Colleges Leveraging Student / Consumer Generated Content for Lead Generation

To attract better students colleges are paying current students to blog about their experiences on campus. When old institutions like those are already embracing the web (and using refer a friend type marketing techniques) that has to hint at the raw untapped marketing power and strong growth potential of the web. It also makes me appreciate how cluttered the web will be with information.

Most everything related to information outside of marketing is moving toward free. Marketing is often the only thing that separates what is perceived as valuable and what is not. Perception is reality.

Published: August 5, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


August 5, 2007 - 9:07pm

I found you on Wikipedia. I am here now, and I enjoy what i am reading. Great content, great layout. Well done! I learned alot in just a few minutes browsing.

August 5, 2007 - 9:47pm

i think instead of paying students to lie about them universities should make universities a better place for students.
i am student at leading technology and engineering university of Turkey and may be whole Middle East, the university is very popular and is said to be very good.
but here inside, all this hierarchy of dean/professor/assoc/assistant/student it kills me, there are some great profs and instructors but there are enough of them using their privelegies for personal needs and sometimes just for ego. like not giving the grade i deserve at exam objections to reduce number of students coming for exam grade objection and everything.
i see that from the past structure of two public institutions have not changed, thats army and schools, high and secondary schools are ok because influential parents can pressure teachers and directors of the schools but in universities thats not the case. And actually you have no one to go because you gonna complain about professor to dead who also was professor few years ago? if professor does sth wrong you have nowhere to tell...
would be great to see schools where profs dont act like they are kings of that forest.

August 5, 2007 - 10:59pm

Hi Elvirs,

I'm from Germany and I know these problems all too well. University is really just a means to get a paper qualification. It might vary depending on the major you choose, but in business/marketing here its really the same thing as the 13 years of elementary and highschool before that are: 10% of what you learn might help you on the job later the rest is really just for the paper qualification.

Dont know how its in other countries but in Germany I find the system really a bit ridiculous: You go to the "best" of 3 types of schools for 9 years after spending 4 years in elementary. Then you go to college where youll spend an average of 5 years and then you're supposed to be glad if some generous company really chooses to employ you! Social conditioning I guess :-).

Consider yourself to be lucky if you understand how silly this is and how the system really works. If you learn online marketing/SEO (etc.) thatll turn the tables on the "system" as its a field where the demand far outweighs the (quality) supply.

Instead of completely falling for this education system and believing all this crap...and then boasting about the name of your university or that youve participated in some special program.

Sometimes I think about it like this: An education from harvard for example looks great on paper and will definitely help you get the foot in the door. But after a few years of working on the job, if you employed people: who would you promote? The guy who does the better job or the guy who has the fancy degree? (atl east this is true for jobs such as SEO where your results can be tracked easily..thus perception doesnt play a role)

I could write about this all day long, but Im just glad i finally understand that its more about what you can do and that college is really just a paper qualification to help oyu get the foot in the door...before I started learning about SEO, web analytics and marketing on my own I had plans of taking a master's degree after my bachelor's and wasting another 2 years of my life instead of actually acquiring knowledge/experience :-)

August 6, 2007 - 5:52am

Yes I have to agree that perception is reality. If everyone online says that something is good it is getting less and less important how good the product actually is.

Buzz and attention are the most important things. It is the narrative that people tell themselves about the product and the narrative that pass on to others that is the major factor for online success

August 6, 2007 - 10:25am

Agree with you Patrick,
May be the only reason i stay in university is to have that label, as in you example was 'A Harward graduate' which will help you to get into somewhere where your name means nothing but that label may help. Also university is good for making new contacts, being on your own (i mean not depending on family), trying new stuff and most important at university i learn how to learn. But i dont learn that at lectures, i learn that by experimenting here. if i would like to learn something i could jut digg into online information and and learn in two weeks of hard work more than average students learns from a one semester long course but college environment prepares you for new life.
Hey, what about petition to cancel classes ?:) kidding
Well, as you said dont plan to write too long, it came to me and i just put all this out here.

August 5, 2007 - 5:45pm

Why do you appreciate how cluttered the web will be with information..or was that more of an ironic statement?

Do you think the web becoming extremely cluttered will be a huge problem for internet marketers and SEOs? (I assume this has something to do with why you think content without subscribers will be worthless?)

I feel similar about the web and its potential. Almost every day I find myself thinking that most people don't really get just how important the web will become. I remember buying CDs in stores and 2 years later everybody was downloading MP3s from Napster. Now everybody is listening to music on youtube and nobody is really buying CDs anymore (not in my demographic at least).

Socializing is shifting from offline to online (to some degree) if one just looks at these social networking sites. Im not sure how popular facebook is over there but we have a similar site here and every single college student is a member at that site.

The other day I also read a headline that said instant messaging was on its way to become the most important form of business communication. No idea how true this statement is, but I think its representative of the type of impact the web has on everything including business and marketing...and I think it will become so much more important than it is right now.

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