Well-versed in the most sophisticated research tools, SimpsonScarborough customizes a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods to explore your unique institutional challenges. On the qualitative side, we use tools such as online and in-person focus groups, in-depth interviews (IDIs) and online bulletin boards to gauge perceptions and attitudes, understand emotional drivers and find common uses of language.
Our emphasis on quantitative analysis makes us unique among firms that specialize in brand strategy development for higher education. We use advanced research techniques such as multivariate analysis, segmentation analysis and discrete-choice modeling (DCM) exercises that mimic real-life “buying” scenarios. Surveys are conducted using telephone (CATI) and online data collection methods as appropriate.
Our firm’s belief is that the best strategies are market-informed, developed from research and vetted in a collaborative process that brings your campus leadership and community to a common understanding. After our research work is completed, we combine the information gathered into detailed strategic recommendations that have the ability to profoundly affect an institution’s marketing and operational strategies.
Typical projects cover all areas of the institution, including marketing and communications, pricing, program development, alumni engagement, fundraising, image and identity and recruitment and admissions. We develop positioning statements that determine the most distinctive attributes, program or personality trait that differentiates an institution from its competitors and motivates prospective students to enroll, alumni to donate and community leaders to support an institution. We also create BrandPrints™ that document the brand strategy and guide an institution’s marketing activity and creative development.
Creative Services and Marketing Planning
With a foundation built through research-driven insights and a collaborative approach to your brand strategy, SimpsonScarborough also offers an integrated approach to creative services and marketing planning. Our focus and process allows ensures our clients have confidence in the creative decisions and strategies developed and brought to life.
Our team has experience and expertise in developing brand identity, advertising, experience design, content strategy and creation (digital, social media, video production.) And we help our clients in determining the best tactics and timing, developing competitor analysis, audience segments and journeys, targeted messaging strategies, paid media and advertising plans, and multi-year budget and plans.
Drawing on our experience working with more than 1,000 colleges and universities, we conduct assessments of an institution’s operational and marketing activities and provide recommendations for aligning them with strategic goals. We offer four types of assessments:
"SimpsonScarborough will satisfy your research and strategy requirements, but their support will last long after the work is done. They continue to use their network of influence in higher education to advocate for their clients and shine a light on their brands."
Terry Flannery, Executive Director, University Communications and Marketing,
"SimpsonScarborough is smart, strategic, and they understand higher education organizations better than most, because it is all they do."
Terry Flannery, Executive Director, University Communications and Marketing