Market Research to help guide the positioning and marketing of NUBS’ MBA programmes

Vahid, Ijaz Shahul Hameed (2020) Market Research to help guide the positioning and marketing of NUBS’ MBA programmes. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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The MBA degree is perceived as a matter of prestige for top business schools across the globe. Demand for the MBA has been on the decline for the past five years in the United States; however the trend hasn’t been mirrored in Europe. As the number of accredited business schools increase throughout the globe, the market is becoming highly competitive and business schools are forced to re-think their marketing strategies to compete in attracting global talent. Covid-19 has further complicated the situation with travel restrictions dampening the demand. Business schools around the world are planning to deliver a blend of online and offline teaching for full-time MBA programmes starting from September 2020, whilst some other business schools like the University of Lancaster have altogether cancelled their full-time MBA programmes for 2020.

Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) commissioned this study to enhance its understanding of its flagship MBA programme. Specifically, they want to identify the motives (decision-making criteria) of current full-time MBA students (2019-20) in the University of Nottingham UK campus.

This project is intended to provide information that will clarify the Nottingham’s MBA competiveness for the Board of Advisors. The insights are intended to assist in repositioning and marketing of its MBA programme.

An organised, step by step analysis of the Nottingham MBA has been carried out using primary and secondary research. The primary research was in the form of interviews and surveys with 36 students that constitute Nottingham’s current UK based full time MBA cohort (2019-2020). Along with secondary research, the results of that survey were analysed to develop recommendations and marketing strategy which have been presented in this report. In analysing the data, several strategic and marketing frameworks have been used.

The top four decision making criteria for students when evaluating an MBA programme identified from the survey are Reputation/Ranking followed by Location, Accreditation and Course fee or scholarship. The top four criteria that were reported by students why they chose the NUBS MBA program are Scholarship award followed by Business/Industry engagement, Core module content and being a Russell group member.

Competitor offerings have been analysed and compared with Nottingham’s offering to identify sustainable competitive advantages. Based on these analyses, a recommendation has been made to reposition the brand by expanding vertically (i.e.) to create a niche market by making the brand synonymous with entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability. This would enhance brand value and reflect positively on the rankings. This can be done by marketing the Ingenuity lab, Haydn Green Institute and the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility. This would allow expansion to a vertical market (i.e.) to create a reputation to attract a niche segment of potential candidates who are entrepreneurs and innovators. Diversity is a key strength to the MBA programmes and must be retained. However, the recommended marketing strategy is intended to reposition to brand, thereby making it synonymous with entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability.

Finally, strategic marketing recommendations have been provided to the NUBS MBA website and suggestions on leveraging its online community for digital marketing has been made to guide the university’s marketing efforts.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Nottingham MBA, MBA marketing strategy, Master of Business Administration, evaluation of an MBA program, decision making criteria of MBA students, strategic marketing of NUBS MBA, evaluation of the University of Nottingham's full time MBA programme, repositioning of the Nottingham MBA, customer journey of a NUBS MBA student
Depositing User: VAHID, IJAZ
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2023 12:01
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 12:01

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