This is the fifth post in monthly series – The AIMS Member Profiles – in which AIMS volunteer and blog correspondent Eden Spodek interviews and profiles an AIMS premium member.
Tessa joined Uthink/Studentawards Inc. – an online advertising, market research data collection and scholarship management services company in the youth marketplace – as Director, Client Services in 2002 and promoted to VP, Account Management in 2004.
Q: What distinguishes university students from other niche markets and why do corporations find this demographic so appealing?
A: University and college students, or those who are university and college-bound, will be the leaders and high earners of tomorrow. Building relationships with this group can have different advantages for corporations and other organizations (not-for-profit, government etc.): brands can build loyalty through demonstrating student support; organizations, universities and colleges can access the market for recruitment purposes; government and not-for-profits can harness the energy of the group for volunteerism and fund-raising initiatives.
Q: What do you think is the biggest benefit of marketing to a niche audience? Q: If you had to choose one aspect of niche marketing to demonstrate its value, which would you choose?
A: Having a niche market means that you understand what makes that market tick. You understand what’s relevant and important in aggregate to the market and can drill down to each member of that niche community. This market insight not only allows you to carefully and thoroughly craft a message, to elicit best response, but also allows you to understand the best channels to reach the niche.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge marketing to potential partners?
A: Our biggest challenge marketing to potential partners has been convincing them that an online strategy is more efficient and effective than traditional media, in this market. We have exceptional response rates because we are niche marketers with a large and self-renewing community; for some partners it remains a challenge to convince them to move to the online space. We are able to use our great track-record and consistent successes to demonstrate to potential partners that this is not a risky shift – it is more of a risk not to be in the online space for this niche market.
Q: In your current role, what has been your biggest accomplishment and why?
A: My biggest accomplishment has been my ability to put my stamp on customer service – for me, this encompasses meeting the needs of both our youth and corporate communities to the best of our ability. This is the hallmark of our company, and coupled with our exceptional results and analytics, keeps our customers coming back over and over