The client, a national for-profit higher educational institution that offered classes both online and in-person, had been experiencing significant declines in enrollment for a few years. To counter this trend, the company was exploring the idea of engaging in a new program for delivering education that would provide students with a low cost, low service option. A few other competitors were already offering this type educational service, and it was rapidly gaining traction. Given the competitive landscape, it was critical that Cicero identify how the client could both differentiate its new program and understand what services and/or technology should be included/excluded in order to meet pricing objectives, without sacrificing quality of education.
Cicero used a three-pronged approach to address the client’s needs. First, Cicero created a detailed report on the competitive landscape to identify each competitors’ strategy, including its price and service offering. Next, Cicero held focus groups across the nation to develop hypotheses on the essential drivers of this new type of program, the profile of a successful student, and the impact this new program would have on its current programs. Using the findings from both the competitive analysis and the focus groups, Cicero conducted a nation wide survey that included a discrete choice conjoint analysis to identify what bundle of services could yield the largest number of new students while also being the most profitable.
From the survey results, Cicero created a dynamic market simulator and financial model that enabled the client to know how to position its new program relative to its competitors, and identified which service offerings were necessary and which were simply “nice to have.” Using the data and analysis provided by Cicero, the client was able to make an informed and strategic plan for implementation of its new program.