The Management and Leadership of Educational Marketing: Research, Practice and Applications: Volume 15


Table of contents

(19 chapters)

This review provides a synthesis of the scholarship that has sought to expand understanding of educational marketing practice in schools. The following research questions guided this review: (1) what are the common themes and characteristics that emerge from research about marketing in schools? (2) What remains underdeveloped in the characterization of the school marketing and what are the topics for future research? Based on 25 studies identified as pertinent for the current review, the following topics are discussed: marketing perceptions, marketing planning, marketing strategies, and promotion. The chapter concludes by providing an analysis of the limitations of the current research and discussing future directions for research on school marketing.

This chapter provides an historical perspective on the evolution of educational marketing both as a professional field within the management and leadership of educational organisations and as a research field for academics and practitioners. It weaves together three important strands of analysis:•The evolution of the political, economic and social ideologies which have created the context in which marketisation of education has occurred.•The development of approaches to educational marketing in schools, colleges and universities.•The development of the research arena focused on marketisation and marketing in educational institutions.

The analysis considers the challenges that market-based concepts have brought to the existing hegemonies within both education and academic research, and also the politics and sociology of academic research. This provides a perspective on the challenges of developing a ‘new’ research field as a valid and significant area of study. The chapter concludes that educational marketing has evolved very significantly over the last 30 years, but has a done so in a context of substantial intellectual and sociological challenge. Resistance to its development has at times reflected resistance to the underlying concepts of marketisation rather than a concern that its approaches and findings are not important.

The chapter explores the growth of marketing in education with a specific focus on schools. It argues that developing a marketing orientation has become a key integral objective of schools and examines the leadership requirements needed to nurture this ambition. Central to this development is the need to focus on the curriculum, a key part of the mission of schools, as an organizing idea for successful and relevant school marketing. Based on the CORD model of educational marketing (Maringe, 2005), the chapter argues that school leaders need to develop a set of marketing competences in four specific areas: market contextualization competences; marketing organizational competences; marketing research competences; and marketing development competences.

The 1980s and 1990s saw a significant phase of educational marketization reform in several countries. Schools began to operate within a ‘market’, and ‘marketing’ became more important. Research showed that teachers and school leaders were largely hostile to this ‘alien’ area of schooling. School leadership in this environment became more complex and stressful. Literature began to identify leadership tensions, conflicts and dilemmas. This chapter ‘revisits’ some of the more significant research at the time and examines some of the dilemmas posed by the need to market the school. The dilemma framework offered by Wildy and Louden (2000) is used to explore three key areas: accountability, efficiency and autonomy. The chapter offers insights into how this topic can be revitalized and explored within the operation of ‘new’ leadership paradigms such as ‘distributed leadership’ and ‘destructive leadership’. The chapter concludes by discussing how the topic of dilemmas can be taken forward.

School leaders in the United States are increasingly embracing marketing practices in order to promote their schools in more competitive conditions. Yet while policymakers are actively encouraging such conditions, little attention has been paid to the equity effects of these practices. Advancing from the insight that marketing materials can illuminate some of the underlying incentive structures to which schools must respond, this study examines patterns in the marketing materials in two metropolitan areas with the most competitive education markets in the United States. Web-based materials for all schools in Washington, DC and post-Katrina New Orleans were analyzed, noting how individual schools and different types of schools represent their racial makeup. By analyzing these differences in traditional-public, charter, and private schools, we were able to see emerging patterns that suggest the role of market forces in school organizational behavior, with cautionary lessons for how different types of students are valued.

In New Zealand, educational institutions at all levels are being encouraged by the nation's central government to develop international markets, largely to generate revenue and to therefore decrease dependence on state funding. This chapter presents research findings which show that some managers in education are responding to this challenge by establishing and maintaining relationships to respond to international student demand, a core focus of educational marketing work. These relationships seem to allow high schools, particularly resource-constrained ones, to be able to add value to the international student experience. In this case, this includes offering language tuition and access to support people who speak the students’ languages and are familiar with their cultural frameworks as part of the experience. Given the benefits to international students, and to the schools themselves, could this kind of relational approach be considered an example of leadership in international education marketing?

School marketing and its contribution to school success is a controversial issue in education, and although marketing activities are taking place in schools, they are usually not recognized as such. Relationship marketing (RM), collaborative interactive relations that enlist partners in loyal and supportive long-lasting connections, is no exception. By studying five successful Israeli schools, this study aims to reveal how successful school principals engaged in RM and contributed to their school's success. An “ideal type” of RM was extracted from the data, showing that good RM starts with a key event, develops under enabling conditions, and brings about the desired outcome along with additional consequences. It concludes that successful school principals, like Molière's protagonist who has unwittingly been speaking prose all his life, create RM in their ongoing work without terming it this way, and that this RM contributes to school success. Theoretical and practical implications are presented in the discussion.

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to develop a conceptual framework that provides insight and aids understanding of the complex array of relationships schools have with individuals, organizations, and other entities.

Design/methodology/approach – The conceptual framework is drawn from the relationship marketing (RM) literature and applied to a school context in the United Kingdom. In doing so, it provides a simplified representation of the environment in which schools operate and a valuable classification structure for the many different relationships a school has. This framework will be of benefit to both academics and practitioners.

Findings – The authors find that the relationships schools have can be classified within the conceptual framework. The framework aids understanding of the different relationships and provides insights into how these relationships can be developed and where value can be added. Application of the framework also highlights the complex nature of the relationships schools can have with others and the need to manage those relationships well.

Research implications – The framework developed in this chapter is conceptual and needs to be tested empirically.

Originality/value – This chapter responds to the call from Oplatka and Hemsley-Brown (2004) to provide further research into the area of RM in the context of schools. It adds value by drawing together various aspects of RM, providing an analysis of their relevance to educational services marketing and identifying and applying a conceptual framework which classifies the relationships schools have with others. This chapter provides important insights for those within schools who are responsible for the management of relationships with their organization and for others seeking to foster greater engagement with schools.

This chapter presents an analysis of data gathered from Israeli primary and secondary schoolteachers that tested the degree of market orientation in the Israeli State Education System, the largest system in Israel that is based on grade configuration of primary education (1–6) and secondary education (7–12). It was found that the Israeli teachers are more positive about student orientation (SO) than about competitor orientation and interfunctional coordination, i.e., they are more likely to be positive toward the elements of SO that are emotion embedded and represent teachers’ concern toward and relations with their students. They can identify with elements of SO that represent teachers’ strong emotional commitment toward students, which in turn leads them to change their teaching methods, be attentive and responsive to parents’ interest in the learning of the child, and improve their own teaching. In doing so, the teachers are engaged unconsciously with relationship marketing that might promote their school's market share and image.

During the last two decades, education systems worldwide have been working under an increasing need to adapt to a rapidly changing postindustrial external environment with social, technological, economic, and political transformations. The unprecedented growth, complexity, and competitiveness of the global economy with its attendant sociopolitical and technological developments have been creating relentless and cumulative pressures on education systems to respond to the changing environment. Today, educational institutions from primary schools to universities are being forced to compete and excel in the international arena, and are thus expected to go far beyond simply providing pure knowledge and skills as before. Increasingly, more institutions in primary and secondary education are embracing innovative practices from the global business world and dedicating growing attention to strategic and marketing aspects of educational management.

The European Commission has defined innovation as the “building block of the future competitive workplace during the 21st century” and the strategy of educational institutions around the world is being affected to a large extent by this statement. This chapter focuses on the identification and definition of the future challenges in schools’ governance, and presents a novel logical framework for the arena of educational marketing. Special attention is given to innovation as a key driver for further development of educational institutions and its possible impact on marketing efforts in educational institutions. These aspects, previously overlooked by research literature, are discussed in the present chapter, adding a new dimension to the understanding of strategic facets in the educational marketing arena.

The purpose of this chapter is to systematically review and explore the nature of marketing in higher education (HE) and consider the creation of value through the cocreation process. The objectives of the review were: to collect, document, scrutinize, and critically analyze the current research literature on value elements in marketing and how cocreation between the sender (school) and receiver (student) happens; to establish the scope of education marketing; to identify gaps in the research literature; and to make recommendations for further research in this field.

The approach for this study entailed extensive searches of relevant business management and education databases on value-based marketing and cocreation. The intention was to ensure that, as far as possible, all literature in the field was identified – while keeping the focus on literature of greatest importance to the research question.

The potential benefits of applying marketing theories and concepts which have been effective in the commercial world are being adopted by researchers and managers in the field of not-for-profit education marketing. However, the literature on educational marketing is inconsistent, even contradictory, and lacks theoretical models that reflect upon the particular context of educational marketing and the use of value in the marketing of school services.

The research field of educational marketing, value, and cocreation is still at a relatively pioneer stage with much research still to be carried out both from a problem-identification and also from a strategic perspective. Despite the literature on the marketization of schools and higher education and student behavior, research does not provide evidence of the marketing strategies that have been implemented and marketing of schools remains limited, and this is relatively uncharted territory.

This chapter reviews the literature in the field, focusing on marketing strategies of value and cocreation in the competitive school market for students.

The theoretical findings suggest there is a place for value development and the use of cocreation in the marketing of schools by engaging the student in the process and providing complete transparency and a proper feedback loop. From a managerial position, the findings present changes in how schools should be marketed with more focus on objectives, strategies, marketing tools, staff and student engagement, and performance measures.

The overall conclusion drawn is that marketing of schools has relevance; however, the relevance is only useful if value is developed over time, and supports the school brand and the values that are associated with it in a competitive market.

The purpose of this final chapter is to draw together the conclusions and insights presented in each of the chapters throughout the book, to summarize and categorize concisely the findings, and to offer views about the next steps in the field of education marketing. The chapter is presented under key headings which emerge from the edited book chapters: market-led leadership, building relationships, and relationship marketing. The final section discusses a way forward for education marketing research and practice.

The chapter seeks to draw together and make sense of the insights from all the chapters under key headings to provide the reader of the volume with some key ideas to take forward for practice and research in the field.

Tristan Bunnell began teaching International Baccalaureate economics at the International School of London in 1990. He is currently head of economics at the Copenhagen International School. He was awarded his MA in school marketing and development from the University of Surrey in 1993. He obtained his doctorate on ‘public relations activity as an indicator of the unique nature of international schools’ from the University of Southampton in 2003. He has published a number of articles about distributed leadership, marketing strategy and public relations activity in international schools. His current research interests include global curricula developments, especially the growth and development of the International Baccalaureate.

Publication date
Book series
Advances in Educational Administration
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
Book series ISSN