Research for Business Engagement

Our business engagement research informs a wide variety of decisions and developments, from new executive programmes and CPD offers to conferencing services and research partnerships. It involves market sizing, competitor analyses, segmentation studies, pricing and a host of other research activities and techniques. The output, however, is always the same – clear, focused market insights, built upon sector knowledge and robust research.

The examples below highlight some of our experience.

Engaging for graduate recruitment and sponsorship

  • Research to assess perceptions of a University’s graduate recruits, expand relationships with employers and identify collaboration opportunities. Conducted for a careers service within a large, research-intensive university. Online survey among employers.
  • Establishing needs for higher-level skills and identifying opportunities for employer sponsorship in a STEM subject discipline. Qualitative and quantitative research, for a post-1992 university in the South of England.

Income-generating services

  • Competitive environment / opportunities review for a university’s business-facing services. Included a review of competing provision within HEIs and the private sector.
  • Competitor and market positioning research for a university’s conference services. Qualitative and quantitative research among current and potential purchasers, and desk research to assess competing offers and pricing.

Knowledge transfer and research partnerships

  • Identifying opportunities to link a university’s world-class engineering research groups with high-spend R&D departments in target industries. Enabled the School to focus its business engagement strategy upon specific opportunities in CPD, knowledge transfer and collaborative research.
  • Exploring perceptions of the research brand of a leading UK university, among its research partners in the UK and internationally. In-depth qualitative study, focusing on specific industries and research disciplines and involving organisations from global corporations to SMEs. Part of a major brand and marketing review.
  • Employer research and internal consultation, to inform a Faculty’s submission for Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) funding. Explored employers’ attitudes and requirements when recruiting postgraduates, facilitating CPD and engaging with the university for knowledge exchange.

Executive Learning

  • Portfolio development and positioning research, focusing upon Executive Education. Depth interviews with decision-makers in large corporations, SMEs and the public sector, supported by desk research into competitor offers and a literature review that assessed market trends.
  • Market-entry research for an innovative suite of postgraduate-level management training developed by a post-1992 university. UK-wide research among learning and development decision-makers in large organisations in specific sectors, to understand approaches to management development and to test the proposed offer.

Short courses and CPD

  • Exploring short course markets across various industries and subject areas. Multiple projects, involving desk and primary research. Findings have informed course design, market targeting and positioning, and marketing strategies.
  • Market-entry research for a new CPD offer, targeting design-focused organisations; research to test reaction to the proposed offer and to shape market entry strategy. Identified opportunities and barriers and developed recommendations for go-to-market strategy.
  • Postgraduate CPD market assessments – delivered for two Russell Group universities, including a major multi-methods consultancy/research project.