Fresh Catch: Market Sensing Study

FreshCatchlogo-blueTrusting your gut is age-old advice, but incorporating data into the decision-making process is a great way to verify your instincts, especially when it comes to marketing decision making.

Early this year, Jackson conducted a market sensing study to look at the size and health of the current and potential market segments for a higher education client. The goal was to quantify trends in its current target markets.

To begin, Jackson looked at groups of potential students from different segments of the market: public schools, various segments of private schools, home schools, etc. From there, segment sizes and trends associated within the individual segments were explored throughout various regions and states.

university-105709_1920Research found that the client’s current primary target group, a sub-segment of private schools, was shrinking and ultimately affecting the client’s enrollment. The client believed that this was the issue, but had no way to verify it. Jackson provided the quantitative data to back it up. More than three dozen classifications of school types were found during the study. These classifications helped better inform the client on the various market segments and associations that it should be targeting, as well as those it should ignore.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the research was the identification of other target groups within the client’s market segment. For example, a similar segment of private schools was found to be nearly five times larger than the client’s current primary target group. Unlike the current primary target group, this group was growing but the client was not targeting these members. This is the group the client needed to start focusing on to encourage further growth for their organization.

Jackson developed an ongoing tracking system that enables the client to stay up-to-date on market data and trends. Now that the extensive market sensing study has been performed once, it will be much easier to review data on an annual basis.

The data from this study became the basis for a new marketing strategy, impacting the recruiting and media plan for the upcoming school year.

“The study gave them market sizes and trends, and from that we were able to help them develop strategies for future prospecting,” explained Jackson CMO David Jones.