We have worked across the wide range of the education sector, below are some exemplified case studies:
Background: The challenges for the higher education sector means there is a need to continuously present strong and confident positioning to an increasingly uncertain market. The need to stand out in the domestic market has become a critical factor, now in the wake of COVID more than ever, while the international market presents new challenges in this political climate. Brand tracking research was strategically designed in conjunction with both the university and creative agency to allow for a ‘design thinking’ process of iterative development.
Our approach: The research engaged with over 1200 people from the Australian community, as well as key stakeholder segments such as prospective students, influencers for the decision-making process, businesses, research partners, current students, staff, alumni and international agents. The array of target groups meant flexibility of methodologies was critical and we were able to provide this with the adaption of online interviewing and focus groups alongside the use of traditional techniques. Iterative processes alternated qualitative and quantitative processes to develop and refine ideas and materials.
Outcome: The outcomes were able to show the most appealing and unique positionings for the university to pursue to gain attention in a highly competitive market. They also highlighted the areas where brand assets are performing best.
Background: The development of new course products for the tertiary sector is important in order to provide up-to-date and in-demand offerings in the market. Courses need to be able to satisfy industry skills demands in the years to come, but also need to be accessible to the consumer to generate interest for further enquiry and enrolment. In this case, the university sought to introduce an updated undergraduate mathematics degree and required feedback to understand industry and market perceptions.
Our approach: A series of interviews was undertaken with industry decision-makers in the various sectors where the proposed skills outcomes would be in demand. Prospective students were engaged in focus group discussions to understand the appeal of the offering as well as their perspectives on the competencies of suppliers and the outcomes desired for them in pursuing studies.
Outcome: Industry confirmed their expectations of graduate outcomes and the inclusion of work experience components, showing areas where design of subject matter could be improved to meet future needs. Prospective student groups were able to highlight the appealing aspects of degree descriptions and show where language would need to be altered in marketing materials aimed at this cohort.
Background: A leading secondary school in the private sector has been using regular surveys of parents to inform the possible improvements and strength areas of the school. The surveys also sought to understand prior relationships with the school, previous schools attended and the strengths of the enrolment and orientation processes to help with further growth of student intake.
Our approach: This research most recently utilised an online census-style survey of all parents. This garnered a high response rate and allowed for the collection of feedback that could be followed up on as required and provided testimonials for marketing purposes. The online survey was a convenient way to engage an increasingly busy cohort.
Outcome: The surveys identified the most critical areas impacting overall satisfaction with the school and where improvements were needed. Over time, there has been the opportunity to track the success of initiatives that were implemented as a result of the research and engage with the families of students at risk of attrition, as well as highlight improvements to maximise intake and overall student experience.
Background: A leading vocational education and training provider in South Australia sought feedback on their advertisements of newly launched courses. This research was designed to evaluate their creatives in various channels (press, radio, and digital ads), determine suitability and improvement for future advertising, explore the perception towards the institution, and understand how creative executions are perceived.
Our approach: The quantitative research surveyed over 190 South Australians. The respondents consisted of various hard to reach target groups such as SA residents aged 18-35 year-olds, job seekers/unemployed, unpaid carers, individuals living with a disability, First Nations people, the LGBTIQ+ community, and Veterans. Respondents were targeted though an online survey to offer their insights and thoughts on the creative executions.
Outcome: The research revealed and highlighted likes and dislikes for each advertisement (ad) channel and which channel performed the best. It also gauged the perception and likelihood of the wide range of target respondents to study at the institution before and after seeing the ad. Furthermore, the results suggested some ad improvements for the client’s consideration. The findings unlocked the institution’s most appealing and unique positioning which can be tapped to gain attention in a highly competitive market.
Background: A leading vocational education and training provider in South Australia intended to initiate a concept testing research for their upcoming student recruitment campaign. This research tested the two final concepts among four primary target audiences. It was to understand how these cohorts perceived each concept and determine the future direction of the campaign.
Our approach: The qualitative research was conducted via an online discussion platform with 18 participants in South Australia. The participants varied from workers (looking to advance or change their career), secondary school students, unemployed (seeking to retrain or reskill to secure employment), the institution’s current students and alumni.
Outcome: The insights generated from the study provided the client a deeper dive into the ability of the concepts to engage participants to study at their institution. By looking into the performance of each concept on various metrics such as overall appeal, relevance and understandability, the client was able to determine which concept to pursue and identify the glaring aspects of the said concept that need finetuning.
Background: newfocus currently works with one of Australia’s leading national universities on their on their longitudinal brand tracking study, measuring brand equity and perceptions, benchmarking again Go6 universities in Australia.
Our approach: An online quantitative methodology was adapted to gather a sample of prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students both domestically and internationally. newfocus was able to successfully sample 1600 prospective students internationally in China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia (400 in each country), gathering their awareness, consideration, preference and perceptions of the university and Go6 universities.
Outcome: The research has helped guide a prospective student brand funnel, explored potential barriers and triggers that influence prospective students to study at the university and informing strategic planning and marketing communications.