The market for university-led executive education is changing quickly, as more boutique consultancies and distance-learning providers are gaining traction as substitutes. Top business schools like Darden at the University of Virginia, while still a source of some of the highest-quality, customized solutions for senior leadership development, are faced with the challenge of evolving in a new marketplace. In connection with this market dynamic, Goldberg Strategic was engaged by Darden Executive Education to conduct a three-part, comprehensive market study to inform investments in capabilities, positioning, marketing channels, product development, and overall strategy.
Rebecca reached out to and interviewed associate deans of executive education at more than 20 top business schools in the United States, Europe, and Australia, after persuading them to participate in this study on behalf of Darden. In exchange for trusting her with confidential internal information, she later aggregated her insights and returned this report to participants—providing unique information that would not have otherwise been available.
She segmented the market and identified top performers in each category, then conducted deep dives into factors common across each. Finally, she conducted a complete customer-facing study. Leveraging her extensive personal network, she was able to interview more than 24 decision-makers in large organizations about their buying criteria and changes in consumption preference. Her report, completed in the spring of 2012, continues to inform decisions at the school due to the richness and depth of her analysis.