The aim of the article. The paper’s objective is to improve and further develop scientific aspects in study of consumer behavior in the field of education. The results of the analysis. The paper covers four stages of formation and development of such a science as Consumer Behavior starting from odd philosophical trends in middle ages and ending with emergence of an independent science in mid 1950-s. The author offers methods for assessment of consumer behavior in the field of education based on three-level behavioral response model. A system of indications for assessment of consumer response in the field of education has been developed. To assess level of awareness with regard to choosing marketing as one’s major, a survey of opinion of schoolchildren and their parents has been performed. It turned out that most schoolchildren knew next to nothing about marketing or thought it was something connected with advertizing only. Their parents, on the contrary, understand the essence of marketing fairly well and associate marketing with customer attraction, product distribution, advertizing and prediction of sales volume. The factors affecting the choice of an educational institution have been determined separately for schoolchildren and their parents. Using correlation coefficient, it was determined that entrants and their parents base their choice of an institution of higher education on similar factors. The amount of money, which parents are ready to pay for education of their child in the institution of higher education, was estimated. The author has also analyzed response of the Odessa National Economic University to advertising, opinion on the type of educational institution (specialized or non-specialized) and influence of reference groups on the choice of educational institution. The following main target segments of consumers have been identified: consumers concerned with the image of the institution of the higher education; consumers interested in obtaining a higher education diploma in any major, and consumers eager to obtain creative education. Students of the Odessa National Economic University have been polled, and their level of satisfaction with educational process has been assessed according to the following criteria: methodological material, applied marketing programs, lecturing techniques, seminar techniques, practical training base. According to the polling results satisfaction/importance matrix has been created. It turned out that the analyzed parameters were found in zone 1, where the satisfaction/importance correlation was over 1. It was analyzed whether students’ expectations were met upon entrance to the institution of higher education, and it was determined that expectations of 75% of respondents did come true. One of the reasons of unmet expectations is that the main specialized subjects are studied in the 4th year. That is why many students are dissatisfied because they do not understand why they should study humanities and general economic subjects. Thus, a phenomenon of students’ “inaccurate” expectations occurs, since they wish to obtain education in marketing only through study of marketing subjects. Conclusions and directions of further researches. The author suggests ways of increasing the entrants’ awareness level and students’ satisfaction level, including creation of a website for the marketing department with separate sections for entrants and students. Further research shall involve comparative analysis of certain measurements of consumer behavioral response to marketing techniques of various institutions of higher education in Odessa.
Keywords: marketing, consumer behavior, marketing research, target segments, educational services
JEL Classification: D12, I21.
Cite as: Zharska, I. (2014). Methodological principles for study of consumer behavior in the sphere of education. Marketing and Management of Innovations, 2, 81-94. https://doi.org/10.21272/mmi.2014.2-07
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