Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pre-Social Media Marketing Plan & Strategy (Pharos University)

How marketing plans and strategies looked like before social media?
We decided to share one with you.
It was the marketing plan and strategy outline prepared for Pharos University in Alexandria 10 years ago by our social media manager when he applied to a marketing vacancy there.


The role of the private sector in the education field is one of the most important and critical roles. Simply, education deals with the future of the nation.

Here in Egypt, the incredible increase in population, the limited capacity of the public universities and the coordination office system raise the need for more high education institutions that could provide a high qualified education with reasonable price.


In order to set marketing plan outline, we should be aware of the benefits and advantages that we ‘Pharos University’ have. Neutrally, Pharos University has the following main characteristics:

Ø  Moral:
  • Non-profitable.
  • Board of Trustees: The board of trustees assures the seriousness of the university as an independent entity.
  • The experience of Ragab Group in the education domain: Pharos University is not the first educational project of Ragab Group. It had also been involved in successful projects such as Al-Reyadah School and the AIT.
  • The name of the head of Ragab Group: Mr.Mohammad Fathy Ragab is a well-known businessman. He is the chairman of the Egyptian Businessmen Association.

Emphasizing those points -which seem to be secondary items for a while-, is very important to attract the fathers to accept their son’s interest in PUA or to consider PUA among the different high-education institutions (academies, universities, or high institutions). Also, those points are important to attract the professors and teaching assistants to the university since they will serve the national education, not a single person.

Ø  Perceivable (Physical):
  • The professors: Attracting professors (either full or part time) from the reputable universities is very important. This helps the marketing team to explain the equity of the quality of PUA among other universities; hence the responsibility for excellence is the student’s task.
  • The facilities: Availability of workshops and laboratories is an important key element for the practical colleges (engineering and pharmacy).
  • The location: The strategic location of the PUA near the Alexandria center is an advantage for both visiting professors (8 minutes away from Sidi-Gaber station) and students.
  • The place of education: The wonderful design of the university’s campus helps the students to learn and communicate in a comfortable environment.
  • The education system: unlike the governmental universities, the credit hour system is much better. One of its advantages is the independent evaluation of the courses. Another advantage is the flexibility.
  • The practical training: The PUA responsibility of listing companies to allow students to be trained in the summer is a great advantage because it helps the students to understand the theoretical concepts.
  • The typical number of students in the class: The small number of students in the class helps them to understand effectively the lecture content. No need for private lessons.
  • Agreements with other international universities.
  • Availability of various specializations: Such as Islamic law, civil law, pharmacy and drug Manufacturing, and political economy.

Those characteristics must be highlighted and cleared in the marketing plans.


The marketing should target the following:
  • The Egyptian students:
This strip could be considered as the first marketer of PUA. Students who attend a university tell their experience to their friends and so the news is spread over the borders. We can divide this most important strip into two main categories on the basis on the country which the Thanaweyya Ammah was obtained from:
    • From Egypt (including IGCSE).
    • From other countries (mainly Gulf countries): This part of the Egyptian strip forms an important part of the audiences. The coordination office system usually does not allow those who got less than 97% to attend the ‘top colleges’.
  • The non-Egyptian students: While this part could be delayed for the time being since there is no housing at the PUA, we still can target this strip by allowing conversion of students from other universities in Egypt to PUA.
  • The professors: The suitable academic environment, the modern laboratories equipment, and the activities of the PUA students in the scientific events are all attractive points to the professors.
  • Others: includes the companies who would invest in the campus cafeteria, rent the service stores, etc.



  • To make the name ‘Pharos’ known for Alexandrian citizens, the nearby governorates, and the whole country. This might be done by publishing historical articles in the daily newspapers regarding ‘pharos’ and a sentence could be added “There is a private university currently in Alexandria named Pharos”. This way of indirect advertisement would be effective to practice the public’s ears to hear the name.
  • To propagandize the name and the address of PUA in roads, youth- concentration areas, clubs and main train stations.
  • To emphasize the main academic qualification characteristics of PUA.


  • To encourage the non-academic activities (both social and scientific). This done ONLY by encouraging the students themselves to work and do their best. For the electrical engineering department (as an example), a student branch of the world’s top engineering association (IEEE; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has to be established. The branch board consists of a chair, treasurer, and secretary who are all students working under the consultation of an active professor. Activities of such a branch (conferences and workshops organizing, teaching tutorials, etc) will benefit both the students (more self-independent, motivated, etc) and the university. Conferences mean to host guests (Engineers, managers, experts etc) at the PUA so its name and its students’ activities will be known widely not only locally but globally.
  • To attract the students outside Egypt (both Egyptians abroad and non-Egyptians) directly, by commercials and publicity in their countries.


  • To assist the graduates in job-hunting, so when numerous of graduates find a job, this will the most effective marketing for the university.


  • The university website: No one can ‘sell’ the university better than its facilities. The main audience (student) obtains his information nowadays mainly from the internet. So, we ‘PUA’ should design the website to have all the necessary information (supported with images and video clips).
  • TV ads: if we used to commercialize a television advertisement, we can target the student and his/her family. To do this in the effective time usually allowed for TV ads, I suggest showing Pharos University as ‘lifestyle’ and to insert the academic qualifications among that style. One of the ideas I shared is the following successive two scenes:
    • SCENES (1): phone call and Marwa’s room is well-arranged and few new and clean books are shown while Faridah’s one is disarranged and filled with photocopied books.
Marwa says to Faridah: I will go to the club to play tennis. Faridah replies: I’m sorry I can’t go with you, I have to attend strengthen groups in the college.
    • SCENE (2): summer season, on beach
Tamer says to Kareem: I will go tomorrow at 3 p.m to get my result; it should be listed in the college. Kareem replies: Ohh, results! I’ll check it now (he uses his laptop to get connected to the internet and the result appears). Then he (Kareem) says to Tamer: Oh my dear, I have to wake-up early to join the college-approved summer training course and then I’ll get you from the college to celebrate your examination pass.
  • Road Ads: It is very important to put advertisements on the main transport paths (i.e. Sidi Gaber, Corniche road and Cairo-Alex highway) and in the youth- concentration places (i.e. Green Plaza and Down Town).
  • Newspapers.
  • Sponsoring the scientific events and conferences.
  • Graduation Celebration: Inviting the society stars and the high-ranking officials to this event and publishing two-line report in the second page of Al-Ahram newspaper will serve our marketing objectives. All families of the students and their friends are keen to attend such an event.

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