Based out of Helsinki, Finland, Finnish Schools International is a new company that is aiming to bring the world-renowned Finnish School system to the rest of the world.
Most Promising New Markets and the Best Market Entry Mode
The most promising new markets are in Africa, mainly three nations. These nations are South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana. The economies of these countries have been rising, and the middle-upper class has been increasing as well. Just recently, Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, was selected as among the most developed cities in Africa. There are already several International Schools such as Cambridge in Kenya. In the country, education is highly valued, and people are not reluctant on paying for high-quality education.
There are several ways to enter international markets. You can manage the process by yourself, by selling directly from your country or by establishing yourself in the recipient country. Or, you can use an intermediary as an agent or a distributor (Lymbersky, 2008). Performing an implementation in the overseas market is usually the most costly way in time and money to get in, but the payoff may be worth it. Local regulations may restrict your options, but the three main ways to establish yourself abroad are to install (Cunningham, 2012):
A branch - lacks its legal personality, since it is not a separate and independent company, but consists of a branch office dependent on the parent company established in another territory
A subsidiary - is a new company with its legal personality, constituted in the target market and subject to the local business, labor, and fiscal rules
A joint venture, consisting of creating a new company with a local partner sharing ownership of it.
Other methods include: direct export, indirect export (with intervention of an intermediary who resells the product), establishment of alliances or cooperation agreements (with partners with who to share risks and benefits) and direct investment abroad. The most relevant aspects of these different forms of entry into new markets are described below.
This is the most viable option for Finnish International School.
Direct investment entails the creation of permanent establishments in markets that offer better business prospects for the company, through commercial delegations or subsidiaries. There may be different reasons for this implementation abroad: obtaining competitive advantages in factors of production (low production costs in emerging countries), proximity to the potential customer or the need for expansion of productive capacity.
Foreign direct investments are usually made when there is already a certain international trajectory (Cunningham, 2012). While for certain sectors (especially in the area of services) and projects of external expansion it may be appropriate to approach the new market through direct investment in it. In short, the characteristics and resources available to the company, as well as the risks that it is willing to manage, the degree of control sought in the implementation of the commercial strategy at destination or the configuration of the possible channels of commercialization of the products, will determine the modality of access to new markets. In any case, companies can opt for different patterns for penetration in different markets, within the same business internationalization strategy.
Direct and indirect export
This is mostly for goods and products and is not applicable to Finnish International School.
Direct export is a useful strategy in the early stages of internationalization since it allows a first contact with the target market without the need to undertake substantial investments. However, the main difficulties for its implementation are the location of potential clients, the control of the quality of the delivery service and post-sale, as well as the loyalty of new customers in some cases, among others.
On the other hand, in the indirect export, through intermediaries, these can be in charge of the selection of clients, the storage, and distribution of the product, the promotional actions, etc. Intermediaries can be importing companies established in the target market, and they are a very used figure in the strategies of access to new markets (Anderson and Coughlan, 2015). The success of this strategic modality lies in choosing the right distributor, in the relationships established with him and in his management capacity. Another type of intermediaries are the trading companies, specialized in markets of more difficult access or of high risk and that cover all the international operative.
The establishment of alliances or cooperation agreements
If the company chooses to formalize a strategic alliance with a local partner, it must confirm the existence of complementarities that support sustainable collaboration. The significant advantage of having a local partner is to cover specific shortcomings that the company may have to operate in the target market, on which the partner will have a broad knowledge.
Different types of cooperation agreements can be established. Joint ventures in the country of destination (which will be a direct investment, see below) are also common. In some cases, it is the most favorable way to overcome certain obstacles to trade and direct investment through the creation of subsidiaries with 100% foreign capital.
Finnish Promotion and Marketing Strategy for the proposed new market
Educational marketing is different and requires special treatment. Marketing strategies for educational institutions should be oriented towards the person, their aspirations and deepest insights. It is important that Finnish ensures that their vision and mission are more human and less business, although they are, their existence is based on the idea of promoting the growth of people through the transmission of knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
An Educational Institution must take care of its corporate image and its reputation in greater detail, which is why it is so important that it is based on the reputation of the media in which it is promoted, its seriousness and the values of all the companies to which it is related (Keegan, 2009). Getting the classrooms filled with students is one of the goals of Finnish schools. Increasingly, institutions are aware of the need to devise strategies to achieve more student-clients, as well as to encourage those who are studying or have already completed some training.
Strategic Marketing Planning
After planning for the school as a whole, management requires drawing up plans for each crucial functional area including Marketing. Strategic marketing planning is a five-step process:
Carry out an analysis of the situation.
Set marketing goals.
Determine positioning and differential advantage.
Choose market targets and measure market demand.
Design a strategic mix of Marketing.
Analysis of the situation:
This is the first step in strategic planning that involves examining where the school's marketing program has been, how it has worked and what it is likely to face in the years to come. This allows management to determine whether it is necessary to review old plans or design new ones to achieve the school's objectives. The analysis of the situation usually covers forces of the external environment and internal resources. In addition to the consumer groups that serve the school.
The next step in strategic marketing planning is to determine the goals. The goal of marketing should always be closely related to the goals and strategies of the school. For example, to achieve an organizational goal of an investment recovery, an organizational strategy would increase the efficiency of marketing.
Positioning and differential advantage:
This includes two complementary decisions: how to position the school in the market and how to distinguish it from its competitors. The positioning as we know best refers to the image of the school about the competing schools. After positioning the school, Finnish will have to find a viable differential advantage (Cunningham, 2012). The differential advantage refers to any characteristic of an organization or brand that consumers perceive desirable and different than the competition.
Target market and market demand:
Because schools or companies cannot satisfy every segment with different needs, it is wise to focus on one or a few segments. A target market is the group of people or organizations to which the company runs its marketing program, for Finnish, it is students. To select these markets, Finnish must forecast the demand, that is, the sales in the market segments that look promising.
To analyze the opportunities, the management must design a marketing mix, which is the combination of numerous aspects of the following four elements: product (education), how it is distributed, how it is promoted, what is the price (Cunningham, 2012). This is intended to please the target market (students) and equally necessary to meet the marketing objectives of the organization.
Annual Marketing Planning:
Apart from strategic planning for several years, more detailed and short-term planning is also vital. The development of the annual plan follows strategic planning. An annual marketing plan is the detailed program of action of the marketing activities in the year by a specific division of the company or important product. A yearly plan pays more attention to tactical details than other levels of planning.
Purpose and responsibilities of this plan:
Outline the strategy and marketing tactics with which you will achieve the concrete objectives the following year.
Point out what needs to be done concerning other administrative process steps.
It outlines who is responsible for what activities, when to do them and how much time and money can be spent.
Select models of planning:
There are several models that have been designed to help strategic planning. Most of these models can be applied in strategic planning of the new school as well as strategic marketing planning.
Matrix of market growth
Market penetration: A company tries to sell more of its current products to its current markets. Support tactics are spending more on advertising or personal sales.
Market development: a company continues to sell its current products but to a new market. Companies that rely heavily on a few clients usually undertake market development to distribute the risk.
Product development: A company creates new products to be sold in the current market. These moves are intended to better satisfy existing customers and generate more revenue from them.
Diversification: the process by which a company starts to offer new products and enters new markets, through corporate acquisitions or directly investing in new businesses.
Finnish will apply the matrix of market growth to penetrate their market fully.
An Effective Marketing Strategy for Finnish International School
Communication: Communication should not only serve to show the offer, but it is also necessary to explain the project of the center, to highlight the differential aspects and added value, to help to understand the training offer and that the client likes. Attending training should be a rewarding and, above all, user experience that is why the advice to students that facilitates the conscious choice of a course is basic and contributes to the quality of the center and improve its image.
"Happy experience" between center and student: In this aspect honesty is essential. The students' satisfaction with the course and how it is adapted to their needs is fundamental for the student and the center. If the marketing actions attract students who leave the course quickly, or who attends but does not meet t...
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