Document Type

Thesis

Publication details

Thirumalai, C 2008, 'A study of the enabling factors that would impact the efficacy of direct marketing in early childhood education industry in Singapore', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright C Thirumalai 2008

Abstract

Education is an important part of life. Lifelong learning is important in acquiring new knowledge and upgrading one’s skills, particularly in this age of rapid technological and economic changes. The educational services industry includes a variety of institutions that offer academic education, vocational and professional education that trained millions of students each year. The amount and type of education that individuals receive are a major influence on both the types of learning provided by various centres (Woodrow 1999). This is particularly true for the case in early childhood education as discussed in United Nation Educational, UNESCO 2007 EFA (Education For All) Global Monitoring Report. The challenges arise on how to reach out to the parents (Knopf and Swick 2006). There are different approaches such as advertisements, media and direct marketing. Early Childhood Education companies have amassed massive wealth through Direct Marketing as compared to other industries (Wilson 2006; Virginia 1995; Gronroos 1991; Hunt 1976).

The common feature among many global players in Early Childhood Education is that they use Direct Marketing, a form of marketing that dispenses the middlemen, the intermediaries who usually are retailers or businesses that own a chain of shops to sell their suppliers’ products for profit. By eliminating re-sellers, the principals make huge savings (Spiller and Baier 2005; Virginia, 1995). It is not uncommon for any agency in the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore to demand for at least 50 per cent as fees for being a re-seller. This includes the cost of curriculum development. The Proposed Research will involve the development of a direct marketing approach as applied to the early childhood education industry in Singapore. Subsequently, the research question formulates around the key concepts and issues on the influences by the enabling factors and efficacy in the implementation of direct marketing strategies. From the analysis, only 3 variables namely person presenting, with kids presence, image of the promoter are positively corrected to direct marketing strategy. Hence when formulating the direct marketing strategy, these 3 factors will be considered.

The research has contributed to the body of knowledge in the parent discipline of direct marketing. It is important for Early Childhood Education centres that used direct marketing to woo customers to understand the needs and wants of the parents so that they can implement the suitable direct marketing strategy. The research model in this thesis has provided a platform for the understanding the efficacy factors of direct marketing and Early Childhood Education industry.

This research provides an insight to the efficacy factors of direct marketing strategy in Singapore Early Childhood Education industry. There are a total of 341 valid questionnaires which equates to 341 parents, guardians and relatives responding, thus, the research results will be able to provide some generalization and implications to Singapore Early Childhood Education providers. Evidences have shown that 3 variables namely person presenting, with kids presence and image of the promoters are important variables influencing the efficacy factors of direct marketing. With this finding, any direct marketing strategy by the education centre should be tailored with emphasis on these 3 variables. For example, to select the right category of person presenting the presentation, the acknowledgment of kids’ presence and influencing the decisions, the company should also look at the image of the promoters being professional, knowledgeable and caring.

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