Education market research – The challenge

education programme research among alumniA leading US organisation wanted to conduct education market research to quantify the value and impact their learning programmes had on the life decisions and success of their alumni. Their educational programmes encourage students to experience, develop and progress their interest in specific career paths or business life skills. Alumni should leave with a clearer insight into what is required for a specific career path. In addition, they should also learn new skills that they can apply in their education or careers.

Attracting students is dependent on the benefits the education programmes offer. Identifying the proof points would allow the development of their marketing communications.  However, a big challenge was that programme participants could be as young as 8 years old or 22 years +. Another was that they could have taken part in programmes over a 25 year period.

The objective of the research was to establish whether they found the programme personally valuable, and to what extent the experience had helped them achieve their academic and career goals.

The Solution

A detailed online questionnaire probed into their education decisions, academic achievements, career pathways, earnings, and professional achievements. Also, with such a diverse alumni audience, a complex sample frame had to be set up.

Furthermore, to ensure robust statistical reliability, over 3,000 completed online surveys were completed, primarily among US respondents. The questionnaire was designed with advanced analytical techniques in mind and alumni were encouraged to detail personal experience through qualitative questions.

“Great work, I really appreciated the added insight this morning”

Vice President, Education

money-m-141The Benefits

On the strength of this complex research we presented our client with evidence of success, over the lifetime of the programme. In addition, we clearly demonstrated the financial impact that attendance on the programmes had on alumni, in terms of their ability to attend the high school or college of their choice, their career choices, their success in obtaining a graduate job, and their starting salaries.

The unambiguous evidence we provided was incorporated into their marketing communications. It had a significant impact on email conversion click thru and conversion rates, thus delivering a tangible and calculable return on investment.

Hard evidence such as this is hugely valuable for any commercial education organisation. Crucially it allows the organisation to place a real lifetime value on the services they offer.