Understanding technology buying dynamics among college students

This research provided a guiding light to better interact—and engage—with student populations globally. Thank you, Escalent!

Business Issue

A major technology firm wanted to grow its user base among college students—specifically, it wanted to understand:

  • Student purchase triggers
  • Attraction to a particular platform, brand or device
  • If there were patterns as to when and why students became loyal to a technology platform or brand
  • Student satisfaction with the technology used for schoolwork and areas that triggered switching behavior
  • Actual device usage and if device features helped or hindered key uses
  • Impact of COVID-19 on students in relation to accomplishing schoolwork (and social interaction) across products and services purchased

What We Did

Escalent conducted a two-phased approach using qualitative and quantitative research. We started with focus groups that allowed us to understand the student purchase journey. To ensure that we appropriately represented multiple economic, family dynamic and educational system differences, we conducted these surveys across multiple us and global regions.

Using findings from the qualitative study, we customized a quantitative survey to address a number of subjective and objective measures, to determine student motivations and to identify purchase decision drivers. The qualitative study gave us deep insight into the language college students use and identified the areas of interest and concern specific to college students around selecting technology.

Result

Escalent provided deep insights to help our client develop a more strategic marketing plan to prioritize and speak to college students more effectively. Leveraging the learnings from both the qualitative and quantitative portions of the research, the company launched:

  • New promotional offerings for students
  • An overall roadmap for hardware and software feature updates
  • New messaging to draw students to the brand
  • An ongoing program to work with student, faculty and school system outreach programs for each region

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