Winning Competition through the Management of Word of Mouth Viral Marketing, and Brand Equtiy on Private Universities
There are approximately 3.300 universities in Indonesia, which consists of 3.200 private universities and 100 public universities. The growth of private universities was 8 percent annually, or an average of 200 universities per year. The rapid development of private universities results in increasingly competitive competition in acquiring new students. In higher education industries, winning the competition means that the high school graduates choose selected universities to continue their studies. Brand equity is one of the important concept in brand management because strong brand equity will make their brand chosen by its prospective customers. In contrast to general companies which use marketing mix variables as a source of brand equity, universities have a wide variety of targets. So the role of personal communication is very important to validate a university brand. Other forms of personal communications are words of mouth communications (WOM) and communication through the internet media (viral marketing). This research aims to understand the effects of WOM, viral marketing, and brand equity of private universities on decision to choose private universities. Data in the forms of brand equity variables, WOM variables, viral marketing variables, and decision to choose variables are obtained from the questionnaires. The number of samples taken is as many as 750 from high school students in Jakarta and Tangerang. The selected private universities are Mercu Buana University, Trisakti, Bina Nusantara, Gunadarma, Budi Luhur, and Esa Unggul. The data are statistically processed by the method of structural equation modeling (SEM) using SPSS and AMOS. The results of this research indicate that the decision to choose is influenced by brand equity and WOM, while the brand equity is significantly influenced by WOM communications and viral marketing. Viral marketing do not significantly influence the decision to choose, it influence to decision to choose through brand equity. So, private universities should be able to build strong brand equity through positive WOM and viral marketing. The success of managing both WOM and viral marketing can be used as an advantage to win the competition among private universities.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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