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Marketing & Market Research

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How Well Do You Know Your Alumni?
CURRENTS Article Schools and universities are harvesting information alumni self-report or using behavioral analytics—how people react to content—to drive communications, engagement, and fundraising strategies. Social media insights allow institutions to identify prospects and volunteers and better understand existing ones. Much of the innovation is coming from companies with proprietary software, such as EverTrue, Cerkl, IBM, and QuadWrangle, as many colleges and universities lack the bandwidth to constantly monitor social media. But monitor they must. One recent survey found that 72 percent of people who complain to a company via Twitter expect a reply—within the hour.

Office Space: Solving Survey Fatigue
CURRENTS Article Survey overload is a problem for colleges and universities, which need to understand what alumni think and feel to make informed decisions about programming and develop strategies that increase involvement and financial support.

Market Research Helps Yield Alumni Partnerships, Revenue
Article,  BriefCASE Article Alumni associations should conduct comprehensive market research to help secure revenue-generating affinity programs and corporate sponsorships, says a CASE faculty member.

Outlook: Remaking Advancement, Google-Style
CURRENTS Article The standard set by Amazon, Apple, and others recognizes the value of providing a great experience. The widening gap between those experiences and what we offer—one-way communications that don't adapt to reader interests; standard appeals; stewardship that, except for top donors, ranges from one size fits all to awful—erodes loyalty and makes alumni less likely to respond when we make the ask. But a solution exists. It's as simple as creating a relationship in which alumni and donors stay with us because it is in their interest to do so, not just in ours. In which people think of the university as a source of knowledge that engages them, personally or professionally.

President’s Perspective: An Open Letter to My Successor
CURRENTS Article John Lippincott offers advice to the next president of CASE.

Recommend to a Friend?
CURRENTS Article Customer relationships built on loyalty lead businesses to higher growth and profitability. They lead our institutions to more alumni engagement, the currency of our industry. The Net Promoter system can help institutions better comprehend and meet the needs of various constituencies, including donors and alumni.

Can You Say More About That?
CURRENTS Article When yes/no or multiple-choice answers don't suffice—when a qualitative understanding of a topic rather than a quantitative head count is needed—it's time to consider focus groups. They work well when learning why, how, and what for is more important than measuring how many.

Alumni Surveys
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of alumni surveys, reports of survey results and magazine coverage for all members.

Alumni Surveys
Good Question We are preparing to conduct an alumni survey. Do you have sample surveys that can be emailed to me?

Learn How to Become Survey Savvy
Article,  BriefCASE Article How can we increase response rates to our online surveys? This is a common question in many alumni relations offices where battling declining response rates has become the norm. But Jerold Pearson has been giving the matter special attention. For nearly a decade, he has been conducting experiments to see what, if anything, can boost survey response numbers.

Become a Survey Sophisticate
CURRENTS Article This article explores what matters and what doesn't in getting your alumni to take the online surveys you send them.

The Science Behind Alumni Engagement
CURRENTS Article As part of an effort to double fundraising over the next 10 years, the University of Waterloo surveyed its alumni and purchased external data to determine how to move potential leaders into a more active role with the university.

Conviértase en un experto en encuestas
CURRENTS Article Este artículo explora lo que importa y lo que no importa en hacer que tus alumnos respondan a las encuestas que les envías.

Espacio de oficina: No pierda el enfoque
CURRENTS Article Los grupos de enfoque pueden ser una buena forma de obtener retroalimentación útil de los miembros de una escuela. La consultora de mercadotecnia, Carol Cheney, explica cómo formar y dirigir con éxito un grupo de enfoque. Ella hace hincapié en que las opiniones negativas y las positivas que proporcionan los que participan en un grupo de enfoque se pueden utilizar para fortalecer a la institución.

Office Space: Don't Lose Focus
CURRENTS Article Focus groups can be a good way to get helpful feedback from a school's constituents. Marketing consultant Carol Cheney explains how to set up and carry out a successful focus group. She stresses that both the negative and positive feedback from focus group participants can be used to strengthen the institution.

Know Your Market
CURRENTS Article Surveys may not be the solution to every engagement conundrum, but good research can help institutions understand how to better connect with alumni. Alumni relations officers and research pros share what they've learned and provide tips on how to get the most useful data.

A Measured Response
CURRENTS Article With growing alumni populations, flat or shrinking budgets, and pressure for measurable results coming both from alumni boards and heads of school, it’s clear that alumni marketing plans are here to stay. Learn what others have done and gain some insight into starting your association's plan.

A Picture of Health
CURRENTS Article Advancement market research models are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Innes van Nostrand, the alumni director of an independent school in Toronto, shares details of what he calls a “third wave” of market research that’s changing alumni programming, particularly at smaller institutions. Although alumni directors previously have relied on surveys, market segmentation, and other efforts to understand their alumni audiences, they now can tie together market research with program activity at the individual level. By knowing what each person thinks and feels--and then designing and delivering programs based on each person’s interests and needs--campuses can provide more personal alumni services. Third-wave research also has implications for fund raising and prospect research.

A New Order of Things
CURRENTS Article The University of Michigan Alumni Association reinvents itself as a market-focused organization

AdvanceWork: Reach for the Stars
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations and communications professionals offer advice on enlisting celebrities to promote alma mater.

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