Each education research project we conduct draws upon the knowledge and experience of our senior consultants as well as our extensive network of market experts. Our researchers are recognized experts in the areas of efficacy research, quantitative and qualitative primary research, and secondary research in all aspects of the PreK-12, higher education, and library markets.
All research conducted at MarketingWorks is overseen by Gerry Bogatz, founder and president. Gerry brings to the table 20 years in various positions with Educational Testing Service, including five years as co-director of national evaluations for the Children’s Television Workshop (Sesame Street, The Electric Company), and more than 20 years of educational consulting, sales, and industry research.
To provide the support our researchers need to carry out their work, research associates assist in setting up appointments for interviews, making arrangements with focus group facilities, setting up virtual focus groups, collecting data for primary research surveys, and helping in the analysis of data and drafting of reports.
Our education market research is always of practical benefit and our time is spent effectively because
Our education market research services provide reliable and valid information and analysis about the education market – its needs, perceptions, trends, and funding sources – to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialize in:
The quality—and usefulness—of data are a direct result of the quality—and experience—of our researchers, who develop our research instruments and collect the right sorts of data from the right target audiences. Our consultative philosophy guides everything we do on behalf of our clients. We believe it is important to see research as a path of inquiry that our researchers and clients enter into together.
Our goal is to make the information we provide useful and lead to actionable decisions that lead to a company’s growth. To that end, we work closely with our clients throughout the research process so they understand how we reach our conclusions and why we’re making the recommendations we are. In essence, we work with our clients to help them make key business decisions.
Our primary research often begins with a review or audit of a company and its products as well as interviews with key executives, key members of the sales staff, and others with an ear to the market. A second source of information is typically market experts in the relevant field of study who are familiar with the company or organization and its competitive products and can provide insight into the current market and where it is trending. A third source of information, and usually the most important, is current, former, and prospective customers who can provide informed opinions about the questions being posed by this research.
Depending on the purpose of the research, our primary research methods may include:
In-depth Interviews. We have found in our years of conducting market research that in-depth conversations held by experienced researchers with a relatively small number of practitioners can yield extremely useful information to inform more quantitative research that may be needed to confirm results with larger numbers of customers and prospects. Our researchers are highly skilled in conducting these interviews, which can last up to an hour. The interviews become conversations, during which time deep, nuanced patterns usually emerge. During a conversation like this, the interviewee comes to trust the interviewer and is inclined to express what he or she actually thinks about the topic under investigation.
Focus Groups. Focus groups are generally used to get the personal, in-depth opinions and interactions of a small group of targeted prospects. Because it is expensive to conduct focus groups in different regions of the country, we often try to organize groups around meetings or conferences where prospects from all over the country are already attending.
Our professional moderators are trained on how to elicit information without skewing the results and on how to control the group and not have one or two people dominate the discussion. They also have no “stake” in the outcome so they can as objective as the need to be to ensure valid results.
We have also been quite successful in getting the personal, in-depth opinions of a small group of targeted participants through virtual focus groups. This service avoids one of the limitations of traditional focus groups – – the small sample of people from a limited number of geographic areas. Virtual focus groups allow for a more representative sample and eliminate the need to travel.
Large-Scale Surveys. Our large-scale survey work is done in conjunction with ConsumerQuest, a leading market research firm based in California. Depending on the project objectives, budget, and schedule, we recommend one or more of the following methods:
Telephone Surveys. This methodology is ideally suited for interviewing large numbers of target respondents relatively quickly. We can also use telephone surveys after qualitative research (i.e., focus groups) to obtain larger scale quantitative data, to obtain needed information quickly, or to fine-tune an online survey to make sure the respondents understand all of the questions.
Online Surveys. This methodology is most successful when the web site is advertised to the targeted respondents by a personalized invitation (usually email). Email surveys can also be combined and used in conjunction with telephone surveys, while featuring the following benefits:
We perform field research and analysis, leveraging our large network of industry connections, pre-existing research reports, and relevant web sites and other sources, to gain intelligence for our clients on issues such as:
Data is not information. Research is much more than just collecting vast amounts of data. Informed analysis is what brings value to data, transforming it into actionable information that can be used to answer a client’s questions about their products, company, and the marketplace in which they operate. With expertise and decades of experience in all areas of education research, we have the skills to collect data, to analyze it, and to present clear interpretations to clients to help them grow their products and services in the markets they want to reach. The result? A better bottom line and a more successful company through:
Education leaders around the country continue to work on innovative ways to improve classroom outcomes, and it seems that every expert has a different idea about how schools should structure their environments to best accommodate the needs of students. While experts continue to define classroom success differently, the majority of experts understand that school efficacy research, or evidence-based research, must be at the forefront of educational success because it means that only the programs that work are used in schools.
Start By Defining the Goals
Virtually no one argues that to improve outcomes, goals must be determined before specific strategies are decided on. State standards provide basic guidelines, but nuances must still be decided at local levels to meet student learning needs.
Using Data to Evaluate Outcomes
Educators are well aware of how important data is when districts are looking for ways to improve teaching strategies. In fact, many districts are drowning in data that’s not truly benefiting educators or students as it hasn’t yet been compiled in a way that’s useful. Efficacy or evidence-based research is commonly touted as being the key to unlocking the secrets all that data holds.
Obtaining the Best Data Isn’t Always Easy
In some cases, the validity of data is open to question because of its source or the methodology used during compilation. Organizations compiling the data may have their own objectives (i.e., to prove a product works), in which case a specific district’s objectives may not be met. If the ultimate goal is to achieve the best student outcomes, all data must be gathered and analyzed by an objective third-party. Focusing on student needs rather than vendor needs will lead to the best long-term outcomes.
Being Flexible Enhances Outcomes
No curriculum plan is perfect, and educators must be able to recognize when something isn’t working and needs to be changed. That isn’t to suggest the long-term objectives must be modified, but rather that the means to achieving those goals much be evaluated. Efficacy or evidence-based research will help educations make key teaching decisions when the data is relevant and accurate.
The education efficacy or evidence-based research currently being conducted can provide data that can be used to enhance students’ learning outcomes in the future. The ultimate key to successful outcomes, however, will always depend on objective data collection and analysis.
MarketingWorks and SEG Measurement provide a full array of implementation services including recruitment and site contact, data collection, data analysis and reporting. From randomized trials to field research, we can help you get the information you need. We provide a range of data analysis services including scanning, key entry and data management. Our analyses range from simple frequencies and cross-tabulations to complex multivariate models. We are known for the quality of our reporting–clear, concise, and sensitive to the political context.
We bolster product credibility with White Papers, and we conduct Best Practices studies that can serve as a sound basis for recommendations to decision-makers.
In addition to delivering scientifically-based research, we work with clients to better understand the impact that these research studies can have on marketing and sales productivity.