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The College Bubble Has Burst

The modern college campus is evolving. Quickly. Smartphones, tablets, apps, wireless and cloud connectivity are continuing to play larger roles in classrooms and dorms, and in some cases, are powering entirely virtual campuses. As a result, students are receiving, interpreting, sharing and creating information via mediums and methodologies that simply did not exist ten years ago. Technology is shifting the definition of how we learn, and in doing so, opening up the door to many new and exciting opportunities within the world of education. On a macro level, two great examples of the shift in education are Kahn Academy and edX. Khan Academy What started in 2004 as a Doodle based online tutoring session in mathematics, Khan Academy blossomed into a YouTube hosted, comprehensive collection of online video tutorials across a range of academic subjects. 'I passionately believe that the Khan Academy is a tool that can empower at least an approximate model of what the future of education should look like'a way of combining the art of teaching with the science of presenting information and analyzing data, of delivering the clearest, most comprehensive, and most relevant curriculum at the lowest possible cost." ' Salman Khan edX With a goal of educating 1,000,000,000 people worldwide, MIT, Harvard and UC Berkley have all committed resources to offer up their Ivy-league caliber curriculum for free online. Described as "the single biggest change in education since the printing press,'? by Anant Agarwal, President of edX, the program is redefining the college classroom and potentially shepherding in the next phase of higher education. Ok, it may work in education, but what about for brands? What models like Khan Academy and edX are underscoring is that technology, and the ever-increasing access that it is providing to consumers, is the ultimate enabler. Advances in streaming video, the ubiquity of social media and the ease of access to video on demand have accelerated the speed at which traditional 'offline'? experiences are becoming available as virtual experiences. Examine how advances in technology can create or duplicate experiences that were formally an in-person only engagement point for your brand. Who is doing it well? State Farm's sponsorship of Coachella in partnership with YouTube this past April was a shining example of leveraging technology to offer consumers an online experience that was formerly available only " in-person." Main stages were broadcast live via streaming concert footage and Statefarm integrated a real-time Instagram stream into their Facebook page to provide a glimpse of what it all looked like from an insider's perspective.     Another great example is the Obama campaign's recent use of Google+ to host an online hangout with American voters. The virtual town hall connected the Obama brand directly with his audience and in doing so, generated a lot of publicity coverage - much more than a traditional town hall forum would have gathered.

Guest College Senior Blogger: Kathryn ' 'Real World, Here I Come!'?

Our most recent guest blogger is Kathryn, a 22 year old college senior. Kathryn is currently finishing up here senior year at Northeastern University at an internship in San Francisco, CA. She is eagerly looking forward to wrapping up her last year of college and entering the 'real world.'? Here are her answers to our questions: 1. What kind of shopper do you consider yourself to be? Discerning? Maybe that fits better with 'what type of shopper I strive to be.'? I can fit almost all purchases into one of two categories ' 'great success'? and 'what was I thinking?'? Luckily I only suffer from buyer's remorse once or twice a year, as I find it very difficult to part with money. This means that what I do purchase, I love (or at least highly value). I am a sucker for two things ' books and dresses. I can easily go to any bookstore and spend $50 to $75 and see no problem throwing down $200 on a dress I may not wear for a year or two. Anything else needs to be a necessity or something pretty darn close. 2. What do you look for in the brands you use? When I first read this question I think, 'Value, what else?'? But upon further consideration (I'm trying to be honest here), I would say that I stick to what I know. I think that what I'm getting is a value because I'm not buying an extravagant brand (what college student can afford those?) nor the cheap store brand. To be honest, the Shaw's or Safeway brand salsa is probably just as good  but I associate that with cheap and therefore of a poor quality. Mostly, I look for something that's familiar (often what I've used my whole life) that won't break the bank. I'm not usually into super hyped up brands (like Apple, although I do have an iPod of course), but I won't avoid them just because everyone else uses them (hence the iPod). 3. Which brand do you feel best describes your personality? Why? I would say TripAdvisor represents my personality. First, I love to travel, which is how I narrowed down the category of brand (travel industry). I like to think I'm a good listener, very observant, and always taking in my surroundings. I take the sum of my experiences and make judgments based on them. I like talking to people about what is going on in their lives (especially when it concerns going abroad but that's taking the metaphor too literally) and find a way to relate to them through the experiences I've amassed myself or heard about from others. Basically, I try to be approachable, helpful, and reliable. 4. What is one thing you could not live without? I know I'm supposed to say my phone or TV or something, but I have a much nerdier response (I'm almost hesitant to say it). Books. None of this digital reader stuff, either. I totally get that it's convenient but it's not the same.  Don't get me wrong, I love my phone and all the tech gadgets available to me, but I just need an escape sometimes, and I always feel like I'm lying on a beach when I read. 5. What is your biggest concern as you prepare to finish up college? After landing a full-time job? I'm actually not so much concerned about finding a job as ensuring that the job I find is the right fit. I'm trying to balance the pull to live close to my friends and family (as well as their expectations as such) against the lure of living in a new, fun city and taking advantage of the freedom I currently have to, in theory, 'go anywhere.'? Finishing in August instead of May is giving me a little more time to figure out what I want to do, but I'm only a little further along than I was in January when I moved out to California for my current internship. At the same time, I've opened myself up to so many more options, so I'm more confused (and concerned) than ever about making the right move for my career and myself directly out of college. 6. What will you miss most about college? Being able to use 'it's okay ' I'm still in college'? as an excuse for almost anything. Not knowing exactly what I want to do yet, staying out 'too late,'? eating crappy food, not going to the grocery store for a month (oops!). Basically being semi-irresponsible. This isn't even wanting to use the 'college student'? excuse for others, but for myself. 7. Do you anticipate the brands/products you use will change after college? Why/why not? Yes, definitely. I'm pretty good at saving my money so I'm sure I'll finally allow myself to buy some nicer items (dresses? ' I think so!) knowing that I'll have a steady flow of income. I will likely be spending this extra money more on long-term use goods. One of the things I've been excited to invest in for a few years now is kitchenware. I know it seems odd but you really appreciate nice cookware at home when you have cheap pans and knives at school that your roommates are constantly damaging (which they are completely oblivious to of course). Basically, choosing brands that more represent me and my personality or lifestyle instead of cheap, transient items (which essentially sums up the college lifestyle). 8. What advice would you give to an incoming freshman who will be living away from home for the first time? Don't stress about moving in to college and what to buy and bring. If you're an organized person, make a list. If you aren't, make a list when your mom yells at you to. It doesn't matter how anyone else prepares to leave home and move into a foreign environment. Do it the way that makes you most comfortable. My brother did not go on one single shopping trip to prepare. My mom finally caved and bought him a comforter and sheets for his bed. He just basically packed up his room from home. I, on the other hand, researched blog sites and looked at my university's webpage to make an in depth list of everything I 'needed'? and where I would buy it. Everyone is different but it works out in the end, trust me. 9. If you had a million dollars, what would you buy? A house. On a lake. With some boats and kayaks and all the fun accessories that can go along with living on the water. Then I'd invite all of my family and friends up on weekends and create some great memories. I'd probably rely on my mom to help me pick out a house that was a good value and my brother to help me pick out the boat and other toys (much more his expertise). Since money would be no object (although I don't know how much I'll have left over after the house) I'd buy top of the line boats and jet-skis. It would be much more about creating a fun, getaway environment. 10. What is the most important thing you've ever done in your life? Is it okay to get all philosophical here and say 'step outside of my comfort zone?'? I'm from New England and went to a college in Boston, but I've studied abroad in three European countries (for a total of eight months) and spent six months in New York City as well as in the Bay Area of California for internships. In pushing myself outside of what I know, I have grown so much as a person. I'm independent and I know who I am and what I want ' or at least I'm a lot closer to figuring it out than I would've been if I'd spent my whole life in New England.

Guest Blogger: College Senior, Jon ' 'Thanks for my degree, now what???'?

This month's guest blogger is a member of one of the most sought after consumer demographics ' a college student. We spoke with Jon, who is 22 years old, and currently finishing up his senior year at Bentley University in Waltham, MA. Here are his responses to the questions we asked him: 1. What kind of shopper do you consider yourself to be? I would like to think that I buy what I need when I need it, but that doesn't usually end up being the case.  I'll admit, I also fall victim to many fads and desperately can't wait until I can get my hands on newer products. After I buy something that's 'in'? I get tired of it and want the newest version of it when it comes out. There's always room for improvement, but unfortunately my bank account can't keep up. 2. What do you look for in the brands you use? Usability for sure. Why buy something that won't do what you need it to do?  It also depends on what it is I am buying. I couldn't care less who makes my clothes or what shampoo will give me the most nutrients or whatever. The brands of my big kid toys matter to me: MP3 players, cameras, TVs ' you don't mess around with that stuff. If I'm going to drop a couple hundred on something, it better be best in class. 3. Which brand do you feel best describes your personality? Why? I'd say that Apple would best describe my personality for a few reasons. First off, Apple is always looking to improve its products based on feedback on previous products. Like that, I like to think that I learn and grow from my personal experiences to continuously change how I live my life. If I were an Apple product, I'd probably be iTunes. I'm fun and outgoing and love to have a good time. And plus, who doesn't love their iTunes??? 4. What is one thing you could not live without? I'm obsessed with my BlackBerry. It keeps me connected to everything in my life. I've got my Facebook and Twitter at my fingertips to let me know what my friends are up to. I can keep up with the Red Sox and the rollercoaster ride of emotions they put me through every season. It even has a pretty decent camera to take pics of those random moments that need to be captured. Oh, and I don't own a watch so it tells me what time it is too. I'd be so lost without my BlackBerry. 5. What is your biggest concern as you prepare to finish up college? I am lucky enough to have landed a job right out of college. The biggest problem I think I will face will be handling my money. The paychecks I will be getting every two weeks will be the biggest checks I have ever been given. I have to prepare myself to not get in the habit of spending so frivolously. I'm going to have to budget for rent, bills, and food first no matter what. Something tells me that's easier said than done though. 6. What will you miss most about college? In the time I've been at college, I have grown extremely close so my group of friends. Every year at the end of the year, we've had the comfort of knowing that come September we would see each other again for another year of shenanigans. This time it's completely different. We're all from all over the country and we won't be able to see each other as often as we would like since we're all starting our careers. It's going to be difficult dealing with not having my closest friends around me all the time. 7. Do you anticipate the brands/products you use will change after college? Why/why not? After college I know I'll have to manage my money way better and with that, the stuff I buy may change as well. While I don't pay attention to the brands I buy for little things like detergent, paper towels, or toothpaste, I may need to look at brands besides the big names for luxury items in my life. I mean, maybe Apple products aren't all they're cipro purchase online hyped up to be? 8. What advice would you give to an incoming freshman who will be living away from home for the first time? Buy in bulk as much as you can by joining a wholesale club. I got a Costco membership my freshman year of college and have been so glad I did ever since. They legit have EVERYTHING you will need to survive in college: plasticware, solos cups, toilet paper, late night food snacks, ramen, you name it they probably have it and a lot of it to offer. It will save you many trips to the regular store and money too. 9. If you had a million dollars, what would you buy? If I had a million bucks, the very first thing I'd get is a sick penthouse overlooking a city. It wouldn't have to be in Boston just in a city somewhere. I'd fill it with tons of cool gadgets and electronics too, like huge TVs and stereo systems, the works. I'd also have to get a car since I'm currently lacking one and wouldn't mind just having one to drive around in, maybe two. With whatever's left I'll try to get rid of some student loans, but definitely the penthouse and car(s) first. 10. What is the most important thing you've ever done in your life? The most important thing I have done in my life is gone away for college. It's a wild world out there and I think college is an essential transition period to ease the changeover to the real world. That small amount of independence has helped me learn to manage my time and my money better than I could have if I didn't go away for school. The last four years have been the best ones yet and I am happy I experienced them.

Sometimes You Can't Keep up with Your School Work'?¦Sometimes It Can't Keep up with You

In preparing for class discussion by reading a business case last week, my eyes scanned a phrase that seemed woefully out of date. 'Web logging,'? blogging's full name, felt as silly, formal and old as the days when we all had to use .edu addresses to log into thefacebook.com. Of course, in 2003 when Halley Suitt's case 'A Blogger in Their Midst'? was published, such explanation was necessary and what would become the blogging public were having Dear Diary moments on LiveJournal and Xanga. Long story short, the fictional case involved a blog-happy company employee wielding her influence for good and bad. She filled her many readers in on pending sales deals and her negative opinions of potential clients ' surely a fireable offense in this day and age. But the quasi-anonymous writer also sang the praises of several of her company's products and even revived an aging product line. She generated good buzz for the company and earned accolades from other industry leaders. The fictional executives worked themselves into a tizzy over what to do about her. They had never really heard of people taking to the Internet to document their thoughts, share opinion and create media that heralded a product. Should they fire her? Promote her? Let her keep blogging and hope she stops spreading company secrets? All this prompted a lively discussion with classmates debating the various merits and detriments of this non-sanctioned blog. But it was all for naught. In 2011, this case is pretty much a moot point. If this situation were happening today, the company would already have an official blog and a social media policy for employees to follow. This random blogger would likely be fired or at leave be given a stern talking-to. However, here my class sat (on a Friday night no less'?¦thanks, snow day make up schedule) dissecting the facts of this case and giving our hypothetical advice to the fake CEO ' whose spot was blown up on the blog when the author outed his toupee. A Speedily Changing Subject Matter I don't fault anyone here, not my professor, not the case author, not my school. Our class discussions are always relevant, current and enlightening, but what we've all had to read to get there'?¦not so much. When the field, integrated marketing communication, moves as fast as it does, it's clearly difficult for related material to catch up. In the past three months that I've been interning at AMP, we've witnessed the beginning of the end for MP3 players and questioned the air-tightness of the almighty mobile app. Case studies are a little easier to keep updated, but textbooks nowadays can be like paper time capsules. For example, one of my texts from this semester points to the online buzz created around Christina Aguilera's 'Genie in a Bottle'? as a great way to market pop music to teens online. It credits a 'team of cybersurfers'? posting messages on websites and emailing music fans about this hot new singer, whom they might remember from the Mulan soundtrack. Never mind the fact that we all associate Xtina with things far less wholesome than Disney's warrior princess, Electric Artists would now have to make their scrappy cybersurfing squad officially disclose that they were receiving 'material connections'? for talking up one of the greatest songs of the summer of 1999, thanks to a 2009 update to the FTC's endorsement guide. And, if we're talking about pop stars skyrocketing to fame with the help of the interwebs, why don't we mention The Bieber? In defense of the textbook's authors, it was published in 2009 when Bieber Fever was more like Bieber Sniffles and had only taken root in Canada. Thinking Outside the Textbook The onus rests on course instructors to seek out supplemental reading to give students an up-to-date picture of the marketing world, which we deserve. However, this all but guarantees that each class, each semester will be totally buy propecia on line different. Education should be fluid, but should students be learning completely different things from year to year? A friend's professor bolstered the class text with articles like this one on Twitter's influence on live TV, but what happens next spring when the class runs again? The story will be outdated and the professor will have no guaranteed source of supplemental information. So what's the answer? A marketing professor think tank that writes up content for each new semester? Requiring that students buy e-readers to ensure they'll get the freshest content? I don't know the solution, but part of the future landscape of higher education has already begun to form in the shape of tweets and status updates. Social media has revolutionized how we live and communicate and it's definitely been changing the way we learn. Social Butterflies Landing in the Classroom When I was an undergraduate, Facebook was simply a place to connect with friends and, eventually, a place to share photos. The biggest influence it had outside of students' social lives was the rumors that the Department of Public Safety was using it to find parties to bust. Campus lore held that a professor got wind of a student's 20th birthday party at a bar through a Facebook event and alerted authorities. That was surely a learning experience for all who may or may not have been involved and their confiscated fake IDs. Today students shouldn't be surprised if professors bring the 'Book right into their classes. Recent findings show that 80 percent of faculty members use some form of social media to teach. A whopping 91 percent of them report using social media as some aspect of their work, compared to 47 percent of professionals in other industries. This year, I've had the head of my department wish me a happy birthday through Twitter, watched iconic commercials in class on YouTube, and found the opening that led to my AMP internship on my program's LinkedIn page. In the four years that have passed since I earned my bachelor's degree, social media has delivered some walloping changes to the landscape in the classroom and on campus. Marketing students can rest assured that even when their assigned readings feel as dated as Ms. Aguilera's Dirrty-era chaps, their professors will pleasantly punch up any discussion using their own expert observations, relevant news pieces and up-to-the-minute strategy playing out in social platforms. Let's just hope some updated course materials materialize soon so they have a little back up.

The Coolest 'Pad on Campus

Seton Hill University, a small liberal arts school in Pennsylvania, is putting a spin on the old practice of students giving teachers apples in hope of better grades. Starting in the fall of 2010, Seton Hill will be giving all full-time students a 13" Apple MacBook laptop and an iPad. Promoted as part of the University's Griffin Technology Advantage Program, the school has stated that "This new program provides students with the best in technology and collaborative learning tools, ensuring that Seton Hill students will be uniquely suited to whatever careers they choose - even those that have not yet been created." Students will have access to these devices for class work and personal use, and will receive a new laptop after two years (which they get to keep upon graduation). What's this mean for marketers? For starters, it's further confirmation that college students are media accessible at almost every waking moment. The 2009 Alloy College Explorer study found that on average college students are collectively spending up to 12 hours interacting with different types of media, usually multi-tasking across their phone, computer, gaming device, etc. The iPad may be the next big step in media convergence - a portable, one-stop media device. At the least, it's a vote of confidence in the iPad's functional benefits. Seton Hill is banking on the fact that the device has real utility for learning / work - possibly a pre-cursor to companies following suit and distributing iPads as a less expensive alternative to laptops. With iPad sales kicking off this weekend, who else do you think will be jumping on the iPad bandwagon? Are you planning on getting one? Who knows, we may all be working off of tablets rather laptops before the class of 2010 graduates.

The Coolest 'Pad on Campus

Seton Hill University, a small liberal arts school in Pennsylvania, is putting a spin on the old practice of students giving teachers apples in hope of better grades. Starting in the fall of 2010, Seton Hill will be giving all full-time students a 13" Apple MacBook laptop and an iPad. Promoted as part of the University's Griffin Technology Advantage Program, the school has stated that "This new program provides students with the best in technology and collaborative learning tools, ensuring that Seton Hill students will be uniquely suited to whatever careers they choose - even those that have not yet been created." Students will have access to these devices for class work and personal use, and will receive a new laptop after two years (which they get to keep upon graduation). What's this mean for marketers? For starters, it's further confirmation that college students are media accessible at almost every waking moment. The 2009 Alloy College Explorer study found that on average college students are collectively spending up to 12 hours interacting with different types of media, usually multi-tasking across their phone, computer, gaming device, etc. The iPad may be the next big step in media convergence - a portable, one-stop media device. At the least, it's a vote of confidence in the iPad's functional benefits. Seton Hill is banking on the fact that the device has real utility for learning / work - possibly a pre-cursor to companies following suit and distributing iPads as a less expensive alternative to laptops. With iPad sales kicking off this weekend, who else do you think will be jumping on the iPad bandwagon? Are you planning on getting one? Who knows, we may all be working off of tablets rather laptops before the class of 2010 graduates.

  • 1 min read
  • March 31, 2010

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