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ALTO seminar Dubai 2013

11 February 2013  
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STB explains segmentation of Brazilian market 

"There's been a big shift now [in Brazil], you have one market with young students completely ‘English-ready’ asking for different things and on the other hand you have a mature market wanting general English with some differentiation," said Marcia Mattos to the ALTO delegation at the most recent members’ meeting, staged during ICEF Dubai.   

"As a school you need to ask yourself if you're ready to answer the needs of these two markets. If you're just selling general English you will die. The clients now need something different."

Mattos, Head of international education at Brazil's leading education agency, Student Travel Bureau (STB), was sharing with delegates the secrets to attracting the Brazilian market, which is diverse but yields huge potential.

According to Mattos, the market is divided into two client groups: 14-19 year olds who are looking to do combined courses, long stays and university preparation while the largest cohort of 25-45 year olds is short on time but wants high results and executive English.

"You have to be very careful in finding the niche and communicating with them well,” she revealed. "It's not just 'we work for students who want to travel'; you have to separate the markets; young students, university students, professional students all have completely different needs."

"Lifestyle is the key. Now more and more you look at lifestyle and combine programmes with lifestyles." 

Brazil is still an agent-oriented market with word of mouth the most important form of advertising, said Mattos, which is why she says institutions must be ready to invest their time to be in the country, get to know the markets and build up relationships.

"You have to be there and know the people who work with you. Just to arrive with your brochure isn't enough. It's how you communicate with and support your students and the results you can show them," she said.

STB has over 42 years of experience in international education and has grown to have 70 offices around the country with two in Australia and New Zealand. In 2012 it had some 60,000 clients.

Through social media, public relations and huge industry events, STB has become the top student agency in the country answering the needs of the growing middle classes now concerned with "investing" in a brighter future.

"The biggest issue in Brazil is to choose the right school for your child," said Mattos. "That's what we do in STB, we plan for the students' individual needs. We say 'let's build your career together. It's training with relevancy."

The insightful presentation was well received by a 25 strong delegation of agents and schools, and is available to watch for logged in members under Document Store menu item Video files - Dubai 2013

Please read comments from our members about the presentation: 

Marie Claude Saliba
Educom Overseas

Jhon Valencia
Recruitment Manager
Galway Business School/ Galway Cultural Institute 

"The seminar of Marcia was great. It was very relevant to me and I learned many things that I can use as I want to expand my business in the Middle East. All seminars organized by Alto are very useful for our business.""The ALTO Dubai seminar was the first ALTO event I have attended, as I have just recently joined GCI Group in Ireland. Marcia Mattos from STB in Brazil has contributed with an interesting presentation about the strategies how to recruit students from that part of the world and how they have achieved their goals to be one of the leader and biggest agency in Brazil. I have a better idea into that culture and learned how to approach the market in different ways. I found the ALTO seminar a well organised way to share ideas and networking."