ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN STRATEGY FOR STUDENT EDGE
ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN STRATEGY FOR STUDENT EDGE
Student Edge has the highest scholar membership in Australia. This advertisement campaign is expected to increase the company’s membership by 12,000 students. The campaign shall focus on senior high school students between 15 and 19 years. The primary target markets of this campaign are the students between aged 18 and 19 years, especially those who are about to graduate from high school. With a budget limited to $25,000, the campaign will adopt four low cost Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) tools, to attract more students and increase the engagement of existing partners and members.
The first IMC tool includes billboards, posters, flyers and brochures. The second tool is direct marketing via internet search engines and skins. The fourth and fifth IMC tools include guerrilla marketing and point-of-purchase (point-of-sale). To ensure that the campaign adheres to the $25,000 budget, the amount of money that will be spent on each IMC tool has been estimated. This marketing strategy has also identified targeted promotional cars, magazines and newspaper advertisements as additional IMC tools, which can be used in the case of an open budget. The strategy also explains how external partners can be involved in the advertisement campaign.
Advertising Campaign Strategy for Student Edge
Student Edge’s membership has increased tremendously since its formation. It has grown through passion and perseverance to improve the lives of many Australian students. The company is dedicated towards enriching the lives of students by offering resources in careers, jobs, life and financial management decisions. Its members benefit from the online and offline students services such as, wellbeing, health, career and study tools. Furthermore, it engages it members with exclusive discounts and rewards.
Currently, the company has the largest student membership in Australia. However, there is need to increase acquisition, retention and engagement of members and partners. As the competition in the market continues to intensify, there is need for Student Edge to retain its current members and sign up additional students. This advertising campaign strategy aims at increasing the company’s acquisition and engagement of new members between fifteen and nineteen years. Furthermore, it aims at increasing engagement of Student Edge’s partners. The company’s three major partners include the government, corporate and third sectors.
The advertising campaign has four major objectives. They include, enhancing registration, strengthening relationships, increasing engagement and acquiring new members. With a budget limited $25,000, the campaign has identified affordable IMC tools, which will enable the company to acquire 12,000 new members. The campaign shall target students between 15 – 19 years. Brief descriptions of other IMC tools, which are more effective and expensive, have been outlined and can be adopted in case the company increases the size of the budget, or decides to operate on an open budget.
The main objectives of the advertising campaign are:
- To deepen current relationship and engagement of the top 3,000 members
- To acquire 12,000 new members
- To enhance registration of members
- To enhance engagement of partners
Target Market Description
In 2012, Student Edge had a membership of 404,319 (Student Edge 2012). Even though its membership varies from junior high school students to alumni, the target audience of this campaign shall be those between 15 – 19 years old. This target group can be divided into two segments, primary and secondary markets. The primary market constitutes students aged 18 and 19 years. Conversely, the secondary market constitutes high school students between the ages 15 and 17 years. Students aged 18 and 19 will be searching and applying for collages, which they can join once they graduate from high school. These students will require the services offered by Student Edge, to enable them make wise and informed decisions. This age group therefore becomes an ideal target market for Student Edge.
The company has three major partners that will help it maximize membership acquisition and engagement. The government, corporate and private sectors will have to be involved in the advertisement campaign. However, the third sector should be positioned as the leading brand in the advertisement campaign. The third sector includes high schools, universities and collages. Since these students will be searching for collages and sending applications, a strong partnership with learning institutions will enable the company reach the target market much easily and quickly.
The advertisement campaign will take place between January and March 2014. High schools and universities are expected to resume in February and March respectively. Starting the campaign in January will create public awareness before senior high school students report to school in February. Between January and March, students will be visiting, selecting and applying for universities of their choice. Therefore, the advertisement campaign will be more effective during this period. Pre-testing and post-testing will be performed before, during and after the advertisement campaign to measure the effectiveness of the IMC tools. Pre-testing aims at ensuring the effectiveness of the proposed tools, and identifying any areas that require improvements. The post-testing will be aimed at ascertaining whether the campaign achieved its intended objectives.
Limited budget. Considering the fact the $25,000 campaign intends to acquire 12,000 new members, the budget for each IMC will be based on an objective-task approach. The company has a limited budget of $25,000. $10,000 will be issued up-front while $15,000 will be divided equally among the three months of the campaign. Different IMC tools can be applied to make the advertisement campaign a success despite the limited budget.
Print Media and Out-door Media: Brochures, flyers, posters and billboards. Since Student Edge’s leading partners are those in the third sector, a huge percentage of the budget will be allocated towards outdoor advertisements. This IMC tool would involve putting up billboards and pinning posters at high schools and university campuses. The learning institutions can also be issued with brochures and flyers to be distributed to students, enlightening them of Student Edge and the registration process. These promotional materials will be designed, printed, distributed and erected within the fist two weeks on January. All billboards will be erected within the first month of the campaign. The flyers and brochures will be distributed in phases. As the campaign intensifies, more of these promotional materials will be retrieved from the company’s stores and distributed to the partners. From the $10,000 that will be issued up-front, $7,000 will be used to print and distribute these materials. $3,000 will be used to pay for the legal fees required by the state for public promotional activities such as, billboards. The company will not incur any cost on designing because it has internal designers tasked with creating artistic promotional materials. The elements of the promotional materials should include legibility, color schemes, topography, and visual appeal (Hartnett & Keisler 2008).
Interactive Media: Direct marketing via internet search engines and skins. Apart from targeting new members, this IMC tool will also enhance members experience, increase interaction opportunities, create online communities, provide information and improve public relation. According to Student Edge (2011), 53% percent of the members log into Student Edge’s website at least once a week. Approximately 85% log into the website using their mobile phones (Student Edge 2011). To increase then number of times the company’s information will be viewed on the internet, the company will partner with high schools, universities and internet search engine developers, for example Google. Collaborating with search engine developers will enable the company’s website to appear among the first result to be displayed on the internet. Internet users will view information regarding Student Edge as they carry online research for schools and universities. Google will be allocated a higher amount because it has many users than Yahoo. A study by Student Edge (2011) indicated that more than 80% of the internet users, who viewed the company’s website during the ‘It All Starts at School’ campaign, used Google (Student Edge n.d.). Furthermore, in 2012, Google had 171,562,093 users compared to Yahoo’s 165,338,755 (Compete Site Analytics 2013). Therefore, Google and Yahoo will be allocated $3,000 and $1,050 respectively, for the three months.
Skins for internet search engines can also be used to increase public awareness and engagement of members. Students will be attracted to install these creative search engine skins in their personal computers. The skins will advertise the company because they will entail a brief description of the services and products offered by Student Edge. Furthermore, it will be free because Students Edge has internal software designers and developers who will tasked with creating these skins. The use of search engines and skins as an IMC tool will target both new and existing members. Interdependence present in business-to-business relationships is very important in internet marketing (Jones & Silverstein 2009). By collaborating with leaning institutions, the company will be able to market itself on their websites at no cost. Given the limited budget, the company will not run advertisements on social media websites.
Guerilla Marketing. This IMC tool would be the cheapest strategy for Student Edge. Boone (2012) supports that guerrilla marketing is one of the most effective and frequently used IMC tool by marketers with limited budget. The best guerrilla marketing strategies include site presence, viral networks, buzz and wait marketing (C. Levinson & J. Levinson 2011). In site presence marketing, the company will have to erect tents at the entrances or next to registration centers at schools and universities. Students will access information about the company as they report to school. Viral marketing will target students on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsUp. Student Edge already has accounts in most of these sites. According to Student Edge (2013), the company has 341,291likes in their Facebook account. Members should be encouraged to invite their friends to connect, like and join Student Edge’s accounts. Buzz marketing will involve promoting the company through word of mouth. Student Edge members and partners will be encouraged to inform their friends and customers about the benefits of joining the network, and help them through the registration process.
As students report to schools and universities, the registration process might be time consuming. Wait marketing can be used to target the students who have lined up for services to be offered by their institutions. Apart from targeting new members, these guerrilla IMC tools will also increase the level of engagement of existing members and partners. This is because they will be tasked with speaking to students and convincing them to join the network. Furthermore, it would require minimal allocation from the budget. Site marketing will be carried out in the first weeks of February and March. The two weeks will target students reporting to school and visiting university campuses respectively. $4,000 should be allocated for the two-week exercise and will be divided equally. Since ‘wait marketing’ will engage Student Edge representatives, $1,490 will be allocated for the two-week exercise. The other guerrilla marketing strategies will not require financial input because they are solely based on the corporation of existing members and partners.
Point-of-purchase (point-of-sale). Student Edge partners, especially, the corporate sector, will be actively involved in this IMC strategy. Most of Student Edge’s partners are well known and frequently visited institutions. The partners who will be actively involved during this period include McDonald, Bankwest, Career One, Apple, Dell and Lenovo. For example, Bankwest has a student tailored to offer affordable service to Student Edge members and issues them with bank debit cards (Bankwest n.d.). Collaboration with these institutions should continue throughout the three-month period. This is because many students visit these stores and office before they report to school. Students might visit these places to create bank accounts, purchase laptops or attend a social gathering with friends before going back to school. Partners will be encouraged to inform their customers about Student Edge. Promotional materials, such as flyers and brochures, will also be placed in these places. Point-of-purchase display materials are always aimed at creating additional impulse purchases (Liljenwall 2004). In this case, these materials will promote impulse registration by students. Furthermore, $3,000 will be used to hire additional representatives who will be positioned at the leading stores and busiest offices of corporate partners in Australia. Even though most of the partners will not request for financial consideration from Student Edge, $1,500 should allocated for contingency.
Unlimited budget. The most effective IMC tools cannot be used because of the budget constrain. If Student Edge decides to operate on an open budget or increase its allocation, two additional IMC tools will enhance the success of the campaign. They include targeted promotional cars, magazine and newspaper advertisement.
Newspapers and Magazines. In 2010, $1.3 billion was spent by Australians on newspapers (The Newspaper Works 2012). Furthermore, millions of Australians have newspapers-branded applications downloaded in their mobile phones. This IMC tool will enable the company to reach the wide rage of consumers in Australia. The smallest newspaper adverts will require less financial allocation. However, they will be ineffective because of their size. With an unlimited budget, Student Edge should opt for full-page newspaper advertisements on the best selling daily newspapers in Australia. In the beginning of the campaign, the company should collaborate with learning institutions that have plans of advertising on daily newspapers. While these institutions report opening dates and advertise their services, Student Edge should request their advert to be printed adjacent to them.
Promotional Cars: This IMC tool involves designing Student Edge advertisements that will be sprayed or wrapped on cars. It is expensive but has substantial advantages. Firstly, the promotional cars will continue to advertise Student Edge long after the campaign is concluded. Secondly, the company will bypass financial constraints and time deadlines associate with other outdoor marketing tools such as billboards. According to Raccoon Effective Vehicle Branding (n.d.), promotional car advertisements have long term benefits because financial resources will not allocated on public advertisement placements and rates. Finally, it will create a huge buzz and increase Student Edge awareness. To eliminate the costs associated with purchasing new cars, the company should request its employees and partners, especially schools, to allow Students Edge car wrappings to be placed on their vehicles.
Engaging the top 3,000 most active members in the campaign will strengthen the relationship between them and Student Edge. Another reason why the most active members should be involved in the campaign is that they have a vast knowledge of the company’s history, products and services, registration process and external partners. Therefore, they will be in a better position to respond to queries raised by students. Furthermore, senior members will also be role models to the students, thereby encouraging the junior students. Despite the limited budget, Students Edge can carry out a successful advertisement campaign. However, a much bigger budget will have a significant contribution to the campaign. The company will be in a better position to increase market awareness by using more effective, but relatively expensive IMC tools. Nonetheless, all IMC tools will require engagement and participation of actively involved members.
Bankwest n.d, Student Account: One card, Sweet discounts, viewed 27 September 2013, http://www.bankwest.com.au/personal/everyday-accounts/everyday-transaction-accounts/student-account
Boone, LE, 2012, Contemporary marketing, 2013 update, Cengage Learning Custom, Connecticut.
Compete Site Analytics 2013, Website Traffic, viewed 27 September 2013, https://siteanalytics.compete.com/google.com/
Hartnett, R & Keisler, K 2008, Small Business Big Opportunity: Winning the Right Customers through Smart Marketing and Advertising. Melbourne, Sensis.
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Student Edge 2012, Student Edge Member Survey, 2012, The Edge, Subiaco WA.
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Student Edge n.d., Department of Education, viewed 27 September 2013, http://studentedge.com.au/documents/case-studies/Student-Edge_Department-of-Education-WA_Case-Study.pdf
The Newspaper Works 2012, Australian Newspaper2010 Report , viewed 04 October 2013, http://www.thenewspaperworks.com.au/news/state-of-australian-newspapers
Van Der Waldt, DLR, Rebello, TM & Brown, WJ 2009, ‘Attitudes of Young Consumers towards SMS Advertising’, African Journal of Business Management, Vol. 3, no. 9, pp. 444-452.
|$25,000 Budget Limit|
|IMC Tool||Strategies||January||February||March||Total Cost|
|Brochures, Flyers, Posters &Billboards||Designing||Free||$0.00|
|Printing and distribution||$7,000.00||$7,000.00|
|Guerrilla Marketing||Site presence – Representatives||$2,000.00||$2,000.00||$4,000.00|
|Wait marketing – Representatives||$745.00||$745.00||$1,490.00|
Appendix 1: Budgetary allocation
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