This guide provides practi¬cal step-by-step information on conducting market re¬search to enhance afterschool and other out-of-school-time (OST) programming. Research findings can help groups invest in OST programs kids want and parents trust, and that are also safe, sustainable and beneficial to children as well as their families, neigh¬borhoods and the community as a whole. Divided into two main sections, the guide is intended primarily for policymakers who wish to support communities or who are directly funding OST programs as well as communities actively engaged with OST programming.
The first section provides an overview of market research, explains why communities might want to conduct it, and discusses when, where and how to incorporate market research into decision-making about OST programs. It also outlines the six major steps involved in an OST research initiative, including forming an OST market-research task force, engaging key stakeholders in a community, conducting background and primary research, using the results and implementing a communications plan. Further, it offers examples of how communities have used market research to shape strategies for OST programs to meet the needs of children, teens and families.
The second section includes a series of nine detailed workbooks that explain how to conduct a variety of market research endeavors, from creating a communications plan and conducting in-depth interviews, focus groups and telephone surveys to analyzing quantitative data.