This export plan is proposed for entry of Children’s Engagement Lifelong Learning (CELL) into the United Kingdom’s youth learning software market. Successful execution of the plan will result in CELL’s insertion of its products into the UK and establishment of its first international exportation of youth learning software.
CELL’s strategy calls for continued corporate growth by increasing market share and revenue over the next five years. In line with statistics of domestic market saturation, United States sales of CELL’s youth learning software has declined and the division has become the laggard within the company’s portfolio of youth and young adult learning software. Leveraging a significant cash position which the company has carefully built during its last 12 years of profitable operation CELL intends to expand internationally. This marketing plan provides a method to diversify CELL’s income with export into an international market and establish itself into a country whose citizens have not yet had the opportunity to use CELL’s products.In line with CELL’s corporate strategy of profit growth through diversified sales regions and product portfolios, CELL must start promoting its products abroad as few gains remain for youth software in the U.S. While CELL offers several learning software platforms covering a variety of demographics, this plan focuses on youth and young adult math and science learning software. The rationale for selection of both the product and the market is due to the typically faster growth exhibited by learning software catered for youth in the respective subjects while entry into the UK minimizes potential cultural and regulatory hurdles while providing an entry point into the broader European market going forward.
The UK market for software is smaller than that of the U.S. and has similar saturation attributes. However, it is believed that the unique product differentiation strategy and marketing mix will highlight CELL’s offerings and provide a new source of revenue for the company in spite of these threats to meet the strategic demands on the company. Though the U.K. market is fairly saturated, the CELL software suite is unique in several ways and, if properly marketed, will overtake the share of many competitors in the region.
This export plan will challenge the current leaders of market share in the UK for youth and young adult learning software in the subjects of math and science in order to better diversify CELL’s revenue streams and provide a foothold into the European market. CELL has been a pioneer since 1996 in the e-learning sector catering to primary, secondary and post-secondary school age children and young adults. CELL was founded on a belief that the digital age could improve lives through education brought to the user via a computer and that belief has become its mission. CELL has been committed throughout its history to creating premier learning software which has evolved over the years starting with CD-ROM based products.
Today, the company offers a portfolio of standalone software products offering heuristic learning approaches and which do not require internet access but instead are augmented by the internet when it is available. Further, the company offers live tutoring, either over the phone or internet, for any user with an active license. Approximately 65% of the company revenue is provided by one-time purchasers of the standalone software while the remaining 35% is derived from ongoing license renewal primarily from learning institutions who provide their students with restricted access to the software. The products have received numerous levels of praise and commendation within the U.S. marketplace and particularly in academic circles where teachers praise the software’s ability to guide the student regardless of propensity to becoming ‘stuck’ on a topic or problem due to live available support and the heuristic learning models. The children and young adult-oriented math and science software carries these same broad attributes and will be differentiated as such in the U.K. market.
The business environment is favorable as the 2016 “smart education and learning” market was valued at $193 billion and is anticipated to expand annually at 24.8% and projected to reach $586 billion by 2021. (CITE marketandmarkets) Further, CELL maintains a large ‘moat’ with a trifecta of stellar practices. First, by nature of its large cash position, it has the resources to comfortably enter a new market and can sustain the loss in the case of failure without undermining the company’s core revenue streams. Second, with a long history of providing outstanding software which is regularly updated, non-internet dependent and well respected by educators and trusted by parents, CELL brings a reputation few companies will match. And, finally, through its unique coding which provides heuristic learning that is internet agnostic; two attributes that are not easily replicated by the competition while CELL has been perfecting this technology over the last decade.
By comparison, competition in the U.K. market has fixated on iterative development and releases providing only minor curriculum updates and predominantly updating marketing materials. As the European Union and the United Kingdom are established trading partners with the U.S., and because the product is available online, import/export regulation, logistics channels and tariffs will be amenable to CELL’s desires and will not be overly difficult to execute once properly planned. Though we are adept at U.S. marketing, in order to assist with planning and execution, the company will need to hire a European marketing consultancy as no such capability currently exists within CELL. CELL will also require information technology infrastructure support within the U.K. or Western Europe to host its online platform.
MARKET ENVIRONMENTS ANALYSIS AND MARKET SCREENING CRITERIA
The political environment of the United Kingdom is characterized as a parliamentary constitutional monarchy constituting of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The head of the state is Queen Elizabeth II. The prime minister Theresa May is the head of the two-house government consisting of an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords. In 2016, the Britons voted to leave the European Union in a referendum (BBC News, 2017). This is commonly referred to as Brexit.
Brexit has also affected the economic environment of the United Kingdom. Although economic growth stayed strong in 2016, it is expected to weaken in 2017 and 2018 due to decreased business investments and slower growth in private consumption (European Commission, 2017). In the last years, the economy has grown mainly due to domestic demand and employment, although net exports have been weak, and productivity stayed 27%. Inflation has also grown since the referendum in summer 2016. According to a recent study, Brexit is already costing the average person about £404 a year and the growth of real wages has decreased (BBC News 2017). This means that the standard of living has decreased due to Brexit. This may have an effect on the buying power of the Britons. However, the United Kingdom is still a strong economy and is a part of the G8 countries. Even though the UK was the first industrialized country in the world, the economy is currently mainly based on service industries (BBC News, 2017). The financial industry in London is one of the main contributors. The economic crisis that hit Europe in 2008 has also affected the United Kingdom and resulted in a high public debt. In consequence, there have been great cuts in welfare, government services, and the military.
By providing an online learning platform, many political, legal, and regulatory factors will not apply as they would to hard goods. Digital software experiences only minor limits geographically speaking. One key consideration is online copywriting compliance. A careful review of an organization’s copyright policies or use rights policies as all material on the web is potentially protected by copyright laws will be required. This includes pictures, sound clips, written documents, etc. The UK Copyright Licensing Agency’s License for HE permits us to digitize extracts from UK and most US published (printed) materials. These extracts can be digitized for a specific course of study. However certain limits apply to how much can be copied. Course designers are reminded of the necessity of obtaining copyright permission for any third-party material before they make their course available to students. Using copyrighted material without the permission of the owner is an offence under UK law.
As the availability of electronic resources of all kinds continues to grow, there is a need for copyright provisions and licensing to ensure that it is possible to use and exploit them, using the technologies already available, without causing detriment to copyright holders, authors and publishers. Alongside consideration of license models already available and the needs of end-users, publishers, librarians and aggregators, our company will look at different types of e-resource and will consider the current and future impact of copyright and licensing. Examples are drawn from the perspective of higher educations, although some of the principles will transfer easily to other sectors. We consider the risk of infringement extremely low given our proprietary software and course verbiage, however a thorough review of all materials for release in the U.K. market will be conducted to mitigate any lingering risk.
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL
The Royal Society’s third ‘state of the nation’ report surveys key indicators of the health of 5–14 science and mathematics education across the United Kingdom, and identiﬁes some critical areas that require urgent attention if we are to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality education in these subjects. During the children’s formative primary and early secondary years of education they are most receptive to experience and developing an understanding about the world around them. It is at this stage, too, where a bad or poor educational experience may easily change their fragile perceptions and could turn them off any subject, possibly well into adulthood or beyond. (CITE) While there have been some positive developments in 5–14 education over the past decade, in particular the creation in England of a meaningful infrastructure for providing teachers with continuing professional development (CPD) in science and mathematics, the evidence presented in the main report gives rise to some serious concerns.
These may be categorized as follows
Teachers: There is a very small number of primary teachers with signiﬁcant backgrounds in science or mathematics, and poorly deﬁned recruitment strategies for remedying this situation.
CPD Funding: The vital role being played by the major providers of science and mathematics CPD in the UK needs to be developed further but is jeopardized by funding concerns.
Assessment System: This has likely contributed to large proportions of young people being ‘switched off’ science and mathematics and hastened the departure of many teachers from the profession.
Policy Making: This has been inadequately informed because of issues with data collection and insufﬁcient consideration of research evidence.
Teachers are the most important factor in determining the quality of education children receive and their attainment. However, teaching specialism in science and mathematics is not generally recorded across the UK, due to the fact that primary teachers are expected to teach all subjects in the curriculum. It is the Society’s view that this situation needs to change if children are going to be given the best possible start in these subjects. (CITE) The ﬁndings of academic research show that primary teachers lack conﬁdence in teaching science and mathematics, and that children are being ‘switched off’ these subjects at secondary school, quite probably because of inadequacies in conceptual understanding that become exposed in post-primary education.
These ﬁndings indicate that the attainment trends, which show that children perform comparatively well in assessments in these subjects, are misleading. Historically, recognition of the value of science or mathematics ‘coordinators’ or ‘leaders’ has ﬂuctuated over time in accordance with transient funding initiatives, and the people fulﬁlling these roles have often not had strong educational backgrounds in these subjects. A rigorous approach to improving the quality of science and mathematics teaching and learning is needed across primary and early secondary education. (CITE, ROYAL) It is evident that some very careful consideration needs to be given to working out how the population can access the best possible teaching across all areas of the curriculum.
The increasing prevalence of new technologies in our daily lives has affected most socio-economic activities. This is partly because over the past decade, electronic learning resources (e-learning) systems have drastically changed our culture, methods of retrieving information, commerce and learning experiences. Thus, most relatively affected areas include commerce and industry and manufacturing process along with social and education systems.