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2011 EngagEmEnt markEting SupplEmEnt

The RBC Student Stimulus Package in action.

The influencers of the future, the ones who could make or break your brand, are starting class this month. Are you helping them get settled? BY MICHELLE WARREN onboard a student, you can onboard a customer for life, says mary beth Denomy, president of Free For All marketing, a toronto-based experiential marketing firm. there are about 2.6 million students at 90 Canadian universities and 175-plus community colleges and technical institutes. As a collective network their buying power is incredible, says Dave Wilkin, founder and CeO of toronto-based redwood Strategic/ Campusperks. but its also important to understand their influence not just on other students, but their whole network.

EngagEmEnt markEting: thE Back-to-School Edition

ack to school means back to business at university and college campuses for marketers dialing up efforts to turn coveted 18- to 24-year-olds into brand advocates and lifelong customers. For students its time to try new things, discover who they are and what they like. Its an ideal opportunity for brands, as many are making big purchases for the first time. Choices today influence future spending habits, whether its a brand of toothpaste or a laptop. If you can
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According to Harris Interactive Youth & education research, 29% of 18- to 24-year-olds will buy or influence the purchase of a mobile phone in the next month, while 28% will do the same for a computer. Its estimated for every dollar a student spends, they influence another $2.50 in spending. However, the age group remains an elusive market, partly because they dont consume media in the traditional way. experiential marketers say this makes events a valuable tool for connecting and creating positive brand impressions. According to the event marketing Institute, 78% of those who engaged in a brand experience during a promotional event told on average four people. In addition, 98% recommend a brand following a positive brand experience during an experiential marketing campaign. Campuses are the ideal venue, says brian Wyatt, executive Vp, business development for Newad in toronto. Its not rocket science; if youre trying to reach students, go where they are. According to a survey by Campus Intercept, 68% of students say campus is the No. 1 location where they feel comfortable being intercepted by a brand. but its not enough to show up with samples. When you connect to students on campus it has to be relevant, says Denomy. Students wont engage unless theres something in it for them freebies, prizes and discounts are essential, but its more than that, says Wyatt. Whether its from a social, financial, athletic or educational perspective, you need to provide a product or service that will make life easier. During the height of the recession, rbC visited campuses with the Student Stimulus package whereby participants competed for cash. part of its better Student Life effort, the event by Campus Intercept was fun (students climbed into a cube to grab as much money as possible) and spoke to a specific need. Its a big mistake to take an existing experiential campaign on campus, says Andrew Au, president of toronto-based Campus Intercept. When its not specific to students it doesnt resonate. James ready, for instance, created the Campus bar-ter Night to mark its place in the discount beer market. Students were encouraged to spend money on James ready beer, collect the caps and trade them in for essentials, such as Kraft Dinner, toilet paper and laundry detergent at bar-tering parties. the program yielded a sales increase of 8.5% and market share growth of 31%. to be authentic you need to speak to students in their own voice, says Aidan tracey, CeO of toronto-based mosaic. most of the best campus programs are executed by students. between athletics, clubs, studies and social activities, most campuses have 300 events a month. redwood Strategic/Campusperks

case studies

The Globe and Mail Our Time to Lead Campaign (Free For All Marketing) ChALLenge Support the launch of its redesigned newspaper and digital properties, which kicked off with eight week-long special reportsthe big 8. mainstream media consumption among younger adults is threatened by the rise of non-traditional news voices. As its core readership ages, The Globe must engage young people.
STrATegy the campaign recruited student newspapers with a contest encouraging them to run articles about the big 8 topics. Winners had their story published on and editor-in-chief John Stackhouse visited their newsroom. As well, prominent professors received weekly mailings encouraging them to read the series and facilitate discussions in class and online. Colourful pop-up computer kiosks were set up in student union buildings and student ambassadors encouraged people to read and comment on the issues at Key POinTS
n three-pronged approach used multiple touch-points and trusted n Fun social media element enabled students to share photos of n Spoke to students about important issues without being patronizing


themselves on the cover of the newspaper

reSuLTS more than 1,000 students commented; more than 400 influential professors at 67 universities participated; campus papers published more than 25 articles on the big 8 topics, all of which helped drive a post-campaign spike in satisfaction and increased time spent with Globe properties.

Dell Digital Brand Ambassador Programs SuperProm (Mosaic) ChALLenge encourage students to buy Dell in the all-important back-to-school period. research shows 62% of high school seniors will purchase a computer before they go to college. Dell had to find a way to start the conversation before students hit campus.
STrATegy Dell has more than 170 techsavvy digital brand ambassadors on U.S. campuses that communicate daily with students on one of Dells 50 state-specific Facebook pages and via twitter about local issues, parties and events, as well as Dell-oriented content, new offers, discounts and parties, including Superprom. the nation-wide contest had high school students competing for a $100,000 prom by submitting 60-second videos about why their school should win. Students solicited votes via Youtube, Facebook and other sites. Key POinTS
n Spoke to a relevant topicpromsduring a brutal economy n earned free publicity from local media and drove word of mouth as

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winning nuMbers

of young and affluent consumers say they are more likely to buy a product if theyve had the chance to try it



say face-to-face interaction during a promotion or event helps them develop a positive image of a brand

Event Marketing Institute

students rallied for votes

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2011 engageMent MaRKeting suPPleMent

n Ongoing events and discussions keep the

contest and brand top of mind n Local Dell University Facebook pages featured Dell and microsoft deals and discounts

Results Dell kept its brand top of mind,

increased purchase intent and gained market share among its target, including non-Dell owners. In all, 78 schools competed: the winners video garnered more than 32,000 votes, second place got 30,000 and third place, 29,000. the online strategy generated more than 500,000 fans on Facebook and twitter.

and these students were trained to use it to coordinate the event and later share results online. more than 12,000 students across Canada participated in flash mobs over seven days. the campaign also included giveaways, prizing, coupons and posters so the product was top of mind throughout.
Key Points
n Ongoing prizes, deals and promotions n Social media element allowed for mass n Flash mobs occurred during random

keep the brand in the spotlight sharing

Blackberry university Flash Mobs (CampusPerks)

Challenge make experiential

marketing a natural part of student life. Unite campuses around something exciting by leveraging the product to show how it can make students lives easier.

Acts of Kindness Week as a gift to fellow students n to maintain authenticity, the videos werent blackberry branded n Campaign reached beyond the student body25% of online participants were family members and friends off campus
Results the challenge for experiential

marketing has traditionally been measuring results, but social media changed that. For instance, the Carleton University video had more than 45,000 views on Youtube in less than 48 hours (without any paid support). the University of Waterloo video has 186,850 views and counting (people are still posting comments six months later). For the brands involved it was a huge win because ongoing communication on and off-line around the event ensured everybody knew about the technology that powered the experience. blackberry (with Virgin mobile) was a superhero. national Bank MC1 Credit Card Recruitment (newad)

smartphones to connect with fellow students to coordinate singing flash mobs. Campusperks seeded the product into the hands of the most engaged influencers

stRategy Help students use blackberry

Challenge Communicate the

advantages of the credit card, increase visibility and acquire new cardholders

sees opportunity to enhance and become part of these events, like providing sports drinks to intramural athletes as a micro-sponsorship, for example. We can play in their turf. Its not a mall, says Wilkin. A campus is a students home so you have to treat it like that. And, think beyond frosh week by creating customized campaigns based on students lifecycles. throughout the year there are tons of milestones, says Campus Intercepts Au. Its much more effective when you give students a relevant experience. For example, to maintain profile, James ready handed out pillows at the library during exam time. Young peoples media consumption demands a multi-faceted approach, adds Wyatt. Students are busy; you have to hit them at a variety of touch-points. the idea is to maintain a consistent message using different platforms. Create a memorable experience and you create a lasting impression, but the conversation cant stop there. brands want to connect with more than a one-offits all about continuity, says Au. the recipe for success is taking offline experiences and amplifying them online with social media. Students like being part of the action, but they want bragging rights. Campaigns that allow for sharing photos and videos with peers and (sometimes) parents hit the mark, taking word-of-mouth to a new level. Lip-dubbing, whereby groups of students create music videos for hit songs is hugea video from the University of Quebec has more than nine million Youtube views. An on-campus campaign by rogers Wireless taps into the trend by providing students the platform to make videos and encouraging them to post efforts on a branded microsite to garner votes and win prizes. but brands cant settle for watching Facebook fans grow. the key is to keep students interested with online

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