Independent agency, BCM, explain how they used intricate data to help a key client develop a leading product.
“GWI gave us the level of detail we needed to shift our client’s way of thinking at a fundamental level.”
BCM Group is an independent, full service agency based in Australia. The agency is all about creating consumer-driven ideas and connections that harness data, media and technology to find and deliver growth for their clients.
A key client for BCM Group of 15+ years is the Queensland University of Technology, also known as QUT.
QUTeX – their division specializing in professional development and executive education – needed help structuring and delivering a new high-end, experiential leadership program aimed at aspiring C-suites in Australia.
The objective was to deliver a data-informed strategy that made sure they were targeting the right audience, and shape a product that met clearly identified needs.
Here’s how they did it.
Developing and delivering a course that meets the demands of aspiring C-suites.
QUT is no stranger to creating successful leadership programs.
Having entered the market with a similar product years before, they knew there was potential appetite among C-suite executives. They also knew the key ingredients in a high quality course:
- Leading academic and industry experts
- Cutting-edge content
- World-class facilities
- Proven experience
But the first time round, they were missing something. “We created a product we thought the market desired”, says Karina Gurowski, Marketing Manager at QUTeX.
“We were missing one major component – market research.” This time, they needed to validate their assumptions and create something they were sure the market wanted.
But as we know now more than ever, a market can change fast. Finding the right audience meant digging a lot deeper into the right research.
This time, with the support of BCM, QUTeX hoped to avoid the pitfalls of mistargeting, and develop a market-leading course based on solid research that really hit the mark.
Identifying the audience, its motivations, and preferences.
“Through our partnership with BCM, we commissioned a custom survey with GWI. The aim of this was to better understand the size of the market, its needs, desires and motivations – and to create a program that was really fit for purpose.” says Karina.
With insights at the heart of everything they do at BCM, the team used this as the basis for their research.
Here are the steps they took to arrive at their solution:
The segmentation process
Using the results, the team first undertook a two-stage segmentation study which validated certain assumptions, but also yielded some unexpected findings about the types of people to go after, and their motivations for taking part.
Initially, they uncovered three key streams of professionals, which together formed the vast majority (88%) of the overall survey sample.
The first was made up of those who aspired to be in C-suite roles. The second was comprised of those who didn’t share the same aspirations, but who emphasized the importance of professional development in career advancement.
These two segments formed the basis to the priority target personas for QUTeX to go after:
Surprisingly, in their primary aspirers group, overall motivations for taking part weren't dominated by personal gain. Instead, making a bigger contribution lead the way.
To help them structure the course content, the survey asked about skills they wanted to develop, the environment they’d like to work in, the topics they expected to see, and how they decided which programs to take.
But just as important as the segments identified to target were those BCM could recommend to avoid.
The third segment identified within the research on paper could see value in personal development, but their motivations lay outside of the purpose of the proposed QUTeX course.
“The key features behind the success of this project were the speed of the research set up, deployment and results return, combined with the depth of information made easily accessible within the GWI platform,” says Chris Platt, Director of Media and Engagement at BCM Group.
“It enabled us to get into the data fast, and dig deep to build the intelligence we needed.
Crucially, the segments we found were distinctive and actionable.”
Positioning and planning
Having shaped QUT’s target audience segments, BCM needed to scope out the competition to help optimize the product’s delivery and positioning.
They found key players in the professional education sphere, and using the segments above, benchmarked QUT’s performance against:
- Awareness to attendance conversion
- Advertising recall
To enhance the delivery of the course, BCM proposed a content-driven digital strategy, with a key focus on earned and owned channels.
The main paid opportunities were found to be online ads, search, events and TV ads.
News articles, online videos and word-of-mouth showed to be the most effective earned channels.
Karina sums up the part survey data played in helping BCM derive actionable conclusions fast:
“We were able to dig deep quickly. The data provided insights that both validated and challenged our assumptions, revealing new truths about our audience and opening new doors.”
Shaping a new product around its consumers.
By identifying the audience and asking them questions they wanted answers to directly, BCM was able to help QUT create a well-positioned product that could add real value to their audience.
“With the right audience segments identified from the beginning, the product and marketing strategy fell into place much more easily.” Chris Platt, Director of Media and Engagement at BCM.
BCM were instrumental in shaping the product, enabling QUT to bring their Executive Leadership Program to market with confidence.
“The findings helped inform many areas of the program re-development – from delivery mode to course structure and content, and pricing.
The data also helped us better understand our target personas, which informed how we packaged and positioned the program for the market.” says Karina.
Crucially, the value of the investment continues to be realised, as the findings are now being applied to similar and related projects within QUTeX.