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Researching a hard-to-reach audience

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

After the launch of a new postgraduate degree, the Cambridge Judge Business School needed to better understand how to tailor marketing messages to a US audience.

The challenge

Cambridge Judge Business School launched their Global Leadership Master of Accounting qualification in 2018. After a successful launch year, the team needed to better understand how to appeal to potential students in the US, and what marketing messages would resonate with them.

The approach

Building on an already strong understanding of the marketplace, we set out to test some assumptions and provide some insight on when and how to target communications for maximum impact.

The target audience was a highly niche sector, that some said couldn’t be reached for market research. Working with a specialist US recruiter, we were able to identify individuals that closely matched the profile of the ideal student and conduct over 20 depth interviews. We also sought the employer perspective, and interviewed leading US senior HR and accountancy professionals to get a broader view of the industry needs.

The interviews explored respondents’ attitudes to work and study, ambitions for the future, and tested existed marketing messages to understand what resonated and what didn’t.

The insight

Our analysis helped CJBS to understand the key decision points and career stages when their marketing messages about further study would most resonate. It also provided insight into which parts of their marketing message worked well, and helped CJBS to understand where it was creating some misconceptions about the offering. The research delivered insights that were immediately useful for a forthcoming marketing campaign.

What they say

“The service I received from Insightful Research was excellent. In terms of attention to detail, advice and delivery to deadlines, they never let me down. From the outset of the project to its conclusion, I felt that they had listened carefully to the requirements of the brief and didn’t start work until they fully understood what I wanted. Furthermore, they were in touch throughout to ask clarification if needed, or just to keep me up to date with progress. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to other clients.”

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