Market Analysis Summary
ScholarshipAssist has identified two customer segments that it will attempt to convert to customers. The first segment are “sure thing” customers, those that are likely to get a scholarship generally due to their circumstances, whether economic or performance based. The second market segment is the “questionables” who are on the fringe for getting a scholarship but need ScholarshipAssist’s help.
Both of these segments, if they are going to rely on outside help to attempt to secure a scholarship, will generally use a career services person, either at their high school or at the college to help assist them with this process.
While the career services can be helpful, the students must be aware of the fact that the career service person helps a lot of different people thereby making the time they can spend with each student fairly small. Additionally, the person has no financial incentive in securing a scholarship and they have a limited amount of time to commit to each student.
There are no direct competitors for this type of service. Each career service department maintains a list of possible scholarships, however, it is not exhaustive nor updated often. There are a few websites that maintain a list of possible scholarships. These lists can be helpful, however the clients do not receive any individual attention or consulting for which scholarships to apply for and how they can strengthen their application.
4.1 Market Segmentation
ScholarshipAssist has segmented the market into two distinct segments:
Sure thing customers
These people are likely to secure some sort of scholarship for a variety of reasons. This group is using ScholarshipAssist’s services as a way of increasing the amount that they would receive from a scholarship or the number of scholarships that they receive. Demographic information is as follows:
- If their likelihood of getting a scholarship is based on academic performance, this segment has SAT scores of >1100.
- If their likelihood of getting a scholarship is need based, their household income is >$30,000.
- Are fairly sophisticated regarding the college education process.
- Are definitely going to college but would like to minimize the expense of their education as much as possible.
This market segment is trying to make college a reality by securing a scholarship. The category is called questionables not because they are questionable about going to school, but because they are on the border line for receiving a scholarship. This group is therefore using the ScholarshipAssist’s services to secure a scholarship thereby making a college education affordable. Demographic information is as follows:
- If they are need based applicants, their household income is >$50,000.
- SAT scores of <1000.
- Recognize that they need help in securing a scholarship. They may or may not have spent time doing research on their own.
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4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
While ScholarshipAssist will be using the same media outlets for its advertising campaign, it will have different ads tailored for the different segments. One set of ads emphasizes the ability for ScholarshipAssist to secure larger amounts of assistance for each student. These ads will appeal to students who are highly likely to get a scholarship and will be lured to use ScholarshipAssist through the prospect of increased grant aid.
4.3 Service Business Analysis
There is not a large industry built around scholarship assistance currently. This can be explained by the fact that much of the help comes from career service counselors whether at the college or high school level. They do an adequate job, especially in light of the limited time and resources that they have. Within the last four years the industry has seen the emergence of several firms that offer a database of available scholarships on the Internet. These firms are more a list of resources as opposed to a company that offers individualized assistance.
4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
ScholarshipAssist does not have any direct competition, however, there are several different companies working in the same space.
- Guidance school counselors. While these people do not charge for the offered services, they are hired by the school or district to assist the kids, they do provide similar services to what ScholarshipAssist does.
- Internet-based databases. There are several firms that offers lists of scholarships via their website.
- Individual consultants. There are some consultants that offer their services one on one to clients, but they are priced out of the range of most students.
Students are generally price sensitive. This means that they will often forgo a service provider or chose the least expensive one. ScholarshipAssist’s fees are billed on a contingency basis; they are only paid if they perform.