Thursday, September 13, 2007

Student Marketing: I Want My Video Content!

I know -- a silly spoof on Dire Straits' "I Want My MTV" -- but some compelling new studies have come out of both the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) and SurveyU. Both studies report on the fact that College Students, an increasingly important demographic segment for direct marketers, are not only viewing most of their video selections online, but are simply gobbling up video content in record numbers. In an article from BizReport on the SurveyU study, Dan Coates, co-founder of SurveyU said, "When it comes to online video, college students have advanced beyond the rest of the Internet population and are fully engaged in the complete online video lifecycle: downloading videos, rating content, posting comments, publishing video links and uploading their own videos.”

This behavior is very student-like, and for those of us who have clients that focus on the student market, we need to stand up and take notice. These students aren't just watching videos, idly whiling away the hours -- they are active participants! As the article points out, they are "sharing videos with friends, creating their own viral videos and making recommendations to others." This means that you can tap into this segment sort of like an indirect sales force. If they buy in to your message via video, they become the marketers of your products or services. This is why we are so excited about social/viral marketing -- what better way to market to your target segments than to have those who enjoy your product or service do the work for you? Plus, there are many studies that have been conducted in various industries (financial services being one of them) that prove that if you can win a person's loyalty over in their early spending/purchasing years (i.e., college based credit card programs), you've got a customer for life. This is pretty neat stuff!

For folks like CTAM, this has other important implications for the industry that they support. CTAM's study looks at things like how students make service provider decisions, what technologies are owned and used by college students, and what marketing tactics and influences resonate most with college students when selecting television, internet and phone service. For cable and telecommunications providers, it just makes sense to continue - or increase - the number of video campaigns targeted to college students.

If you're interested in reading more detail about these studies, SurveyU's complete study is available from the BizReport article link above, and CTAM's is available to purchase from their link above.

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