Prospect research 2016

The brief

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is one of the largest providers of accounting and bookkeeping qualifications in the UK. A wide variety of prospective students contact the AAT sales team with qualification enquiries.

Following previous research conducted by Shift in 2013, AAT wanted us to conduct further research into their marketing and communications support for potential prospects, in order to enhance their understanding of the prospect journey, and the sorts of communications support that would be most helpful to potential prospects when deciding to study for an AAT qualification.

AAT were also looking to understand more about the different needs and backgrounds of the wide range of prospective students that contact their sales team, as well as the factors that influence them to study for an AAT qualification.

Our approach and methodology

Shift took a qualitative approach to this research in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the needs of potential prospects and how they perceived AAT’s marketing communications.

A total of 50 telephone interviews were carried out with a wide range of prospects. The sample included both those who had signed up for an AAT course following their enquiry, and those who hadn’t currently taken this step.

Interviews lasted 15-20 minutes each and included questions around enquirers’ experiences of AAT’s marketing and communications methods at all stages of their enquiry to AAT.

Delivering results and value to our client

This comprehensive piece of research enabled AAT to improve their already strong understanding of the needs of their wide range of potential prospects, and to consider how their marketing and communications could further support them across all stages of the enquiry process.

Research findings from the telephone interviews were presented in a PowerPoint report, which contained key recommendations around AAT’s marketing and communications and ways in which they could enhance the enquiries process for potential prospects in future.