Melbourne University has identified a segment of the potential student market that needs to be explored in more depth to ensure we are accessing this segment effectively. This segment is categorised as 21 plus, and traditionally called “the mature age market”. This market is made up of a variety of sub segments some of which are parents, part time workers, those seeking a career change, and professionals already skilled to a particular level. The 21 plus segment is spread across a multitude of marketing channels and we need to better understand this market and determine the best channels to effectively market to this segment.

• Preferred demographic 21 – 45 yrs
• What was the students perception of the university upon application to study versus their perception now (for those who are enrolled)

• A clear understanding of the marketing channels they accessed that influenced the students decision to choose the university i.e an advertisement that they noticed on facebook created an awareness however the university website and talking to a recruitment advisor convinced the student they were making the right decision.

• What determines a good educational experience for this market.. I.E networks they meet while studying, flexible arrangements etc..

• How could their educational experience be improved

Research Proposal Suggested FormatØ

The research proposal must follow the following format and should include the 2 components stated here:

(a) Research proposal:
• A statement of the marketing problem: broad statement of the problem.
• A summary of the background to the marketing problem along with an outline of the research questions that will indicate what issues need to be investigated. (Information to be collected through exploratory research and from secondary sources and it should be linked with your proposed study.)
• References from literary resources to substantiate problem solution.
• Justifications for the study. (Why primary data collection is necessary and how it will benefit the management decision-making process.)
• Research Plan (Schedule for completion of each stage of the research process & estimation of the costs involved).
• The nature and scope of the research: specific components of the problem. (Purpose/objectives of the study is to be clearly specified. The set objectives are to be accomplishable within the scope of this research).
• Formulation of relevant hypotheses, if any.
• The method of data collection (e.g. specify the survey methods to be used for data collection).

(b) Development of a questionnaire for the research:
This must be included as an appendix to the research proposal. The following elements are to be taken into consideration while designing the questionnaire:

1. The general rules of the questionnaire design process and its composition.
2. Specific components of the problem, i.e. the objectives of the study, the research questions and the hypotheses that have been formulated.
3. The structure, precise wording and layout of the questionnaire.
4. The time limits that may restrict the number and length of any interview.
5. The capabilities of your respondent to understand and answer your questions and provide the responses you require.
6. The pre-coding requirements of the analysis package you will be using.

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