Large companies often launch several offline and online marketing campaigns to reach their target market and audience. Sometimes, these campaigns include traditional advertising, like print or media, but they may also include other forms of advertising, like referral marketing or through surveys. Recently, the telecommunications company, Sprint, launched a marketing campaign that targeted college students as a channel to assist the company in testing out their product line.
Other companies, like the toy company Mattel, and the clothing manufacturer at Levi Strauss, have also used similar methods as Sprint when using college students to gauge their company’s marketing efforts. Large companies like these often turn to this age group for testing since they are often the best and most effective at marketing to their peers in social networks. Sprint recently launched a marketing campaign where they partnered with several universities, and engaged the students’ marketing skills and social networking activity in their plans to launch a new product in their line of communications hardware.
Emerson College in Boston teamed up with Sprint in an online marketing course to promote Sprint’s new 4G network. The students were to use their marketing skills and social networking savvy skills to promote the product through their Facebook and Twitter pages, and also with any other virtual and effective channels where it could possibly be successful. The goal here was two-fold: to broaden the student’s social network and to bring the Sprint brand more exposure from within a key demographic.
The marketing launch was also a part of the student’s coursework, with both the goals working together optimally. In the first launch of the campaign, the students successfully satisfied Sprint’s goals for marketing their new 4G product to the Facebook and Twitter audience. The company’s marketing managers viewed the marketing “test” as a success (based on product buzz and interest) and decided to design another test launch for a future campaign.