Knowing what your parents and pupils (be that current or prospective) want is key to a successful school
There are several reasons why schools should conduct market research with parents. Firstly, it helps the school understand the needs and preferences of their target audience. As parents become more discerning with their educational choices, schools need to ensure that they are delivering high-quality education and providing the amenities and services that parents expect. By gathering feedback from parents, schools can identify any areas where they are falling short and take steps to improve.
Secondly, market research can help a school improve its marketing strategies. Independent schools are facing increasing competition, and it is important to stand out from the crowd. By understanding the needs and preferences of their target audience, schools can tailor their marketing messages to appeal to prospective parents. For example, if parents are looking for smaller class sizes, the school can highlight their low student-to-teacher ratios in their marketing materials.
Thirdly, market research can help identify opportunities for growth and expansion. By gathering feedback from parents, schools can identify areas where they can improve and add innovative programs or services to better meet the needs of their community. If parents are interested in after-school programs or extracurricular activities, the school can explore these options to provide additional value to families.
There are several ways that independent schools can conduct market research. One effective method is to conduct surveys. Surveys can help schools gather quantitative data on a range of topics, such as satisfaction with academic programs, facilities, and services. Surveys can be sent to parents via email or posted on the school's website, making it easy for parents to provide feedback.
Another tactic is to conduct focus groups or interviews with parents. These methods can provide more in-depth insights into the needs and preferences of parents and can be particularly helpful in identifying areas where the school can improve. Focus groups can be conducted in person or online and can be moderated by a member of the school's staff or an outside consultant.
It is important to note that market research should not be a one-time event and schools should aim to gather feedback from parents on a regular basis. This helps schools keep their finger on the pulse of their community and adapt to changing needs and preferences over time.
However a school wants to carry out its research and collect feedback, the results can really help schools understand the needs and preferences of parents, improve their marketing strategies, and identify opportunities for growth and expansion. By staying in tune with their community, independent schools can continue to deliver high-quality education and attract new families to their school. The one thing that must not happen, is to carry out your parental research and then not act on any of the findings!
With over 20 years’ experience in the education sector and, working with leading strategists, marketing and comms teams, we, at Mercer are ideally placed to guide you through any research and strategy development. We are renowned for creating marketing material that isn’t just beautiful, but full of messaging and meaning for some of the UKs top independent schools. Why not contact us and find out how we could help you?Sector: Education