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Corporate Promoting on Campus: The Student Marketeer

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With over 17 million students enrolled in universities to date and more than $200 billion in college-age consumer spending, it is not surprising to know that many large corporations are finding their target niche among college students who have yet to claim homage in a particular brand. (Schweitzer, Boston Globe)

More students are gaining access to added resources, student loans and better paying jobs. More money coupled with notoriously poor money managing habits have companies setting up shop.

Recruiting Student Promoters

As many universities have prohibited corporate solicitation on campuses, companies have mustered students to undertake the marketing mission, and the results have been promising.

These students are often selected based upon their natural leadership abilities, allure, and large social reticulum. Sarah Schweitzer of the Boston Globe reported that “by the estimate of leading youth marketing firms, tens of thousands of students work as campus ambassadors nationwide.”

Marketing Tactics

Studies have shown that student promoters use a prolific blend of tactics unlike the typical door-to-door sales method and refrain from attaching themselves with a company affiliation. Students of today’s era are skeptical of the corporate message and unimpressionable when it comes to television, radio or internet ads. They are more likely to respond to other students. Methods like buzz marketing—word of mouth, stickers, posters, no media, no hype are much more affective and likely to gain a response.

Student Marketer Benefits

Some are made for sales; some aren’t. If you have ever attempted a sales job and quickly relented, you understand. Campus promoting is unlike any typical sales job and can provide numerous benefits for the student.

Students on average are expected to dedicate over 10 hours a week passing out material and collecting email addresses. Most companies will let the students keep some of the products they are promoting and in some cases will provide a small salary. There are also opportunities for resume building and job possibilities with the company they are promoting for.


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