I am sure you may have heard me mention (just once or twice!) that good market research is essential for schools. By determining families’ wants and needs you can target your advertising and marketing and ensure that you meet (and even exceed) their expectations continually fuelling the positive word of mouth lifecycle.
Successful independent schools will tell you that they rely on information that tells them why families pay to attend their school, allowing them to understand what they do well and not so well. They undertake regular market research to ensure they are ahead of the curve if there is a change in attitudes, perceptions, and awareness. This in turn allows them to react quickly and be seen to act before any damage is done to the school brand.
Having accurate research is crucial in underpinning marketing and advertising campaigns taking into account the needs of your target market as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
Things you should consider when debating whether to call us
- Have you got the in-house expertise?
To undertake reliable and valid market research can be a full-time job. If you are undertaking this internally consider the cost of work not done and opportunities that might be lost if your own resources and employees are diverted into doing market research. Do your staff really have the qualifications, expertise and up to date knowledge necessary to produce the market research that meets your aims??
- Are you really getting the full story?
We know that parents tend to be much more candid when talking to us than they would be if they were surveyed by the school. Despite being assured that all responses are anonymous parents fear that revealing the truth may impact on their child’s life at the school.
- Have you weighed up the upfront cost versus long term gain?
When thinking about budgets don’t just think in academic years. Don’t forget if the results of undertaking market research drive changes which ultimately bring more children through the school gates (even if this isn’t until the new academic year) the long term financial gains outweigh the upfront expense.
Are we a match? – things we want you to ask us 🙂
What’s our experience? How do we work with schools? Do we understand independent school parents?
Do we understand your objectives? Do we know what you want and understand the significance of these aims to your school?
What methods will we use? Focus groups, demographic analysis, interviews, surveys? The strategy we take in gathering the data will determine how reliable and applicable it will be to your school.
Professional market research companies such as MTM have the methods, strategies, and expertise in place to conduct your market research efficiently and effectively, producing results that your school can instantly integrate into future strategic planning improving return on investment of each and every marketing campaigns.