Word of mouth advertising can be the most effective marketing vehicle for your college marketing campaign as well as your brand. Learn why word of mouth advertising is the best ad for college marketing.
Understanding how to create the right environment for a strong viral, word of mouth marketing campaign can be analyzed and broken down in the following ways. A recent Businessweek article, Pro: Consumers Trust Their Friends by Shawn P. O’Connor, a strong case is made regarding the effectiveness and necessity through it’s thesis:
“…Research clearly demonstrates that word of mouth – product or service recommendations made by friends, co-workers, or neighbors you know and trust – is still the most effective way to win new customers.”
Why? While traditional advertising as well as digital marketing such as sponsored links on Google, can build brand awareness, they increasingly DO NOT RESONATE with target audiences. This is especially true among the 18-29 demographic, a group that’s notoriously suspicious of advertising and WELL AWARE of the proliferation of FAKE POSITIVE (and negative) reviews.
We see this on campus daily in our college marketing and on campus traditional advertising client outreach. Utilizing ONLY Field Staff or OLD School agent networks ALONE, in some cases agents that have been out of college for 45 years is a common practice amongst numerous OUTDATED college marketing companies. Field staff certainly have and still do play a vital role in traditional placement when placing college postering or college flyers, postcards, magazines, brochures, etc. However, understand that only a select few companies actually have the means to complete this effectively and efficiently. Make sure the company you choose to work for uses field staff that are of the same age as the students their promoting to, preferably students themselves.
Do your DUE DILIGENCE and DEMAND network credentials, capabilities and outreach schedules, tracking and wave photos, real-time galleries and plan on utilizing field staff agents in conjunction with a well-rounded, multi-channeled outreach effort.
To create brand awareness, call-to-action and viral accomplishments, it is KEY to incorporate Word-of-Mouth and Peer-to-Peer Student Marketing as a component of your effort. Reaching students is about making a connection and NOT speaking down to students, instead be relevant, current and speak with them. Brand Ambassadors – Peer to Peer, Tabling, Sampling, Events, Email, Targeted Web Sites, Bluetooth, Facebook Connections and Twitter posts are a few amazing ways to accomplish cost effective college marketing and college advertising outreach for:
College Student Loans – College Back To School – College Student Banking – Educational – Study Abroad – Armed Forces – Test Prep – Entertainment (Movies – Music – Video Games) – Apparel – Sports Teams – Food and Beverage (Sports Drinks – Energy Drinks) – Ski & Travel – Political, etc…..
The overall concept between Old School College Marketing and New School College Marketing is simply finding a qualified and experienced vendor, keeping in mind that we see on Google 2-3 new companies emerging yearly and claiming to be self-proclaimed college marketing experts. Our advise is DUE DILIGENCE (your selection of which company to work with is a direct reflection of you and your brand/service on campus), ask the hard questions, such as years of experience, references, case studies, successes, failures, networks, control, insurance and worker compensation obligations and then determine to utilize a platform with multiple channels reaching your target audience with appropriate messages, call to action and offers that reach students where they study, live and play. I like to call it RISING ABOVE THE NOISE with ZERO WASTED AD DOLLARS.