Using Market Research to Create Sustainable Programs

Academic programs keep our university innovative by providing fresh ideas and the opportunity to share the information students want and the skills employers need. However, there are some risks involved. There are student preferences, marketing tactics, industry benchmarks, curricular content design and program outcomes to consider. Moreover, investments such as personnel, facilities and other resources can also significantly impact a program’s success. If a program can’t produce enough revenue to cover these costs, it might not be viable. 

How do you determine if a program is sustainable? That’s where market research comes in. The University of Washington Continuum College’s knowledgeable Market Research team can help support campus partners by combining your subject matter expertise with our professional research insights and techniques to help establish positive student experiences.

Accumulating Valuable Data

Since creating state-of-the-art programs to meet the needs of students is our ultimate goal, our team uses various research methods to collect and analyze data to learn what students want and deliver it in a way that makes sense for your organization. We use mixed methods to gather the most useful data, including focus group interviews, survey research with industry experts, peer schools and potential learners, secondary data analysis such as IPEDS, and peer programmatic and curricular information to meet your needs.

Aiding Partner Decision-Making

Market research can help find potential new customers, understand existing customers, monitor competition and discover demand. Whether you want to build a new program, create a marketing campaign, design a course, evaluate a program or get a better understanding of educational trends in your field, we can help. Specifically, our team has collaborated with partners on projects that include:

  • Gathering evidence regarding whether there is sufficient demand for a new program
  • Determining how prospective students respond to a new program idea
  • Examining the health and performance status of existing programs to improve student satisfaction
  • Finding optimal marketing communication channels and media to reach a specific target audience
  • Identifying barriers to enrollment and student retention

With quality data combined with insights from students and alums, market research can help reduce risk and unlock the full potential of your programTo learn more about working with the Continuum Market Research team to gather information about customer desires and how they might benefit your academic programs, contact your Partner Success Lead (PSL).