In today’s highly competitive educational market place, Independent School’s have to do a better job of articulating their value proposition to prospective families and students. Those charged with creating a unique message need to use market research to help craft a successful engagement campaign.
What specific types of messages and calls to action will help your school create a wider and more robust admissions funnel? As your school seeks to answer these critical questions we have found that market research is the best path forward to find concrete answers. We recommend a series of in-person focus groups be conducted by our professional research partner to help discover and evaluate your school’s standing.
We believe that external marketing research expertise brings value by being grounded in objectivity. Here are some of the benefits that a professional research consultant brings to the round-table and beyond:
- Establish rapport with respondents in a neutral environment.
- Probe beyond rationalizations to uncover genuine motivations.
- “Turn on a dime” – adapt their approach when new/unexpected issues and insights arise.
- Help clarify the objectives of the research.
- Recommend approaches for the research design and methodology.
- Maintain objectivity from the design stage through final analysis.
At a minimum we strongly suggest two distinct focus group be conducted. The first should consist of your core target demographic and be populated with prospective families. The second group should be comprised of those families who were accepted to your school, but chose not to enroll. We call this group ANC’s (Accepted but Not Coming).
From this process you will discover those critical insights that will help hone your message and create a unique position for your school in the market place.
In our next Independent School Marketing blog post we will discuss our seven phased approach to Independent School marketing.
By Jonathan Oleisky, President, Kalix Communications