Using Market Research to Drive Enrollment in Higher Education


As we face new needs and a continuously changing landscape in higher education, attracting and retaining students has become increasingly challenging for many colleges and universities. To adapt to this evolving environment, it’s more important than ever that higher ed institutions identify their unique positioning and messages to effectively drive enrollment. Market research is critical to the success of higher ed brand and marketing campaigns. Research helps provide valuable insights to help higher education institutions optimize student recruitment and enrollment.


In order to differentiate themselves and have a unique and compelling brand, colleges and universities must understand the preferences, needs, aspirations and pain points of their target student demographics. Through qualitative and quantitative market research studies among prospective students, current students, parents, high school guidance counselors, administrators and faculty, institutions can gain insights into the factors that influence the decision-making processes. Research can include:


  • Market sizing
  • Brand positioning development and brand health tracking
  • Value proposition development and testing
  • Communications and messaging development and testing
  • Program concept development and testing
  • Satisfaction and experience measurement 

Let’s take a closer look at some of these approaches for colleges and universities here:


Market Sizing Research for Higher Education

Logica collaborates with higher education organizations to design tailored market sizing research studies, starting with working together to identify unique data needs and the ideal target audiences. Our approach involves a bottom-up method using research study data, customer data and secondary data overlaid with statistical analysis. This is supplemented by a top-down approach for validation—resulting in reliable, data-driven estimates crucial for colleges and universities to plan strategically, create marketing initiatives and inform other steps for success. You can learn more about how market sizing works here.


Brand Research for Higher Education

Brand engagement and perception is an important part of captivating potential student interest. By using the right brand research approaches to gauge current brand interactions and attitudes among students, parents, and other stakeholders, colleges and universities can take strategic actions to strengthen their brand image and engagement. Higher education organizations can take the brand insights gathered and use the data to create products, services and marketing that create attachments and foster connections to their brand—an incredibly important part of the college decision-making process for many families. Learn more about creating brand engagement here.


Value Proposition Research for Higher Education

Due to the level of competition currently happening in the higher education market, colleges and universities must establish compelling reasons why students should choose their school over others. Through value proposition research, these reasons can be uncovered and contribute to crafting an effective value proposition statement that highlights relevance, value and differentiation in this crowded space. Logica has extensive experience working to develop tailored value propositions that resonate with the target audiences, you can learn more about value proposition research here.


Messaging Research for Higher Education

All of these methods can feed into crafting messaging and communications. The better understanding of market sizing, branding and value proposition, the better the marketing that can be created. Also, message testing is an essential research aspect in developing marketing communications and claims that effectively resonate with targets, enabling colleges and universities to make informed decisions about the most suitable messages to garner interest, applications and, ultimately, enrollment. Learn more about message testing here.



Market research can play a pivotal role in the success of higher education institutions and student enrollment rates. By understanding target students—and their families and influencers—colleges and universities can optimize recruitment by using insights to create a compelling brand, and the right messaging and value proposition, enabling them to adapt and succeed in the competitive landscape of higher education.



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