As competition grows among private schools, colleges and universities, they are using research to effectively compete for the high achieving academic and athletic students that will attract attention and, as importantly, attract funding from private sources and foundations.
For years we have developed studies to address recruitment, value-added services, curriculum and fund raising needs. Reliable data and actionable conclusions have allowed education clients to minimize risk, and at the same time select new ways of raising the bar competitively.
A large part of our business is answering critical questions and providing actionable direction. Here are some of the questions Shugoll Research has helped our Education clients answer over the years:
Shugoll Research begins to answer this question by first determining the school’s current image. We use a combination of qualitative and quantitative interviews with guidance counselors, students, applicants and parents in making this assessment. Analysis of results defines the school’s competitive position and profiles its ideal applicant pool.
The results are then used to develop optimal strategic positions and marketing or recruitment messages. These are tested qualitatively with target audiences for accuracy of message execution and believability, often using our AdBeat process.
Our two-phase approach has helped many educational institutions redefine themselves, provide communications to surround a name change and successfully pursue a broader pool of applicants. Follow-up testing then monitors how perceptions have changed over time in keeping with the direction of the new positioning strategy.
Shugoll Research is highly experienced at forecasting demand for new course offerings and educational delivery systems. Using our proprietary Product Opportunity Forecaster, we examine the critical elements as well as the value-added features that drive preference. Potential enrollees are asked to rate the relative appeal of different product profiles and conjoint analysis is used to determine the optimal product offerings. Separate questions are used to identify subjects of greatest appeal, acceptable time and location parameters, the optimal mix of learning methods and vehicles, and the appropriate use of technology.
This method has been used to help refine satellite-based classroom programs, Internet-based self-paced courses and hybrid classes using a combination of in-class teachers and remote professors.
Shugoll Research has segmented and tested different advertising approaches with alumni. We’ve counseled our clients on contributor motivators, emotional drivers and creative execution of the advertising. Our experienced moderators, using our proprietary AdBeat process, evaluate different strategies and executions.
Using a combination of mail-back surveys with students, parents, teachers and administrators and telephone surveys with general taxpayers and community leaders, Shugoll Research has taken the pulse of a school district on both its satisfaction with current procedures and its reactions to possible new directions. As part of the survey, each group prioritizes the importance of various issues and indicates its level of support for possible changes in policy. The survey is conducted prior to any new actions and repeated periodically to assess satisfaction with changes made and attitudes towards future plans.
This process has been applied in large scale (thousands of surveys) to gain political support for a new agenda, especially when a new superintendent or school board head is hired. It is also an effective means of determining the perceived value of educational policies and to identify which segments require outreach to bring them in line with the general consensus.
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