Marketing Research 

Why conduct marketing research? 

Getting critical insights from your unit’s audiences can align your messaging to fully resonate with each of those audiences. You may decide to conduct market research in order to:

  • Attract prospective students and driving recruitment of quality candidates 
  • Improve student engagement with the university and your unit 
  • Keep alumni connected to their alma mater 
  • Strengthen the value of the University of Illinois brand 
  • Track your impact not only within the university but the community as a whole 

What are the benefits of marketing research?

A data-driven strategy improves the precision and accuracy of your marketing efforts. Marketing research can help when it comes to: 

Knowing your audience 

  • Their thoughts, feelings, perspectives 
  • Their goals and the obstacles to achieving those goals 
  • How your audience is changing 
  • How your audience wants to receive communications and what they want to know 

Knowing your place in the market

  • How your unit is perceived, both inside and outside the university 
  • Your competitors and how you compare to them 
  • How trends in higher education will impact your unit 

Understanding how your digital front door is performing

  • Who visits your website 
  • Why they are coming to the website 
  • What improvements they would like made   

Marketing research on campus

The Office of Strategic Marketing and Branding (SMB) can partner with you on all of your internal and external marketing research needs for qualitative and quantitative research projects. SMB can also consult on larger projects run by outside agencies to help ensure project success.

  • Email & SMS deployed surveys 
  • Digital intercept surveys 
  • Focus groups 
  • In-depth interviews 

Research samples  

Review collaborative projects between campus units and SMB

SMB blog posts on market research 



Have a market research topic you’d like added to this page? Email with the subject line: suggestion for the marketing research FAQ. 

General questions on marketing research or surveys? Contact an expert: 

Jeffrey Sylvester (Strategic Marketing and Branding), 
Maryalice Wu (CITL),