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Marketing & Networking Plan

Hussain.Shoukat 11/12/2010

4. Note: this is a long term marketing plan which will stay in action throughout the year. Objectives to be achieved within 1 week of start of admissions: Form issuances: at least 1000 Form submissions: at least 500 . Minor changes to the current tools of marketing. Increase the target audience and involve corporate sector. Impress the student when he comes in. Lastly I will try to list possible avenues which can be explored to gather resources for the implementation phase. The general outline of this strategy will be that firstly I will explain what I mean by that component.2 Introduction My marketing strategy will have four main components: 1. Secondly I will lay out a plan for its implementation. A ³plan B´ is proposed in the document ³Changes to the current short term marketing plan´ and will only be put into action if we fail to achieve the objectives listed below. Bring the students into iACT. 2. 3.

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o These camps will be conducted by the in-house sports coaches and trainers. meaning that we market an image which boasts job security and lifestyle improvement for graduates. How to? A round the year marketing strategy needs to be in place. This serves the purpose of local image and brand building. Sports activities and camps during summers o The target audience is the general residents of Malir.5 Component 1 Bring Students into iACT What does this mean? y y y y Engage students from around the local community and organize programs for them in iACT. Special emphasis to be laid on activities involving career development. y Career & Resume writing seminars for Malir residents. y y The question now is that how will this audience be raised? I have observed in my last month¶s stay here at iACT that the conventional marketing methods like banners and posters don¶t work for the students of the Malir area. o The target audience will be students in schools and colleges o These seminars will be conducted by our in-house career counselor o The purpose is to just bring the students into iACT and increase their awareness about the institute. it¶s not just the students who need to be the targets of . Moreover if we want to bring in the students for these activities. the impression we make on their minds would be lasting. o These workshops will be conducted by our in-house British Council certified Active Citizen trainers. o The purpose of these exercises is to build an image of iACT as the local community center. Also when students come in and are exposed to the facilities of iACT. This means that I will try to raise an audience so that the following programs can be organized. preferably bimonthly. Active citizen trainings for the students of Malir and surrounding areas o The target audience are the students of colleges in Malir and surrounding areas o The purpose of this activity would be to impress the students of the area with our personal development training facilities which will make iACT a respected educational brand and people will get a taste of the iACT experience.

Mosques: we can target the men of the Malir community by this method. For this purpose I think that the following three strategies might work: 1. Markets: local markets are setup every day near iACT. The target areas would this time be those outside Malir. ii. 2. These places are i. like Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulistan-e-Johar. The reason for this is that the pamphlets ought to cover the Malir area and it would be great if we could target people outside Malir too. b. b. This would give us a couple of advantages: i.  Last time the supplement design went all wrong and the print that we had was nothing like the one we wanted. The purpose is that once they have been inserted into the newspaper the reader should not be able to distinguish it from the rest of the newspaper and should assume that it¶s a part of the newspaper. If the students of these institutes visit iACT we will have a chance to inspire them with our facilities. It¶s time to change this trend and involve them in a more active fashion. It would be great if we could have these designed in-house.6 our marketing strategy but also their parents. These pamphlets can be printed pretty cheap at the cost of 50 paisa per pamphlet. The community gathering centers that I have talked about are places where the local community of Malir gathers. The major audience is housewives of Malir who will publicize about these trainings and seminars. Up until now we have partnered with a lot of coaching centers and training institutes but we have offered them nothing in return. b. This means that we can print these in large amounts and distribute them in community gathering centers. Again I would reinstate that it would not only save us a lot of time and resources but also help us get the exact desired designs if we could have this designed inhouse. This would save us time and resources and avoid a back and forth between iACT and RDN. Partnerships with institutes a. The target area for this again would be Malir and surrounding areas. . 3. c. Supplement distribution a. Almost all of them visit mosques for Friday prayers and this would mean that we can disseminate information about our trainings to large masses. c. The supplements that I talk about need to be printed in black and white on newspaper pages. For this purpose a strategy needs to be formulated that is all encompassing and targets ³all the residents of Malir´ so to speak. Pamphlet distribution a.

Kamran Kashif and he has promised to provide the active citizen trainings if I bring in the students. Where from? y y y I have talked to Mr. Adnan Ashraf and he agrees in principal. I have talked to Mr. These institutes will start cooperating with us in a better fashion and more of them would seek partnerships with us so that they may gain benefits of these trainings. and I am sure that he will help me out with carrying out the sports activities. Mehdi and he has happily agreed to provide the career & resume writing seminars. . I have talked to Mr.7 ii.

y Bring in an interior designer as a visitor o The person would come in voluntarily and suggest some changes. Create a more welcoming aura and make the visitor feel welcomed the moment he steps in. Some basic structural changes need to be put in place and also special emphasis needs to be laid on aesthetics. When a person walks into iACT (student/parent) he should feel welcomed. there is still a lot of room for improvement. How to? The changes that I will suggest below involve administration more than marketing but I will be happy to help out in any way possible and if given the go ahead I would gladly spearhead the changes myself. These measures will help us improve enrolment rates. Even though the building is quite impressive generally and a lot has been done to make it so.8 Component 2 Impress the student when he comes in What does this mean? Now that we have completed module 1. If we don¶t have people who know about the art of aesthetics. What I mean by this is that it would be unnatural to expect people to know about aesthetics automatically. it¶s a sense that develops over time. Currently there are a few problems with the staff which have also been highlighted before and these problems can be fixed quite easily. we can bring in visitors who do. Currently a lot of people visit iACT but don¶t enroll in any course and I intend to turn this around. o This needs to be changed and her role should be to help out the visitors and callers only . our aim should be to impress those students (and parents) who come to iACT for activities. y Redefine the receptionist¶s role o Currently the receptionist is over worked and her TORs include supporting the administration. o We will try to implement his/her ideas keeping our budgetary constraints in mind. What needs to be done can generally be divided into 2 main parts: y y An improvement in the general aesthetics of the building.

y Another thing that needs to be done for campus beautification is the development of some good photo frames which can be furnished with the photographs of iACT and its student body. A lot of these problems can also be solved if we bring in trainers who will help the staff refine their interpersonal skills. For other times we have a vast alumni body and we could try to call them in for the ushering roles.9 y y Volunteers should be called in for events where students and parents are invited and they should work as ushers o This would make the people who come in feel special and important o This would also give us more ³ear time´ which is the time which we can use to inculcate the idea into the visitor¶s mind that iACT is the place for them to be. I can convince trainers from Navatis to come in for a training or two in their personal capacities and help us polish our staff¶s interpersonal skills. Its good in its own right but photographs would give the place a cozier feel. y y y . The photo frames issue is simple and if the need is felt for its implementation then this is an inexpensive measure and I am sure that budget can be spared for it. Currently the only thing that we have up on the walls is promotional material. a lot of students have complained that they find the phone lines busy and the only logical reason that I can understand is that the outgoing lines clog the telephone traffic. The phone line issue is a simple one and an order from the center head could solve the problem in a day. I will send out emails for volunteers to institutions like LUMS but these students can only come in during the summers. Special care needs to be taken during the admissions that the phone lines are not busy and that the staff is at its best behavior o We currently have 5 phone lines o 2 of these numbers are written on all of our admission material o These 2 lines should be reserved for incoming calls only o The other 3 lines should be reserved for outgoing only o Currently since all 5 lines can be used in any way. Where from? y y y I can easily arrange for an interior designer to come in voluntarily or if not an interior designer then at least someone who has a polished sense of aesthetics The receptionist¶s role needs to be deliberated by the HR department or the Admin department.

We might have to hire new faculty to carry out these trainings but the end result would be an unprecedented brand building exercise for iACT. A focus group needs to be carried out to suggest the sort of trainings that we could offer but it¶s an area that we need to look into. y y Where from? I know that this measure might need approval from the highest levels of management but this is a measure which will benefit us in the long run. We could offer to train their people at iACT and carry out special classes for them. Corporate trainings are a lucrative business and it would benefit us greatly and help us reach self sufficiency if we could tap into this sector.10 Component 3 Increase the target audience and involve the corporate sector What does this mean? We at iACT have excellent facilities and it would be a great achievement if we could involve the corporate sector and put these facilities to optimal use. (Hotels etc) A great advantage that we would gain out of these trainings would be that these corporate employees and executives will become our alumni and hence we would be able to successfully establish a relationship of trust and cooperation with them which would in turn help us with internships and job placements for our students We could also approach major players in the market who run call centers and offer in house trainings. This would mean that our trainers go to these companies and provide trainings at their venues. . o Providing them with the option of in-house trainings. How to? y y Organize a focus group and brainstorm the sort of trainings that could be carried out to attract corporate officials A problem that we might face would be that the institute is located in Malir and this can carry a few negative connotations but we will need to overcome this hurdle and come up with strategies which could attract corporate executives and employees. o A venue can be hired. These strategies could include: o Publicizing our head office as the meeting point and have transport facilities from there to iACT.

y Organize exhibitions of our students o These should be organized at places like Sheraton hotels or Karachi club o The reason is that people (elites) at this point are generally unwilling to come to Malir due to the law and order situation o Also once these people start recognizing iACT students as ³kids who have potential´ we might find it easier to secure funds and donations for the institute. What we need now is a change of focus and this can be achieved by changing two major things: y Firstly we would need to start quality marketing along with the cheap marketing that we already do and other than banners and pamphlets we need to start advertising in English newspapers. rather people look out for the admission dates and line up for admissions.11 Component 4 Minor changes to the current tools of marketing What does this mean? Currently we concentrate only on the residents of Malir and have taken it for a fact that the only people who will want the trainings that we offer are the underprivileged youth. Listed below are some things that I would need to do during the year to achieve this. o The only thing which can ensure this is good faculty. o These events could also act as fundraisers. carryout fund raisers and invite the city¶s elites and organize exhibitions of the work of our students in prominent places like hotels and clubs. . Being taught by good faculty would mean that the students who graduate have sound knowledge of the subject area and will have better chances of getting better jobs. y The purpose of this is in no way to change the mission of iACT which is to help out the underprivileged youth but it is to help make iACT self sufficient so that we can raise more funds for the betterment of the underprivileged youth. o Institutions like LUMS and IBA don¶t carry out marketing campaigns. Secondly we need higher quality faculty. How to? As far as higher quality marketing is concerned. I will try my level best to make iACT known not only to the underprivileged people of Malir but also to the city elites. o The reason as I see it is that people know that after graduating from these institutions they are sure to land good jobs.

y This person would develop the publicity material which then could just be approved by RDN and the management. We could save a lot of time and resources this way. y Note: further details for this section including the short term marketing plan which will be put into action around the time of admissions can be found in the document titled ³changes to the current short term marketing plan´ .12 y y Make a proper prospectus and alter the website o This prospectus should include the details of ³how to donate´ o The website too should be donor friendly Try getting a media partnership with a media channel o This would mean media coverage of our events and exhibitions. Where from? It would be of great help if we could just have one guy whose only job would be in-house graphics designing. This would lighten the load of RDN and would speed up and optimize the designing process. This guy could also handle minor website updates ensuring that the website is up to date and projects the upcoming events.