September 2016

College, Snapchat, Wearables, Unfollowing, and Music Insights

Strategy: College marketing is a bigger opportunity than most brands realize

It’s time to stop visualizing three 19-year-olds sitting under a tree in the campus quad every time you hear “college marketing.” In truth, less than a third of U.S. undergraduates are “traditional” fulltime, degree-seeking students at residential four-year colleges. Most brands are missing out on reaching the nearly half of all college students that attend community colleges, the 25% that attend part-time, and the quarter that are 25 years old or older.

And while it might seem easy enough to develop an additional strategy to reach these students where they are, the greater challenge for many brands is in creating relevancy with them. Unlike traditional students (especially students at elite colleges) non-traditional students are mostly concerned with their cost of education, alcohol abuse, and stress. For more on the ill-advised focus of the media on elite college students, check out Ben Casselman’s “Shut Up About Harvard.”

Social Media: It’s time to adopt a Snapchat strategy

For the first time in a large-scale study (Piper Jaffray’s “Taking Stock with Teens”), teens cited Snapchat as the most important social media platform. For the many brands that have taken a wait-and-see approach to Snapchat, that time is over. Snapchat boasts 100 million daily active users, 8 billion views per day, and reaches over 40% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. Developing a Snapchat strategy should start with these three elements – straight from Nick Bell, Snapchat’s VP of Content:

  • Use On-Demand Geofilters to create and distribute a custom filter in a specific area for a set time.
  • Consumers love Snapchat because it’s fun, so keep it that way.
  • Not knowing the (Snapchat) product is the biggest killer to most ventures.

Read more from Snapchat’s Nick Bell in Forbes.

Experiential: Wearable tech is event marketing’s next opportunity

2015 was an important year in fitness technology with companies like Apple and Fitbit dominating the fitness tracking space. But those technologies are just the beginning. The next few years will see major advances in wearables and holographic headsets – technologies that will be utilized by experiential marketers.

Wearables allow consumers to learn about their body’s response to stimuli. Experiential marketers will devise ways to use wearables to measure a consumer’s reaction to their product or event experience. A central part of this evolution will be smartwatches, which will progress from a sensor device to a central hub for all wearable tech. Thus, Apple, Google, and Samsung smartwatches are likely to be part of an experiential marketer’s toolkit.

Holographic headsets provide consumers with the opportunity to explore, interact, and learn by experiencing outside environments. Events and sponsors will provide consumers with holographic headsets, not to separate them from the live event they are attending, but to provide another immersive way to sample and discover a brand. To read more about the wearable tech market, see The Motley Fool.

Repetitive content, receiving content too frequently, and content that doesn’t fit a need are among the reasons consumers disengage.

Repetitive content, receiving content too frequently, and content that doesn’t fit a need are among the reasons consumers disengage.

Digital: Why consumers disengage from a brand’s digital media

Marketers have improved greatly at engaging teens and young adults – mainly by using quality content. But we don’t often concentrate on why consumers unfollow brands on social media or unsubscribe to other content. Repetitive content, receiving content too frequently, and content that doesn’t fit a need are among the reasons consumers disengage.

The most intriguing insight in a recent Social Times piece was about consumers unfollowing based on brands posting content unrelated to their brand. In trying to strike a balance between content that is brand-centric versus lifestyle, it seems as though some brands have gone too far in trying to be culturally relevant, and as a result they are being unfollowed on the basis of not understanding their role in their consumers’ digital lives. To read more about consumer disengagement, see Social Times.

Creative: Learn what kind of music will move you and your customers

Are you targeting consumers that like rules or are they guided by emotion? According to some fascinating research conducted at the University of Cambridge, a person’s thinking style says a lot about their music preferences. You can take the quiz the researchers created at

We believe the Cambridge research has marketing implications: if a consumer’s thinking style can be linked to their music preference, brands can include musical taste in their consumer profiling and make more well-informed creative decisions. Brands targeting emotional thinkers might use music that creates an emotional rush (think Adele). Brands targeting logical thinkers might use intense, even manic music (think classical or punk). Read more about this research at The Telegraph.