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Durham College Continuing Education: Market Research, Strategic Planning, and Marketing and Advertising Research

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With an increased pressure to identify opportunities for growth in an increasingly crowded space of post-secondary learning and education, Durham College Continuing Education (DCCE) turned to Cubicle Fugitive and Metroeconomics to better understand who they should be targeting, how they should best reach them, and, with which programming, media, and messaging.

Durham College Continuing Education approached Cubicle Fugitive to seek to understand trends in programming in post-secondary adult learning, identify growth opportunities, tailor their offerings, ensure they are positioned to win in an increasingly competitive space (both online and in the classroom), and develop key messaging and advertising that will drive real, quantifiable interest in their institution and enrollment in their programs.

Our efforts started with an extensive review of all Durham College and Durham College Continuing Education (DCCE) information including Annual Reports, Strategic Plans, Programming Guides, etc., an analysis of DCCE registrations and 10-year projections, a thorough review of all Continuing Education and Part-time Programming in Ontario, and an analysis of Canada’s largest media study, Statistics Canada’s Detailed Occupation Projections and Continuing Education Survey from CCI Research Inc. We also performed interviews with key stakeholders and performed a review of scholarly research and papers about adult learning and education, continuing education, future workforce needs, and generational differences in learners.

Cubicle Fugitive provided detailed demographic information in addition to details about tendencies, opinions, and behaviours of their target markets and recommendations on how best to reach them through marketing and advertising plans.

While the final report is confidential, we did provide Durham College Continuing Education with a detailed analysis of current students and millennial learners, recommended target markets, a competitive analysis including brands and programming, new brand positioning and awareness campaign messaging, guidance on what emerging learners are looking for, what programming to focus on and develop based upon learning and occupation trends in Ontario. When researching target markets and opportunities, we turned to RTS (Return to Sample), Canada's largest syndicated consumer study with a sample of over 40,000 people across the country. We provided detailed demographic information in addition to details about tendencies, opinions, and behaviours of their target markets and recommendations on how best to reach them through marketing and advertising plans. Cubicle Fugitive also audited DCCE’s current advertising and initiatives to help them better focus their budgets and efforts.

Durham College Continuing Education was extremely pleased with our final presentation, report, and recommendations. They adopted most of our recommendations and launched the new brand to the market and their current students shortly after our report.

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