The impact of higher education digital marketing strategies on prospective university students
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The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the impact of Higher Education Digital Marketing Strategies on prospective university students. More specifically, an attempt was made in order to identify the perceptions of prospective university students related to popular digital marketing strategies performed by universities such as Webpage, Social Media and Email Campaigns. Further to that, a closer examination of the information sources preferred by future university students at each stage of the decision-making process was made in order to identify their preferences. The five phase decision-making process, proposed by Lane and Kotler (2016) was used for this study. Following quantitative approach method, a questionnaire was developed and administrated to current university students, via the Snowball Sampling Method (SSM), yielding 115 participants. Analysis performed using both Microsoft Excel and SPSS. The findings of the study revealed that the Webpage of a Higher Education Institution is among the three most preferred information sources during the decision-making process. Additionally, statistical analysis revealed that preferences during “Information Search” stage and “Purchase Decision” stage differ according to education level. Despite the fact that Social Media were selected as one of the three most important information sources during “Evaluation of Alternatives stage”, results also indicated that when it comes to reviews and testimonials contained in Social Media, future students seem sceptical. Under this scope it should be pointed out that the findings of this study indicated that there exist significant differences between the sources preferred by different age groups during “Evaluation of Alternatives” stage. Overall, results indicate that university students prefer and trust digital marketing strategies while traditional marketing strategies seem to be of lower importance. Furthermore, there is an indication that the current pandemic Covid-19 pushed prospective students into deeper use and acceptance of the Internet.