Amy is the Head of Marketing and Business Intelligence at StudentUniverse. We asked her a few questions as she is wrapping up 2011 and planning for 2012.
Q: How do you spread the word about StudentUniverse?
A: We spread the word every way we can, with a focus on relevance and solid ROI. We use email, social, old-fashioned advertising spots, and valuable search partnerships.
Q: How important is SEO to you and why?
A: SEO is critical. Not only are you able to get ‘free’ traffic from content on your site, but the discipline of SEO makes you create relevant and useful content that can then be linked off email and social campaigns.
Q: What are some marketing trends that you find interesting?
A: I love anything that leads to viral. The flash mobs, although already seeming like something from years ago, were a brilliant idea. I love a marketing trend that entertains customers and gets them talking. At the same time, it is so hard to duplicate the virality. I’m most excited to see what happens to social in the coming year – Will it become the purchase decision place? What will happen with bookmarking sites? Will that audience allow for a bit of commerce?
Q: Is email marketing still relevant?
A: Yes. It is still an accepted channel for reaching a large percentage of your audience on a schedule. But, it is part of the ‘omnichannel’ – it must work with your site and social and any other campaigns/channels you are running. You should be able to share from email, interact with email, use email to prop up other channels.
Q: Did internet kill the TV star?
A: No, but I think TV, or the video medium, has moved to the internet. You see in the stats gathered that time spent watching TV is moving to the internet, of course – but, I would say internet content needs to offer up what TV was. Sites like Hulu and Netflix are taking up the bandwidth and will offer even more opportunities to reach students.
Q: How are students different from the general market?
A: Students are different because of their age and their generation. Because they are young, they are open to trying new things. Because they are generation Y, they want things now and without difficulty. One of the most insightful things I’ve heard at a conference recently is that Gen Y is not tech-savvy, but tech-dependent. You have to meet them on their medium – whether texting or being social or using their smartphones to surf the web and make purchases. They might even find ‘surf the web’ an embarrassingly old-fashioned phrase.