Marketing Communication Strategy for a Science Park
Abstract: Background: World economy of the 21st century places high demands on national economic systems. Governments implement various initiatives to enable a more effective cooperation between universities and industries in order to increase competitiveness of their economies. Science Parks represent one type of such initiatives. It is assumed that they support regional economic growth by means of technology transfer from university to industry. Science Parks usually incorporate incubation programs, which enable creation of NTBFs by university staff and students. Science Parks have to ensure its organizational development by providing paid services, especially in form of incubator program. Therefore, Science Parks are regarded in our research as service companies. In order to enable creation of NTBFs Science Parks have to be able to attract talented researchers and students. In our research, we focus on students and consider them as potential customers for Science Parks. Previous research focusing on the problem of students’ attraction to these organizations is scarce. We implement marketing communication theory to address the problem of students’ attraction to Science Parks. Aim: Our research is set to identify content for a marketing communication strategy of a science park, which considers students as potential customers. Theoretical background/Methodology: In order to fulfill the aim of the research we implement case study strategy. We collected primary and secondary data. The case organization is presented by Dalarna Science Park (located in Borlänge, Sweden), where we collected secondary data. It was incorporated in our research as handout materials that enabled Focus Group discussions. Focus groups with students from Dalarna University presented the source of primary data. Question guideline for focus groups was based on principles of marketing communication theory, which we used as the primary theory of the research. Conclusions: Results indicate that students regard business incubator services of a Science Park as useful for those who have business ideas. It can be considered as positive prerequisite for a marketing communication strategy. In order to attract students with ideas of starting own ventures, a Science Park should engage students into various events, such as workshops, discussions and seminars. The organization should constantly inform students about its nature and activities and create an image of a young successful entrepreneur, which students are attracted to. For this purpose a Science Park can use Internet as means of both spreading its messages to students and enabling WOM recommendations among them.
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