Standing out in today’s digital world can be a challenge. With every inch of screen space shouting at you to do this or buy that, gaining perspective can be tricky for both producers and consumers. As a marketer, gathering highly-individualized opinions from small groups of stakeholders can cut through the clutter and realign your education marketing outlook.
By facilitating a focus group at an edtech conference, marketers and brands gain an exclusive inside look at how a target audience feels about topics important to their client or brand. Personalized feedback illustrates the optimal customer experience—and whether that is being provided—which can help shape new strategies or redirect current marketing plans.
Humanize Your Brand
Focus groups are a unique double-edged marketing opportunity to engage with current and prospective customers and strengthen their brand loyalty. Customers are more likely to adopt or retain branded products and services if they have interacted personally with a representative. By taking the time to converse with customers and hear their concerns, you let them know that their experience with your brand will be rewarding.
Be Real with Your Audience
Transparency is the driver of a meaningful focus group. Brands get genuine feedback only if they first reveal the pieces that need work. For example, one popular clothing brand dedicated to “radical transparency” has opened its world to customers by allotting one day each week to answer customer questions on its social media channels. Customers are rewarded with a chance to see and be seen, a win-win for any brand.
In education marketing, letting stakeholders into the picture signals that they have a voice in the development of products and services they might use in their schools one day. Emboldened by this chance to speak, focus group participants are inclined to remember and choose your brand over competitors, as well as recommend your product or service to others.
In the digital marketplace, there are not many opportunities to get face time with customers. Focus groups break through the pixels and allow you to build relationships in person. Even better, focus group participants are highly representative of your target audience, so you are able to make meaningful connections with the people who matter most to your brand.
Learn from the Best
On the flip side, focus group participants get a unique chance to pick your brain. Educators, administrators, district decision-makers and researchers—all influencers in the education marketplace—are devoting their energy to giving sophisticated advice on desirable product improvements. The education marketing value of such targeted, high-level feedback from experts is unmatched.
When aligned with other rich relationship-building opportunities, such as professional development events and conferences, you can draw an elevated pool of participants to your focus group. CB&A facilitated a focus group for Hoonuit, a student data management and analytics software company, at the ISTE 2018 conference that yielded an influx of educational expert insight. Hoonuit then used that feedback to steer their rebranding process.
Focus groups provide a rich return on investment. One reason: the feedback is immediate. As a producer, you do not have to wait for participants to answer your online or emailed survey. You simply ask a question to get an answer.
In the same vein, focus groups prioritize quality over quantity. With a focus group, you substitute living, breathing people for long, impersonal email lists. Those people will have a stake in the group topic, since you invited them for a reason. They are inclined both to participate and to contribute something meaningful to the conversation. The hard work of organizing and facilitating a focus group pays off when you walk away with a treasure trove of useful advice for your education marketing efforts.