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Education Market Research, The First Step in Selling to Higher Ed

Want to know what the higher education market is telling you? Just ask.

Most marketers know the challenge of launching a campaign and not being 100% sure it will resonate with their target market. The penalty for getting it wrong can be wasted marketing dollars, lost sales, and in the worst cases, your marketing may even do your brand more harm than good. Take, for example, recent high-profile ad campaigns that have been withdrawn within hours of launch amid an outcry from offended consumers. What did they do wrong? And more importantly, how can you prevent it from happening to you?

Many campaigns that fail, or that simply don’t do as well as expected, share one essential shortcoming you can and should avoid: lack of basic research. To find out how to sell to your higher education customers, ask them. Education market research is easier than you think and essential to developing a winning  marketing campaign.

Before creating a marketing program, consider using customer research to validate your answers to these questions:

To what extent does the higher education market need or want this product or feature?

Research identifies pain points in the market and determines whether and how the product or feature you are planning to launch will solve the problem.

Is your product priced correctly for the higher education market?

Research can provide you with insights into your prospects’ budget range and purchase history.

How does the higher education market perceive your brand?

Testing for brand awareness by aided and unaided means determines how your brand is viewed in comparison to your competition.

Does the messaging you’re considering work for the higher education market?

By testing your message on a representative sample of the decision-makers you hope to reach, you can make changes before launching to the entire audience.

While it can be tempting to try to answer these questions with your best guess or a do-it-yourself survey addressed to current customers and prospects, the most reliable results will come from employing a professional partner with deep education marketing experience and access to higher education buyers.

UB offers a range of research capabilities through our custom research team, including designing and deploying targeted market intelligence surveys to a sample audience chosen from UB’s vast readership and access to virtual focus groups composed of higher ed leaders. Whether you’re seeking guidance on forming your marketing strategy or adding a compelling research-based infographic, white paper or web seminar to your arsenal of sales materials, talk to your UB account manager to learn more.