Here are the results of the college marketing campaign from analyzing the registration data.
Background on Attendees
As expected, the large majority of attendees were from UC San Diego. Economics and business majors made up 71% of attendees, which raises the question should UIS continue to target economics students or expand out into other majors? I believe that with over 6000 students that enroll in economics courses every quarter at UCSD, there is still a lot of low hanging fruit to be picked. The next marketing campaign should focus almost entirely on economic students, as fewer than 10% students taking economics classes are registering for the conference.
Flyering and chalk boarding which were the two most most labor intensive methods produced the worst results, reaching a combined 8% of attendees. On the other hand, the least labor intensive marketing methods econ blog, in class pitches and social media were three to six times more effective.
Word of mouth through friends was the surprise leader in how attendees heard about the conference. This makes me think the next campaign should focus on soundbites and something that encourages attendees to bring friends, such as “bring a friend get X free” type promotion.
Though this graph is informative, I believe that it underestimates the value of flyering and chalkboarding. I have a nagging suspicion that there would have been fewer people who heard about it from friends had the campus not been covered in flyers. There is a chance that flyering and chalkboarding serve as reinforcement to the more popular methods, for example a student hears about the conference from a friend and then is reminded to register upon seeing a flyer. That kind of value that chalkboarding and flyering brings would not be reflected in this graph.
Overall, Facebook ads were dismal. With over 6000 people seeing the ads, only 6 of them clicked. Out of the 7 ads that I ran, the one titled “Hedge Funds @ UCSD” did the best, and by best I mean it got all the clicks. The success of the “Hedge Funds” ad suggests that more mainstream finance terms are the key to targeting students.
Currently, there is a debate raging about the effectiveness of Facebook ads. My dismal results has pushed me towards the “not effective” side of the debate. There is a very real possibility that my generation, which grew up with banner ads, have learned to completely tune them out. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg is definitely onto something when he said that the display advertising model is broken and in-stream advertising is the future.
Letter to the Editors of City on a Hill Press
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