Sunday, June 1, 2014

Using Online Marketing to Enhance Military Educational Institutions

The Internet provides opportunities for military development as well as higher education advancement. The researchers Minculete & Chisega-Negrila (2014) conducted a case study of a military academy within the military higher education to determine how technology and marketing is being adapted for greater learning. Their work moves into the nature of online commerce and how virtual learning is improving the system in accordance with NATO standard requirements. 

All academies and colleges must market their offerings in order to attract new students. Marketing strategies of military academies is cyclical in the sense that it collects and shares information to use in their planning and adjustment processes to reach target markets. The same process can be applied to colleges in general that use technology to enhance their product quality and reach. 

The standard approach is for academies to provide information regarding an institutions history, mission, policies, and the products or services they offer (Close, 2012). The website becomes an information tool that displays information in hopes that passive search visitors will frequent the site. The sources of informational power can be enhanced to gain information and adjust processes at a higher level.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a primary marketing method that rests on three broad aspects that include the search spider that crawls information from websites, the search software on the user’s computer, and the directories that categorize websites for recall. The process works a little like the human brain and is designed thus based upon psychological principles. 

There are a number of marketing methods that include:

Search Engine Marketing: The method of data collection, search software, and categorization of information. This is the bones behind the Internet.

Email Marketing: The collection of emails and dissemination of information using this medium. 

Viral Marketing: Creating content that users will willingly pass onto their social networks. 

Affiliated Marketing: Displaying a company’s banner and advertisements on sites for additional revenue. Most people know this as Google Adwords and similar type programs. 

Internet Advertising: The process of creating advertisements and purchasing places and locations in high traffic areas and sites. 

Web-logs: The use of blogs to create content that draws search engine and user interest. 

Social Networks: The social media networks that try and engage physical and virtual communities. 

Online Reputation Management: The use of reputation management to ensure one’s online image is strong. 

Mobile Internet: Using personal products, cell phones, tablets, etc… to reach customers. This is common in the applications and music download industry. Newer technology includes streaming. 

Web Communities: Marketing within chat rooms and forums. 

Webcasting: Creating videos and other advertisements that can be posted on Youtube and other areas to draw interest. 

According to the authors the use of online media sources is a major component of drawing in new interest to the military academy. The same process can be applied to higher education in general. They recommend that institutions 1.) create an efficient webpage; 2.) optimize the site; 3.) promote educational programs and their results; 4.) chronically analyze the site for improvements; 5) promote the institution through online mediums; and, 6.) create interactivity between the institution, current students, potential students, and stakeholders. The process of building stronger marketing programs using the Internet has the potential to raise the strength and value of not only online education but also its public interest.

Close, A. (2012). Online consumer behavior. Theory and Research in Social Media, Advertising and E-Tail. Editura Taylor & Francis Gropu, NY.

Minculete, G. & Chisega-Negrila, M. (2014). Online marketing. Challenges and opportunities for the military higher education. Journal of Defense Resources Management, 4 (2).

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