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Campus Marketing September 21, 2006

Posted by Amanda in Clear Tracks.
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Marketing on the campus of a University can really be a challenge. There are entire businesses devoted to developing good marketing programs on college campuses. Businesses are constantly looking for students willing to take on the daunting task. Student organizations must rely on their members to compete with the rest of the clutter.

So… What does it really take to break through? No one can know exactly, but here are the common strategies I’ve seen around campus. This list is best for student organizations, but some of these could be adapted for businesses as well.

1. Food! College students like to moan about how they are poor and don’t have much money to spend on things, so free food is a good draw.

2. Free Gifts This goes along with the one before it. But it always depends on WHAT you are giving away. Students can spot junk from 50 yards.

3. Flyers General, sometimes overused, and can be subject to university policy. However, they are still a good way to get your message out, as long as you follow protocol. Student organizations on my campus can get in trouble for posting flyers in places other than pre-approved bulletin boards.

4. Student Calendar Many colleges have calendars of student activites which can be useful for reaching out to a wider variety of students, including international and new students.

5. Table Tents Not all universities allow this, but ours do. A table tent is sheet of paper or a brochure that can be placed on all of the tables in the dining halls. It’s a great way to reach a large number of students, but is not very targeted.

6. T-Shirts Coming up with a catchy slogan is worth the payoff if you get it right. This can work even better when you combine it with strategy #2.

7. Website While this is not a strategy in and of itself, it can help to link your other strategies together and link the message.

8. Online Ads Flyers do not have to be just on bulletin boards. With the rise of community websites such as Facebook and Myspace, advertising online can be an effective way to reach your target market. Just make sure you watch your costs.

9. Banners Our organization resource group will provide banners for student organizations, but individual student organizations must secure the approval to hang them in the most populated areas.

10. Student Newspaper Many campuses have a student newspaper or two that reach the majority of the student population. They may even offer discounts for student organizations.

11. Mass Email Provided you meet certain criteria, our school allows you to send out mass email to students. Check with your university to see if they allow the same.

12. Student Channel Just like a student newspaper, many universities also have a TV channel devoted to student programing. They may allow you to pay for advertising, or, if you have a good pr spin, they may be interested in doing a story about you!

13. Sidewalk Chalking Our school doesn’t allow this, but many do. Just come up with a catchy slogan, get out that chalk and get to work! The more time you spend on it and the better it looks, the better result you will have.

14. Word of Mouth On a typically tight knit community like a college campus, word of mouth can make a huge difference in the success of a marketing campaign. Generally you have to have some sort of “seed” marketing method to generate the initial buzz, but after that, as students talk to each other, word spreads. Positive word of mouth can often generate good results, often with no further expenditures, while negative word of mouth will typically kill a marketing campaign despite the amount of money and effort being pumped into it.

Can you think of more ways to reach the student population? I’ll add more ideas here as people post them or I think of them 🙂

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Recent Activities September 20, 2006

Posted by Amanda in New Squeaks.
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You may have wondered why I have not updated lately… Or maybe not.  But I will tell you anyways as I am really excited about this new project.

I have just become President of my university’s chapter of Delta Epsilon Chi.  Delta Epsilon Chi (ΔEX) is an international organization for college students preparing for a variety of careers with a strong focus on business-related areas such as marketing, management and entrepreneurship.  It is also the continuation of the high school program DECA, which can be found in high school across the United States as well as over seas.

The past few days have been a whirlwind of making arrangements for the necessary training, meeting with our adviser, and developing a plan of action for the next year.  This is a great opportunity for me to help a program I love to really grow.

I will keep everyone posted and hopefully get back to the normally scheduled program 🙂

Tea Partay September 13, 2006

Posted by Amanda in Clear Tracks.
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For one of my classes we have to create a short promotional video for an on campus service. This has made me think about what makes a good commercial stand out from the rest. Is it humor? Is it shock tactics? What really breaks through the clutter and makes a commercial like this stand out:

So what do you think? What quality or qualities makes a commercial be so different from the rest that people will actually look for it on youtube and tell their friends about it?

More Links September 12, 2006

Posted by Amanda in New Squeaks.
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I’ve added a few more links to the E-commerce page today, all about the design of websites. (Thanks to Harry over at Marketing Headhunter for the heads up on them).  Check them out for yourself!

Small Thoughts… September 11, 2006

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Have you ever seen a commercial that sticks with you? You just keep repeating the tag line over and over? I have a friend, and fellow marketing major, who insists on using tag lines in almost every conversation he has. We’re still determining if this is an uncontrolable urge for him or if he can be broken of it. (It happens to be driving me nuts) Here are some of the lines he uses often. Can you guess each company for the correct line?

So you’re sticking to yourself.

We’re too excited to sleep.

Get in my Belly!

_
That’s all I can think of at the moment, but I know there are more and I will come back and edit this post as I remember them. But what makes a commercial memorable? What makes these lines still in my poor friends head? What lines have stuck in YOUR head and what makes you repeat them over and over?

Following Up on the Interview September 8, 2006

Posted by Amanda in The Job Maze.
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Send a Thank You Letter. Yes, it may seemed oldfashioned and that no one cares anymore. But they do. It is common courtesy to send a thank you letter and it could be considered rude if you do not.

Because sending a letter IS so common, you should not rely on that alone. An article from the Career Journal says:

It’s Time to Call

Five to seven days after mailing your letter, place a follow-up call with the explanation that you want to make sure the interviewer received your note.

Undoubtedly, you’ll be told that your letter arrived and was read. What’s important, though, is that while your competition is still hoping to hear back from the company, you’re talking with the person who will make the hiring decision. This gives you the opportunity to deepen your relationship and move ahead of other applicants by engaging the manager in a stimulating conversation.

Good subjects to discuss on the phone include any aspect of the position that remain unclear. You could revisit an important issue from your interview or elaborate on a key point. You also might ask an insightful question about the job, the manager’s department or the company. If you heard of a significant business development, ask about its effect on the organization.”

Interview Tips For the College Graduate September 7, 2006

Posted by Amanda in The Job Maze.
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So you went to the career fair and they now want to have an interview with you. What you should NOT do:

Fumbling the Interview
Common mistakes job candidates make during interviews, based on a recent global recruiter survey. (
Link to this article here)

  • Talking too much
  • Lack of knowledge about company or position
  • Over-inflated ego
  • Appearing overly confident
  • Inquiring about compensation too early in the process
  • Unkempt appearance

And now here is what you SHOULD do, if you really want the job.

Arrive early. Not on time and definitely not late. You want to be about 5-15 minutes early. NO MORE than 15 minutes. If you are that early, it becomes an inconvenience to the interviewer. I usually shoot for about 10 minutes on the dot.

Do not Chew Gum. This one seems like a no-brain-er, but it really distracts from your polish when you’re chomping away at that piece of juicy fruit.

Listen carefully. If you look distracted and bored during your interview, it does not give them a good impression of how you will react to customers. Since you are trying to sell yourself to the interviewer, show interest in what they are talking about. Listen actively and try to pick up on key points about the business.

Make a connection. Try to find some common points between you and the interviewer. Try to relate to them. Making a connection with the interviewer will put both of you more at ease and leave them with a better feeling about you. Personality is a plus to help set you apart.

Ask questions. It is important to always have a few questions to ask the interviewer. First to show interest in the company and second to show you’ve been paying attention to what they have been saying. Here are a few sample questions you could ask:

– Why is this position available?
– What would you like done differently by the next person who fills this job?
– What are some of the objectives to be accomplished by this position?
– What are the long term objectives for this position?
– What are some of the more difficult problems in this position?
– What type of support does this position receive in terms of people, finances. etc?
– How would objectives, deadlines, and methods of measurement be determined? How much input would I have?
– What advancement opportunities are available and in what time frame?

Call to Action. Always ask when you can expect to hear back from the company regarding this position. It’s important to set a time-frame so that you know when to follow up. I’ll cover how to follow up in my next post

Top 10 Tips for Attending Career and Job Fairs September 6, 2006

Posted by Amanda in The Job Maze.
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Top 10 Tips for Attending Career and Job Fairs
1. Have a pen/pencil and paper available for notes.

2. Bring resumes and a folder or portfolio to hold your materials. [Business cards are also good to have.]

3. Take the time to find out what companies will be represented before the day of the career fair.

4. Research information about the participating companies and organizations prior to approaching the recruiters. Use the Internet, news sources and career fair materials to learn about the companies’ booths you plan to visit. You can impress a recruiter by knowing about his or her company and can discuss its current situation.

5. Use time wisely. Determine where employers are located and in what order to visit them. Focus on three companies that you are truly interested in.

6. Broaden your focus and include many types of employers. For instance, you may not have considered working for a hospital, but hospitals recruit and hire professionals in many different fields (e.g., management, information systems, or health care).

7. Be aware of time demands on employers. Do not monopolize an employer’s time. Ask specific questions and offer to follow up after the fair, as appropriate.

8. Be direct. Introduce yourself, including your name and career
interests. If you are job-seeking, state the type of position in which you are interested. If you are gathering information, let employers know that you are only interested in materials and information. Remember to use good eye contact and a firm handshake. Career fairs are the perfect place to use your elevator speech.

9. Make sure you learn from the recruiter employment and/or hiring trends, skills necessary for different jobs, current openings, salary, benefits, training, and other information about the organization. Also make sure you know whom to contact for follow-up discussions.

10. Ask the employer for the next steps in the recruitment process
and try to obtain the recruiter’s business card for follow-up discussions/correspondence.

Source: Compiled by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Top Ten Tips for Attending Career and Job Fairs, http://www.careers.com

Getting Noticed September 5, 2006

Posted by Amanda in The Job Maze.
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Marketing Headhunter has been on my blog list for some time now, as Harry Joiner posts many informative articles which could be adapted to suit College Grads (if you’re a marketing major, or just looking for a job period, I encourage you to read some of his advice). One of his recent articles really caught my eye. How do you reach hiring managers when their gatekeepers are good at their jobs? Common advice is to send them an email directly. However, not all of them have their emails in an easily accessible. Here’s what Harry suggests:

So: If you want to send an email directly to your hiring manager, try visiting Whois Search and entering the URL of the firm you wish to solicit. After entering a special onscreen code, note the format of the email address of the firm’s Webmaster. Try sending an email to your contact using that format. See example. This trick is especially effective for Hoover’s users, who can lookup the names of the firm’s officers and copy multiple recipients in on the same email.

I encourage you to read the rest of the article here. After talking with Harry a little bit he added this opinion:

I think this tactic is especially differentiating for college grads. if you try this and it works — then you know your values are confluent with the hiring company’s. If they frown on this kind of unconventional, noise-busting personal marketing, then that’s useful to know as well.

So to all you College grads, don’t be afraid to take a few risks. It takes effort to break through the clutter.

Investment or Black Hole? September 1, 2006

Posted by Amanda in New Squeaks.
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I’ve been debating joining a short, winter intersession, Study Abroad trip to Austria and Hungary, but I have to wonder, how much pull does international travel actually have on employers?  Is paying for a trip like this an investment in my future career, or is it simple a whim for entertainment.

Studyabroaddirectory says: “International experience is ranked high among many employers as a critical asset for prospective employees. Study abroad shows that you are resourceful, adventurous, internationally minded, and diverse.”  Where did they get these results?  Did they survey employers?  Did they track the careers of those who Study abroad against those who didn’t?

As I’m debating the pros and cons of a trip like this, I would love to get some feedback from the readers.  What do you think?  Do employers really care if you have been abroad or not?