutions or other international information
search sites. The third popular tool is Seminars/ Workshops from which
72.58% of students have attended. Workshops they attended mainly take
place in large hotels and only a few are held at the offices of companies or
educational organizations. Therefore it can be said that Tool 2 Advertising, Tool 5- Websites and Tool 9- Seminars/ Workshop are the
most popular marketing tools used by students.
It should be noticed that 50% to 60% of the students surveyed say they use
tool 1, 3, 4, 8, 10. Regarding to Tool 1- Direct mail, students say that they
receive enrollment notice, workshop invitation in both forms: mailed and in
person deliveries. However most say that the letter is presented with no
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special or eye-catching features. When students are asked to give the
answer to the question if they find the staff in the education fairs
thoroughly trained, enthusiastic, well organized, and professional or not,
most of them say "normal."
Direct recruitment and consultancy services are conducted by companies in
many locations such as companies‟ headquarters, schools or universities,
locations where community activities and extracurricular often take place.
Generally all the three locations above could attract students coming to get
study abroad information.
P R activities of companies are also known to students in the form of
information on courses, reports, articles on companies' activities or
television programs with the participants of overseas education companies.
Very few students use Tool 6 - Banner ads as only 40.32% of students see
ad banners which are usually posted on online newspapers.
The two least known marketing tools to most students are Tool 7 Directory submission and Tool 11 - Telemarketing. 16.33% of students say
that they know what the directory submission means, which is only one
fifth the number of students who use the most popular marketing tool - ad
(82.22%) and only 20.97% of students have been informed the overseas
education information including new courses, scholarships and tuition
incentives, etc by phone call.
2.2.2. Evaluation of most expected/ chosen marketing tools
When asked to choose the three most effective channels of information for
students, a large number of students (54.84%) choose Tool 4- Direct
recruitment and consultancy. The second largest but quite lower compared
to the first is Tool 9- Workshop, which attracts 43.55% of students to
choose as the most effective tool.
The next chosen as the most effective tools are tool 3 - Education fairs and
tool 5 - Websites (40.32%). The rest tools chosen by less than 30% students
as the most effective tool include Tool 10 - Public relations (30.65%), Tool
1- Direct mail (27.42%), Tool 8 - Email marketing (20.97%), Tool 11 Telemarketing (16.13%), Tool 2 - Advertising (14.52%), and Tool 7Listings (1.61%). Tool 7 is least chosen as the most effective tool,
accounting for only 1/50 compared to the most presumably effective toolDirect consultancy and recruitment (54.84%).
From the graph, it can be clearly seen that there is a huge difference in the
evaluation of the effectiveness of marketing promotion tools for overseas
study from the students 'perspective. Some channels are more appreciated,
while the remaining channels of information are not and there are big
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differences even in this group which is split into smaller groups with
certain gaps.
2.2.3. Comparison between the level of actual use and selection /
expectation of students of oversea study marketing tools
The level of expectation is lower than that of actual use in all marketing
promotion tools.
2.3. Comparison of perceptions of the effectiveness of marketing
promotion tools hold by students and overseas study consultants
There is a wide gap between the students and overseas study consultants in
the perception of the effectiveness of marketing tools to promote the
overseas education service. The gap varies depending on the tools, which
suggests a difference in perception between companies and students.
2.4. Evaluation of marketing activities by each marketing tool.
2.4.1. Evaluation of each marketing tool
In group 1, direct recruitment and consultancy service, websites,
workshops are rated as the most popular tools for both students and
overseas education consultants; therefore these tool should be given a top
priority and be the main ones that companies pay attention to in order to
meet the requirement of customers.
Direct mails, education fairs, PR can be classified into Group 2 - Group of
high demand, but low performance. It is clear that these three marketing
tools are employed by the overseas education consultants, but not often
enough to satisfy the requirements of students. Therefore, it is necessary to
further boost up these extremely potential tools
Group 3 does not consist of any tools; therefore we do not need to pay
attention to. The five remaining tools belong to Group 4 - low need and low
performance and is also out of the question.
2.4.2. Evaluation of OSC by tools
2.4.2.1. Evaluation of OSC by Direct mail
EMG and HAVETCO are the two companies having the most effective
Direct mails as their activities can meet customers' need. Other companies
fall into group 2- high demand but low performance as they cannot meet
the high demands of customers.
2.4.2.2. Evaluation of OSC by tools 2, 6, 7, 8, 11
Group 4- low requirement and low performance includes the following
tools: Advertising, Banner advertising, Directory submission, E-mail
marketing, Telemarketing. These tools are appropriately paid attention to
by all companies. As mentioned earlier, there is no need for companies to
invest in these tools; however it does not mean that these tools should be
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neglected. Specific solutions for each tool will be presented in the later
chapter of this research.
2.4.2.3. Evaluation of OSC by Tool 3
Regarding to Tool 3- Education fairs, Cat Tuong and Duc Anh do a quite
good job as high performance' can meet ' high demand'. Other companies
belong to group 2. I.e. the performance cannot meet the high demand of
customers
2.4.2.4. Evaluation of overseas education consultants by Tool 4
For tool 4 - Direct recruitment and consultancy, Apollo is classified into
Group 2 - the high demand, low performance group because this overseas
education consultant does not invest much on consultants and direct
recruitment. This company is not interested in doing marketing in schools
or participating in extracurricular or community activities. The remaining
consultants are in group 1 as their marketing tools are very effective and to
meet the requirements of consumers.
2.4.2.5. Evaluation of overseas education consultants by Tool 5
Similarly, for Tool 5 - Website, EMG is classified as group 2 as it has not
met the requirements from students. Other companies are good at using this
tool and classified as group 1.
2.4.2.6. Evaluation of overseas education consultants by Tool 9
In terms of Tool 9 - workshops, all companies are classified as Group 1 high demand, high performance. The frequent use of this marketing tool
helps companies approach customers and satisfy their requirements.
2.4.2.7. Evaluation of overseas education consultants by Tool 10
Pr activities of the 4 companies: Apollo, EMG, Havetco, Baltic are
considered as effective and can meet the requirements of consumers,
therefore it can be classified into group 1 whereas the remaining companies
are classified in group 2 as the using of PR tool is still low, failing to meet
the high demands of customers.

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CHAPTER 3: SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVING MARKETING
ACTIVITIES OF OVERSEAS STUDY CONSULTANTS
3.1. General solution for Groups of marketing tools for overseas
education consultancy service
3.1.1. Solution for Group 1
Group 1 consists of three tools: Tools 4 - Direct recruitment and
consultancy, Tool 5 - websites, Tools 9 - Seminars/ Workshops. This group
is of high demand and high performance as shown in chapter 2, and the
marketing tools in this group are very effective as they are popular to
consumers; therefore, these tools needs to be invested more money, time,
effort and human resources.
3.1.2. Solutions for Group 2
Group 2 consists of three tools: Tool 1- Direct mail, Tool 3 - Education
fairs, Tool 10 - Pr. The tools in group 2 are not used effectively because of
their failure to meet consumer expectations.
Unlike the tools in group 1 which also need to be invested more, but only at
the current level to meet the customer needs, the tools in group 2 need to be
invested more than the current level as they fail to meet the customer's
needs. Therefore, although this group needs to be invested more in terms of
costs, time, manpower, leadership, the solution for this group will be
different from group 1.
3.1.3. Solutions for Group 4
Group 4 consists of the remaining tools: Tool 2 - Advertising, Tools 6 banner ads, Tool 7 - Directory submission, Tool 8 - Email marketing and
Tool 11 - Telemarketing. There is no need to invest further in this Group as
it has low need and low implementation. Instead the company can think of
other effective ways to use these marketing tools within available
resources.
For tool 6, companies should not have widespread and unwise
advertisement but focus well on university entrance exam along with eyecatching banners. In addition to this, companies should pay attention to
potential customers and send them emails or contact by phone and avoid
causing inconvenience to customers who are not interested in the service.
As directory submission is less known to consumers, it should be
selectively posted in a very few effective websites.
* Group 3 does not have any tool, meaning that there is no ineffective
marketing tool; therefore all 11 marketing tools should be properly
invested.
3.2. Specific solutions for each marketing tool
3.2.1. A solution to Tool 1- Direct mail
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When sending direct mails, it is necessary for overseas education
consultants to have a database of names, home addresses of recipients
which can be collected from customers participating in seminars, education
fairs, direct counseling and recruitment, or from schools; or purchased
from individuals, companies providing database. Because customers may
receive a great deal of such letters, to attract customers' attention the
content of the messages should be concise, attractive rather than too
general. If possible, companies should specify the recipient's name.
Depending on the object and person receiving mails, mails can be Standard
Post, Registered Post, Express Post, or Courier Post. Mailing time is also
important. Mails should be sent in a way that those recipients receive the
information before critical events such as seminars, scholarship contest
3.2.2. Solution for Tool 2 - Advertising
It is important that advertising in general and overseas education
advertising in particle should be attractively designed. The number of
advertisement should be kept to the minimum necessary to convey essential
information, even in commercial areas. Advertising should be imaginative
and easy to remember, avoid too many thoughts, too many words, too
many things going on at once causing confusion and a lack of aesthetics.
Advertising content must be clear, condensed so that after a short time (3-5
seconds) the reader can understand right away what the ad says. Advertising
should not be taken throughout the year but in a reasonable time period.
The most effective way is to focus advertising budget on a certain time on
televisions and select a few widely read newspapers or magazines. The
most important thing is to allocate costs reasonably between the channels.
3.2.3. Solutions for Tool 3 – Education fairs
In the exhibition, design an eye-catching booth to attract viewers, show the
wealth of information, to meet the diverse information needs of large
customers. The exhibition is one of the activities of direct contact between
staff and customers. For this reason, training staff participating in the
education fair is very important. The fairs do not only convey educational
messages, sometimes at the exhibition there are some fun activities such as
lotteries, quizzes with prizes and other educational fun activities to attract
people.
3.2.4. Solution for Tool 4 - Direct consultancy and recruitment
When providing consultancy and direct recruitment, it would be more
persuasive if the consulting company is accompanied by the representatives of
foreign universities, especially when meeting with many clients at the same time.
The presence of representatives will save the time of the representatives and
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facilitate the talk about the actual study and living overseas with former overseas
study students
Besides, one of the important activities in the consulting and direct
recruitment is the cooperation between the consulting company with
schools to organize exchanges between students of these schools with study
abroad students or former study abroad students.
3.2.5. Solution for Tool 5 – Websites
Websites of OSC should be simple, not too gaudy, colorful, and clearly
structured to help students easily find information about overseas studying. Sites
specializing in information rather than images should also be arranged to be user
friendly.
In terms of content, information on the website should be rich in courses,
overseas study countries, and have guidance and shared experience of
abroad study, study costs, student success secrets, etc. i.e. all the
information that potential customers are interested in.
3.2.6. Solution for Tool 6 - Banner advertising
For successful Web banner advertising, ensure you have a strong and clearcut statement that features a call for action. Consider audience involvement
for greater banner ad success. The involvement could be direct such as tictac-toe and similarly simple games or by inviting the surfers for games,
quizzes, and giveaways in your site. Give something free to entice Web
users.
Buy banner ads from credible and reliable websites since this will tell potential
customers that you are also credible and reliable. Use small banners byte-wise
for speedy download and then wider ones after the download. Use sex and
intrigue to catch people‟s attention. Consider hiring a pro since pros have the
necessary tools, experience, and training for an effective banner advertising
campaign. Response rates usually drop from 200,000 to 350,000 impressions
due to what is called banner burnout and you should therefore change your ads to
different versions regularly. Test your ads before releasing them. Develop a Web
banner advertising strategy and stick to it.
Advertising banners mentioned in the theoretical basis of this study are banners
on web pages. Overseas education consulting companies need to select sites that
have many students, for students to view advertising banners such as
www.24h.com, www.ngoisao.net, www.vnexpress.net, www.dantri.com.vn, etc.
3.2.7. Solution for Tool 7 – Directory submission
Unlike other marketing tools, listing sites by the index is uncommon to
both overseas education consultants and students; however it should be
admitted that it is an effective tool. For this reason, companies should think
thoroughly when they choose the websites to register this service so that
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they can attract those who are interested in overseas study. Widely known
websites like www.edu.vietnamworks.com, www.yahoo.com, or
www.google.com should be taken into consideration of the companies.
3.2.8. Solution for Tool 8 – Email marketing
Message headers and sender's name should be clear. In addition, keep the
email concise, conversational, and focused. It is harder to read letters on a
computer screen than on a sheet of paper, so keep emails short and to the
point. While there is no ideal email length, keep sentences short, about 8-12
words and leave a space between paragraphs.
3.2.9. Solution for Tool 9 - Seminars
Overseas study workshop demonstrates the company's professionalism. If
companies have good conditions in terms of premises and equipment and
location, the workshop can be conducted at company headquarters. If not,
the workshop should be conducted at major hotels, as this often creates a
secure, or trust for customers and also creates the best conditions to do the
workshop.
Apart from the introduction of school representatives, exchange, chatting,
Q&A, workshops would attract more potential customers if there are
quizzes with prizes, scholarships for students participating in contests and
the interviewer with excellent results, gifts to any customer at the
workshop.
3.2.10. Solution for Tool 10 - Pr
There are many types of Pr that companies can employ such as reporting on
an English course or foreign language courses in newspapers; writing a
report on educational issues; creating a study guide column, a crossword, a
competition on English language and culture; sideline information of the
opening of a branch or an English language center, etc. When revealing the
information, it is necessary for overseas education consultants to include
overseas study information.
In Vietnam, television is a very powerful tool, especially Vietnam
Television station or Hanoi Television Station. Although they are very
expensive, educational programs on these televisions can win trust and
confidence from parents and students' than other information sources;
therefore overseas study consultants can sponsor or cooperate with
television stations to make such television programs as " overseas study
window' (Hanoi TV), Preparation for overseas study (vctv6) or programs
for young people like am 20' (VTC1).
3.2.11. Solution for Tool 11 – Tele marketing
When making the call to invite customers to attend the event, the company
should make it at a reasonable time, avoiding lunch, rest time, too late, too
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early or too long calls which can make the customers exhausted. Different
from other normal phone calls, callers in these cases must also be trained
and practiced to please listeners.
In terms of content, the caller should give a brief, clear notice; s/he should
always listen to and elicit feedback from recipients who play a passive role
in the phone call. After giving the main content of the talk, the caller must
be willing to provide the client information further if requested. It is very
important for the consultants to be in the attitude of courtesy, enthusiasm,
showing good knowledge of their field and opening every opportunity to
meet the customers in person later in the workshops or in direct
consultation.
3.3. Expansion and renovation of other types of marketing tools
3.3.1. Street banner advertising
OSC should place banners on a street that has high pedestrian traffic or high
vehicle movements every day. If they have a new audience every day, at
multiple locations and multiple sites - equals maximum marketing exposure for
their business. It is also necessary for consultants to pay attention to the time
to place the ad, normally before the upcoming events, or enrollment period
to save cost and enhance effectiveness.
3.3.2. Introduction to friends, relatives, acquaintances (words of mouth
advertising)
It is important for overseas study consultants to build up good reputation
and trust for old customers. In so doing it is necessary to maintain and
develop relationships with former customers after the service has been
completed. In other words, overseas study consultants should keep in
touch, support students while they are studying abroad. Additionally, they
can also send cards, gifts to overseas study students to celebrate special
occasions to show their concern for customers and a perfect service that
they have.
3.3.3. Old customer care
The old customer care through marketing tools such as direct mail, email,
phone calls, pr, etc and the mass media is very significant in the long term
in that it not only helps old customers feel cared and respected but it also
builds up safety and trust for potential customers; thus enhancing the
prestige of the overseas study consultant. In addition to this, companies
can invite former study abroad students who got benefits from the
company's consulting services to participate in exhibitions, seminars,
exchanges, television programs in the role of guest speakers so that
potential customers can directly chat, ask questions with this alumni.
3.3.4. Overseas study links
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Overseas study links mean overseas study consultants which are strong in
different market cooperate with other consultants to develop all markets.
For example, if company A and company B has a strong market in the U.K
and in Japan respectively, A will introduce its customers to Company B if
they ask for Japan market to receive commission from company B. As it is
very difficult for a company to attain resources to develop in all markets,
overseas study link is a good solution to help companies support each
other.
3.3.5. Building an independent network of consultants
A network of independent consultant include teachers in charge of youth
organization, or people in charge of training in consulting companies.
These people understand the educational market; as a result they are also
very effective consulting staff for oversea education market. When
establishing a relationship with this team, the company can build a network
of independent consultants who can introduce potential customers to go to
the company to get consulted or they can provide direct consultancy to
potential customers. This activity will benefit both parties as the consultant
shall be entitled to commissions or other benefits such as scholarships or
other incentives.
3.3.6. English center
In fact, some companies open their own language center, mainly English
center where English courses are provided to both students looking for
information of overseas study and coming overseas study students. It is
clear that foreign language study and consultation are two indispensable for
overseas study student.
Companies will get benefit when these two activities are supported by the
same source. Some students going to companies to get overseas study
consultancy service and then engage in foreign language classes to improve
their foreign language before studying abroad and also have the opportunity
to participate in trial classes, get acquainted and contact with
representatives of foreign schools. In contrast, students in foreign language
learning conditions also have opportunities to know more sources of
information about overseas studying and become one of the potential
customers of the company.

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CONCLUSIONS
The evaluation of marketing tools for overseas study recruitment and
consultancy services in Hanoi‟ has solved all the problems posed in the
research. These include:
- Study the marketing activities of overseas study consultants in Hanoi
based on marketing tools and how each tool is evaluated by consultants in
the comparison with others
- Study the behavior of consumers: how do students approach the
marketing promotion tool and how they evaluate the effectiveness of
marketing activities to promote overseas study
- Evaluation of whether or not marketing activities of overseas study
consultants in Hanoi can meet the need of students.
The research was done through surveys from both overseas study
consultants and university students. For this reason the results of this
survey is the raw and primary resource, updated and has brought about the
unexpected findings for the author, for example the company's Pr
activities which are in most cases articles on newspapers, television
programs, reports - are of no cost because they rely on companies'
reputation. Another interesting finding is that few companies advertise on
website; in contrast, many of them hang banners on the streets. Another
thing worthy of comment is that a consider number of customers go to the
consulting company due to word of mouth advertising.
Research has shown that companies need to use effectively all 11
marketing tools mentioned in the study in which the attention should be
paid to the most effective tools, i.e. tool 4 - direct recruitment and
consultancy, tool 5 - websites, tool 9 - workshops, and there are no
marketing tools that are over invested, exceeding consumers' expectations.
Whatever the marketing tool is, the investment must be on the principle of
effectiveness, in terms of cost, time, human resources and leadership
attention.
The solution to improving the effectiveness of marketing activities must be
understood in terms of theory, strategy and implementation.
In terms of theory, it is necessary to understand the characteristics and
differences of education marketing and marketing in other sectors in order to
carry out effectively marketing activities. In education there are many objects
that can be interpreted as customers such as parents, sponsors and students.
Education also requires customers to participate in the process of service
delivery. In addition to that, this is a product consumed once in one's life,
therefore should be long-term invested.
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In terms of strategy, marketing people should know how to appreciate
effectiveness of their work after the performance. This is important because
it reflects whether the marketing is good or not. This study has brought
about a new measure for consultants to evaluate the effectiveness of their
marketing tools based on the needs of consumers / students.
In terms of implementation, this study has found out that the effective
marketing tools that the overseas education consultants are using are direct
recruitment and consultancy, websites and seminars whereas the not yet
effective tools are direct mails, education fairs and PR as these tools are
invested and used less than consumers' expectation.
The actual survey process has demonstrated that there is a gap between the
theory and reality. The interviews with consulting companies have revealed
some new marketing tools that have not been mentioned in the theory and
unknown to the author. This means that although the marketing to promote
oversea studying in Vietnam was born after the marketing of education in
many countries, it has developed quickly and flexibly and it is expected
that there would be more effective marketing tools in the future.
In the context that Vietnam's education is integrating into the world, with
such findings, it is the hope of the author that there would be a deeper,
more comprehensive research on marketing activities in general and on
marketing activities of overseas study consultants in Vietnam in particular.
This will certainly contribute to the development of education service in the
future

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