Market Entry Study into Emerging Markets


  • In 2014, SIS conducted a study for a US public university
  • The client was seeking for opportunities to grow and assess whether it could profit from emerging markets with its strong domestic brand   


  • SIS was commissioned to conduct a market entry analysis –specifically focused on China- in order to assess the opportunity for the client to profit from a rapidly emerging student base in the country
  • The following analyses were performed: Gap analysis, comparative SWOT, radar chart, best in class marketing approach
  • In doing so, SIS set eight (8) parameters for qualitative and quantitative data: cost effectiveness, course offering, student profile, international partnerships, faculty, reputation, marketing campaigns and physical location  


  • As a result of the research, SIS found that China offered low market potential for the client due to a preference of Chinese students for local institutions
  • Local students that are looking to study at a foreign university prefer to do that abroad rather than at an extension of a US university in China
  • Only 30% of students desired to attend China-based US universities. Of this 30%, students from international schools and “middle class” students are most likely to apply.
  • As a market entry in China would require a substantial dedication of valuable resources, SIS recommended not to enter the Chinese market with on its own, under its own brand
  • As a result of SIS research, the client has decided not to enter the Chinese market, potentially saving the investment and opportunity cost 

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