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Benchmarks: The Key to Unlocking the Potential of Market Research

Every school we serve is interested in learning about their product positioning and satisfaction through primary market research. It is as close to having their finger on the pulse of the market as possible. Unlike many other industries, in higher education, schools have the keys to market insights in their hands in the form of students (choosers) and inquiries and/or applicants who choose not to enroll (non-choosers.) However, when reviewing data from our clients’ market research with these populations, we often find there is one key element missing: benchmarks. (Hint: Eduvantis has those benchmarks.) It is akin to getting a grade on an exam, without knowing the curve.

Take, for example, the satisfaction metrics below. When institutions have metrics like these in their own surveys (which happens very rarely in our experience), schools still do not know if they are performing below, at, or above average when analyzing their scores. In these cases, institutions resort to arbitrary “goals” that ultimately do not reflect local or regional trends, or trends among schools with similar characteristics. The most unfortunate implication of this practice is that schools misallocate resources in either fixing a problem that doesn’t exist or overlooking major deficiencies that require strategic attention!

The metrics above are actually our overall 2017 Part-Time MBA benchmarks. Alone, they do not tell the most exciting story; however, upon further refining our segmentations and comparing your institution’s results (and those of your competitors) to our benchmarks, this type of information can be key to strategic planning. With limited resources, in what specific ways should you try to improve student experience to most impact filling seats in classes next year? Which of your competitors appear to be performing better/worse than you, and how do you use this information to your advantage?

(Hint: This is hugely important.)

At Eduvantis, we conduct annual surveys for our clients to better understand their markets and help determine how well-positioned (or not) their programs are to succeed, to inform strategic decision-making with market intelligence. Ultimately, we are in the business of increasing programmatic appeal among qualified prospects, so we take a practical, honed, and benchmark-based approach to our primary market research, and our clients benefit from this experience and breadth of market information. If you have any questions about how you can work with us to survey your markets to learn this and other important information, please contact us today.