College Marketing in Context: A New Year’s Resolution

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The Super Bowl is right around the corner, and with it a new slate of entertaining Super Bowl ads. What makes the elite Super Bowl ads stand out compared to the myriad of other advertisements consumers are exposed to during the rest of the year? How can we apply what we learn from the mass appeal of Super Bowl ads and use it for more cost effective campaigns through out the year, especially when targeting a niche demographic like college students?

Technology continues to evolve and brands need to apply the new knowledge to their digital strategy when communicating with their customers. iMediaConnections examined the current state of video advertisements based on a recent market research done by Infectious Media.  With over 50 percent of online ads going unnoticed by their target market, companies must take an introspective look at their campaigns and determine how easily digestible the content is.

Luckily, 2014 will see the continuing trend of better mobile data connections, with a 4G push, enabling high quality and geo-targeted video ads to efficiently reach a target market.  This will allow a previously hard-to-reach demographic, the college student, to be efficiently reached.  Constantly on the move, this market is looking at their phone screens exponentially more than they are at TVs. This fact of life will force brands to get their marketing initiatives delivered in the right context to the right people.

While innovating mobile strategy in this way will require a larger budget, marketing teams will see those dollars go further when their engagement gets boosted. Of course, this is all dependent upon the integration of content and commercials to the end user.  Take, for example, John Doe.  While he’s sitting in his lecture hall trying to fight off the urge to fall asleep, he’s looking for anything to keep his mind occupied.  John is in a very impressionable state here, and if he’s unable to tell the difference between reading his favorite blog on his smartphone vs seeing it on his computer at home, he’s much more likely to engage with the ad staring him in the face if he finds it contextually relevant.

Since consumers are seeing the relevance of current video ads dwindle, companies must be looking for the next wave of innovative media marketing strategies.  Undoubtedly, this will be spearheaded by the ever-expanding mobile market.  Like the best halftime Super Bowl commercials, perceived quality and receptiveness is dependent upon context.  If companies want to make their ads useful, especially to the inherently-nomadic college age-group, they need to get it in front of their market right on time, in the right spot, in the right way.  This new year will show the most successful brands doing just that, and more.

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