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A new higher education marketing mix: the 7Ps for MBA marketing

Jonathan Ivy (Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 16 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to present a new marketing mix based on MBA students' attitudes and opinions towards the marketing initiatives of business schools in South Africa. The post‐graduate business education market is, and increasingly, getting more aggressive in their efforts to attract students on to their flagship degree, the MBA. The traditional marketing tools historically grouped into 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion), 5Ps (adding people) and 7Ps (adding physical facilities and processes) may be wanting in this market.


The approach taken was a quantitative survey of students registered at state subsidized universities in South Africa.


The factor analysed data showed seven quite distinct underlying factors in the marketing activities of these business schools, some covering the same elements of the traditional marketing mix: people, promotion, and price. There were, however, four different elements: programme, prominence, prospectus, and premiums.

Research limitations/implications

While the survey included only MBA students from a sample drawn in South Africa, the study does highlight the fact that the traditional services marketing mix may not be as useful to the higher education sector as it might have been originally thought.

Practical implications

The development of marketing strategy may be better served by this 7P model rather than the services mix.


This paper presents the underlying factors that form the basis of a new marketing mix specifically for MBA recruitment.



Ivy, J. (2008), "A new higher education marketing mix: the 7Ps for MBA marketing", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 288-299.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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