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Marketing mix formulation for higher education: An integrated analysis employing analytic hierarchy process, cluster analysis and correspondence analysis

Hsuan‐Fu Ho (National Chiayi University, Chiayi City, Taiwan)
Chia‐Chi Hung (National Chiayi University, Chiayi City, Taiwan)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 16 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how a graduate institute at National Chiayi University (NCYU), by using a model that integrates analytic hierarchy process, cluster analysis and correspondence analysis, can develop effective marketing strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

This is primarily a quantitative study aimed at developing a marketing mix for a graduate institute at NCYU in Taiwan. A survey using stratified random sampling was conducted, with 14 universities from four different areas in Taiwan randomly selected for the study. Two questionnaires were conducted: a Likert's five‐scale questionnaire regarding school images and an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) questionnaire regarding school selection factors were administered to 640 undergraduate students. Of the total number of questionnaires, 602 (94 percent) valid school image questionnaires and 570 (89 percent) valid school selection factors questionnaires were used.

Findings

The results of AHP revealed that the five most important factors for students' school selection were: employability, curriculum, academic reputation, faculty, and research environment. The results of clustering analysis identified five student groups for market segmentation, and they are the Prominence group, the Less aware group, the Pragmatic group, the Austerity group, and the Fastidious group. Finally, the results of correspondence analysis suggested that students of the Pragmatic Group are more likely to be attracted by NCYU, and also, students perceived NCYU to be strongly associated with lower tuition, fewer entrance‐exam subjects, lower entrance‐exam pass rates, and easier graduation requirements.

Research limitations/implications

It would be better to conduct a factor analysis before using AHP.

Practical implications

Particularly, NCYU should establish new curricula relevant to internationalization, develop curricula in school finance and educational economics, and form study groups to enhance graduating student employment opportunities. Generally, higher educational institutions may adopt the research model developed in this study to develop their marketing mix for better results.

Originality/value

This paper documents research that was the first to integrate AHP, cluster analysis, and correspondence analysis in developing a marketing mix for higher educational institutions.

Keywords

Citation

Ho, H. and Hung, C. (2008), "Marketing mix formulation for higher education: An integrated analysis employing analytic hierarchy process, cluster analysis and correspondence analysis", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 328-340. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540810875662

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited