Marketing Online Education Programs: Frameworks for Promotion and Communication
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Marketing Online Education Programs: Frameworks for Promotion and Communication

Ugur Demiray (Anadolu University, Turkey) and Serdar Sever (Anadolu University, Turkey)
Release Date: May, 2011|Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 462
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-074-7
ISBN13: 9781609600747|ISBN10: 1609600746|EISBN13: 9781609600761
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Description & Coverage

Enormous developments in the IT field and the ease in access to online resources have led to major advancements in online education. The marketing of this education is a controversial issue and the opinions on the significance of the educational institution as a product, and the students as the customers, remains arguable.Marketing Online Education Programs: Frameworks for Promotion and Communication provides relevant theoretical frameworks and the latest empirical research findings in this field. Teachers are adopting new technologies in their instructional strategies, be it for course design, development or delivery. The field of distance and online education is experiencing continuing growth. Marketing for distance and online learning environments faces a number of challenges in the form of delivering what these environments are promising, how to find the right information, regular updating of the courses and not to forget the effective user interaction with the course developers and peers. This book provides an integrated marketing communications perspective to communication and promotion issues of online programs.


The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Building corporate identity for educational institutions
  • Cultural and regional issues in educational product development
  • Defining the role of online education in today’s world
  • Individualization of open educational services
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Measuring the impact of educational promotions
  • New customers and new demands
  • Open and Distance education
  • Reputation issues in online education
  • Sustainable communication before, during and after enrollment
Reviews and Testimonials

The book embraces the controversies of marketing online education with topics that include building corporate identities for educational institutions, addressing cultural and regional issues in educational product development, establishing a customer orientation, measuring the impact of educational promotions, confronting reputation issues in online education, and communicating with learners before and after enrollment.

– Constance E. Wanstreet, The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, USA
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Editor Biographies
Ugur Demiray received his BA in Media Studies from Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey. He also received his Ph.D from Anadolu University's Social Sciences Graduate Institution, Department of Educational Communication. He is currently working for the Anadolu University. His research in distance education is applied at Anadolu University, the Ministry of Education, and by other universities in Turkey. He is interested in changing ethical behaviors around the world by inserting technological developments to the educational field, especially within distance education applications, for 3 years. He is also interested in the profile of DE students and the relationship between graduates and the job market. He has extensive experience in publishing articles on the topic of distance education, including articles within Anadolu University's Turkish Online Journal for Distance Education (TOJDE).

He is also an editor, consultant editor reviewer and book reviewer for more than 10 journals which deal with distance education, educational technology and on education fields around the world, such as Quarterly Review of Distance Education (QRDE), Editor, Association for Educational Communication and Technology, Information Age Publishing, Miami, USA; The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology (TOJET), Editor, Sakarya Universitesi, Turkey; Universite ve Toplum, Editor, Ankara, Turkey; Open Education-The Journal for Open and Distance Education and Educational Technology, Editor, Hellenic Network of Open and Distance Education, Greece; S n rs z Ö renme Dergisi [Journal of Learning Witout Frontiers], Turkey; The e-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology (e-JIST), Editor, University of Southern Queensland; Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development, Central Queensland University, Australia; The International Journal of Education and Development Using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), The University of the West Indies, West Indies; Malaysian Online Journal of Instructional Technology (MOJIT), Editor, Malaysian Educational Technology Association (META), Malaysia; Anadolu Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi [Anadolu University Journal of Social Sciences], Anadolu University; EGITIM ARASTIRMALARI DERGISI (Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, EJER), Turkey; Education and Progress eJournal-EPeJ, Associate Editor,, Syria; Educational Research and Reviews, Associate Editor,; Ilorin Journal of Education, University of Ilorin, Conusulting Editor, In addition, he has responsibilities on Advisory, Scientific Board and Referee on conferences, symposiums and panels. He has co-authored and individually contributed chapters in some Turkish and international books too.

N. Serdar Sever is an Assistant Professor of Marketing Communications at Anadolu University, Turkey. His areas of research include integrated marketing communications, social networking, ambush marketing, and word of mouth. He published books and international based articles about marketing and marketing communications, and presented various works at a range of international and national conferences. He taught marketing communication courses in Australia, and Asia Pacific Rim.
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Santosh PANDA
Professor of Distance Education at the Staff Training & Research Institute, Indira Gandhi National Open University, INDIA

Distance and online learning (DOL), especially in the developing countries, has been at the forefront of education and training in respect of access and equity, reforms in pedagogy, organization and management, and ICT applications and automation of educational practices. However, in reality, DOL (particularly the traditional distance education delivery) has been pitted against the classroom/campus based teaching-learning delivery for long.

This therefore calls for the DOL to adopt aggressive promotional strategies. What an objective promotional system needs to do is, on one hand, to dispel this uneven competition and put up the strategic role of DOL in providing access and equity in education and training, but also on the other hand to strive towards convergence of systems/technologies/strategies/methods/procedures, and promote blended learning.

Not many DOL institutions conduct SWOT analysis based on their vision and mission. While SWOT, which includes promotional and marketing strategies, will initially contribute to institutional growth, it requires for any promotional systems to significantly contribute to long-term and sustainable institutional growth to adopt a holistic planning initiative (Haughey, 2003; Panda, 2009).

Wide scale marketing for DOL is expected to provide lifelong learners a wide basket of choices in respect of what to study, when to study, and with what delivery combinations. In comparison to the established conventional system of education and training, DOL has long been at a disadvantage due partly to institutional bipartisan approach itself (especially in the dual-mode institutions) and partly to lack of awareness among and promotional strategies and skills by the DOL practitioners.

Marketing to a greater extent has been the stronghold of the conventional campus-based education/training/extension. It requires concerted efforts to extend this to DOL and devise differentially appropriate strategies and mechanisms to bring DOL at par, as also to make it reach an array of stakeholders.

While a combination of strategies towards marketing and promotion is essential, the whole paradigm is based on quality assurance, and, therefore, the pedagogic dimensions of DOL shall largely determine the success of any marketing/promotion strategy.

Social technologies and social networks provide immense opportunities and platforms to promote/market any genuinely quality programme–whether campus based, distance learning, online, or blended. In a networked community of practitioners, what is crucial is a strict peer review of what is being promoted.

It has been argued that relationship marketing (RM) (Shaik, 2005; Helgesen, 2008) is of great significance to distance and online education. This can be addressed from the point of view of development of sustainable strategies towards creation of need based student values. Since DOL is concerned heavily with lifelong learning, it is imperative that graduate loyalty is maintained towards continuing education/professional development and lifelong learning.

Conceptual frameworks and research modeling need to be developed to address this issue in a continuum ranging from promotion and recruitment, through successful completion, to relationship marketing. Marketing here though should not be viewed from the perspective of any market, rather from the viewpoint of lifelong learning. Such relationship management may extend to include a host of target audiences beyond the students (Yilmaz, 2005), and involve a host of technological applications/

It is of crucial importance, if DOL is based on learner-centric models, that student satisfaction surveys are undertaken continuously, the results are put in the institutional public domain, and that the survey results are formatively built into institutional decision-making.

A part of student satisfaction and relationship management is survey of job market and the first destination of graduates. This kind of marketing research provides valuable information on reorienting the curricular programmes, courses and knowledge-skill strategies to suit both the graduates and the employers. However, an extension of such a strategy may include marketing and promotion of non-market oriented educational programmes and resources which are crucial to community, socio-economic, and national development.

In most countries, resources deployed for education and training are generally limited (or less) compared to other sectors of national investment. In most of the instances, distance education is allocated less, and the distance teaching institutions are required to generate most of their resources on their own. Economy of scale and unit cost therefore assume greater significance to DOL (Rumble, 1997; Bramble & Panda, 2008).

Marketing of distance education shall not only contribute to economy of scale but also attract additional resources through outsourcing, research grants, endowments, philanthropic donations, collaboration and networking. Mega universities (Daniel, 1996) and mega schools (Daniel, 2010) today need to work hard constantly and consciously to address this issue vis-à-vis technology and quality.

It is imperative that a comprehensive status analysis of the strategies and results of marketing in DOL is undertaken internationally so as to inform decision-makers/leaders, teachers and programme developers, online facilitators, and a host of allied practitioners and stakeholders in revisiting what is prescribed as good. This encompasses a wide range of DOL practicescourses and programmes, technologies, procedures, benchmarks, and best practices for graduates and alumni, teachers, and allied functionaries. The present volume is a welcome addition to this initiative.


Bramble, W., & Panda, S. (2008). Economics of distance and online learning. New York, NY: Routledge.

Daniel, J. (1996). Mega-universities and knowledge media.  London, UK: Routledge.  

Daniel, J. (2010). Mega-schools, technology and teachers.  London, UK: Routledge.  

Demiray, U., & Server, S. (2008). Marketing strategies in open distance learning and education. Proceedings IETC, May 6-8, Eskisehir, Turkey.  

Haughey, M. (2003). Planning for open and flexible learning. In S. Panda (Ed.), Planning and management in distance education. London, UK: Routledge.

Helgesen, O. (2008). Marketing for higher education: A relationship marketing approach. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 18(1), 50-56.

Panda, S. (2009). Strategic planning and distance education. In T. Evans, M. Haughey & D. Murphy (Eds.), International handbook of distance education. London, UK: Emerald.  

Rumble, G. (1997). The costs and economics of open and distance learning. London, UK: Routledge.

Shaik, N. (2005). Marketing distance learning programs and courses: A relationship marketing strategy. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 8(2).

Yilmaz, R. A. (2005). Using of marketing communication for distance education institutions. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 6(2).