Shift learning

Market research for the Education sector

Online Research Surveys

Online Research Surveys

We are adept at writing and creating online research surveys for the education, publishing and medical sectors. Our team are highly skilled in education market research and can create scripts for a range of education audiences, often spanning different continents and involving translation into a range of languages. We know how to tailor online research surveys for individual projects and can adapt our approach to reach a wide range of markets and sectors.


Our techniques

Our quantitative work aims to bring the latest market research techniques to the education sector.


These include:


  • Conjoint Analysis

  • Conjoint analysis is a valuable method for determining the features that a particular group of customers value most from a product or service. In the education sector, this might include features such as contact hours within a course, the price of a course or the study methods available. If you ask directly, people will naturally always proclaim that they want the widest range of support features for the lowest possible price – however, in reality, it's not always possible to offer this and most of the time a compromise must be made. In order to reach an ideal, it is essential to know the trade-offs that your audience makes. For example, a prospective student may want a high number of contact hours, but not if it means the course will cost an extra £6,000. Conjoint analysis is a discrete technique which presents customers with several slightly different versions of a product, asking them to select their ideal version via a series of questions. By probing in such an indirect manner, we can determine which features are truly most important to your customers and recommend the best possible model for your service or product. Our online research surveys are extremely useful for clients aiming to understand the optimal mix of features or benefits in an educational product or service. The survey can also be a useful part of any pricing study and can be combined with segmentation or cluster analysis for an in-depth analysis.


  • Max diff

  • As with Conjoint Analysis, Max Diff is an alternative choice-based statistical technique that involves providing respondents with a selection of items to prioritise. Unlike importance-based surveys, this forces participants to choose between the items, generating a more sophisticated analysis of their value system. Max Diff is a popular survey model and is relatively easy for users to understand compared to other stats techniques.


  • Market simulation

  • We have recently introduced a market simulator tool to our repertoire, which can be valuable for trying to predict future market scenarios in a range of different education sectors. The education research tool allows you to set up a scenario using the product models currently available in the market. Additionally, certain product features such as price, can be altered in order to view how market conditions change accordingly.


  • Segmentation and cluster analysis

  • Education stakeholders are rarely a homogenous group. In fact, most organisations wish to use some form of market segmentation to identify which products, services or marketing campaigns can be designed around differing groups. Our online research surveys use a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques in order to help our clients with this process. Cluster analysis involves grouping participants into ‘clusters’ or ‘types’ based on the patterns revealed in their preferences or behaviour. The result is a series of evidence-based marketing personas which can be used to focus future product development and marketing.


  • Key driver analysis

  • Understanding the essential factors motivating users or consumers is invaluable in helping to design effective courses, educational products and services, and membership packages. By analysing the data seen in a number of online research surveys, we're able to reveal to you the main factors influencing consumer satisfaction or a particular behaviour, such as purchasing. This technique is often used to create more sophisticated customer satisfaction surveys or surveys examining student satisfaction, and can really help organisations understand where to focus their investment or resources.

  • Brand perception mapping

  • Brand perception mapping is a valuable tool used to explain how customers feel about a clients brand. Widely used by brand and communications departments to drive brand strategy, the tool is becoming increasingly popular amongst educational organisations as the sector becomes more competitive. Brand perception mapping involves tracing how consumers’ perceptions of a particular brand relate to their perceptions of similar competing brands. The findings from the online research surveys are then presented in the form of a map or visual diagram, revealing unique brand attributes. Shift Learning have worked on a number of online research surveys with universities and awarding organisations, developing their brands in order to better meet the needs of users. You can find a list of our market research case studies on our website.



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