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Bill Gillies - Editor

Profiting from the college selection process


There are a number of reasons why the actual spending by teens and young adults for online goods and services drastically understates the importance of the Internet in the total volume of young consumer purchases.  Many young consumers research products online but make the purchase at a regular store because they don’t have a credit card. Often the product they research simply isn’t sold by regular online merchants.

A good example of the latter is universities, which gather hundreds of millions of dollars in tuition every year.  Choosing a college is a daunting decision, and if advertisers could reach this young demographic and help them in their decision-making process, it could form the basis of a long and trusting relationship.

That’s the premise of YOUniversityTV.com, which was founded last year.  It is designed to help students in the college-selection process by providing videos and educational resources for colleges across the U.S. – more than 400 to date.  The site’s social networking component (YOULife) allows students, alumni, fans and friends to leave messages on each others corkboards, post on blogs, comment on photos, exchange music, and so on.

The site’s co-founder, Angelo Kotzamanis, says that with the teen demographic huddled so densely online and with this space becoming highly saturated by advertising, marketers need to be savvy and swift in how they reach teens and convert them into advocates of their brands/products. Universities themselves are using social networking tools to attract, recruit and research prospective students. Sites offering virtual campus tours and admissions information are helping teens explore and compare schools and narrow down their options before applying.

“This new niche provides an untapped opportunity for marketers, who should look for ways to reach the college-bound demographic — a group that is brand-conscious, educated, motivated and serious about where and how they spend their cash.”

It’s a demographic that advertisers lust over.  If YOUniversityTV.com gains traction, it could be a golden goose.

Tags: Brand, School/College

   
 
 
   

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