Please nod your head if you have ever taken another route to class pretending to be on your cell phone or completely ignoring someone who was trying to give you an event flyer. If you give your computer screen a nod, we applaud you. However, if you are like 99% of the student population at UNCW and nodded your head–we understand.
There are over 250 student organizations vying for our attention, membership and time so how do we pick what to attend? Our choices depend on how, or if, we hear about the event and how creative the marketing is. The Association for Campus Entertainment is the university’s student programming board Did you enjoy Hoddie Allen last year? That was ACE. What about when Maci Bookout from Teen Mom was here in the spring? That was ACE too.
In the midst of everything college kids have going on, ACE provides an outlet for free entrainment. But just like every other student organization, they have to compete for your time as well. Integrated Marketing Communication, IMC, allows us to diversify the means by which we achieve our marketing goals. A public relations campaign? Check. Social media presence? Also check. Cool and engaging advertising? Also IMC.
ACE does this through an array of promotional tools each year, the first being through giveaways what college student doesn’t like free things? This year ACE gave phone wallets, Croakies, car USB adapters and staplers. This may seem like a mishmash of items but each one served a purpose: to be seen and get the ACE name known. Whether it is letting a classmate use the ACE braded stapler, or paying for food in Wag as you pull your OneCard out of your ACE branded phone wallet, ACE is marketing their brand. The goal is to increase the number of times a student sees a brand and how they associate it—hopefully in a positive light.
There is more to promotions than simply getting a name out; ACE must also promote their events. There are the standard campus marketing methods such as banner, chalking and flyers, but in order to infiltrate the calendars of college students, you must take efforts farther. ACE is a brand that thrives on creative promotions, whether this be acting out a scene from an upcoming movie in the campus theatre or handing out paint brushes across campus for a Cheerwine and Design event. There is always something being passed out.
A successful marketing campaign goes beyond creating and implementing the campaign. The ultimate goal of IMC, is to not only change one’s beliefs, but to change his or her actions. Whether this be successfully convincing students to change their plans and attend an event or sign up for ACE, we want them to act on our suggestions. So how do you think ACE stacks up, do you hear about their events through traditional means of advertising or through creative promotions across campus? Furthermore – how do you prefer to be wooed into coming to an organization’s event or do you organically decide to attend? Let us hear your thoughts and comments blow!
-Amanda, Daniel, Kendall, Meleah and Luke