Five Minutes With: Jason Bakker, COO at Campus Media Group

What are your biggest opportunities and challenges for the next 12-24 months?

The biggest opportunity we see with college marketing today is with inbound  marketing. The power of informative content creation cannot be ignored. Consumers these days prefer to learn about products and services from articles, video, and other content more than just advertising. Plus, inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. We have to look out for our clients and their budgets. The challenge we face with inbound is always creating fresh content that will both inform and entertain a population of shrewd young consumers.

What keeps your clients up at night?

Our clients want–need–to know that their college marketing strategy is sound. They worry a lot about how their messaging is being perceived among students and if their media is advancing their message. No one likes to waste a media spend. The two have to work harmoniously. If either one is broken, then you will crash and burn.

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

We work continuously to deprogram new clients of the bad campus marketing habits and generalizations they have held firm to regarding college students. When people say college kids today are the savviest consumer in modern history, it’s not just a line. There is no silver bullet in college marketing. To earn a spot in their purchase consideration set, you need to be in for the long haul. This means a commitment to campus marketing for years. Not weeks.

What are some unmet needs in the marketing technology landscape?

Programmatic ad buying across OOH (out-of-home) and streaming TV such as Hulu and Roku needs to catch up. A lot of innovation is happening with programmatic ad buying from a technology standpoint, but we aren’t quite there yet. A fragmented landscape with campus-based OOH inventory is compounding the snail pace we are experiencing. And we already know college students are cord cutters. They are consuming media through streaming services now. A traditional television ad buy used to be out of reach for most brands, but some of the technologies we are experimenting with now will make reaching students on these devices very simple and inexpensive.

What social network do you anticipate accelerating growth in the next year?

The live streaming of everyone and everything with apps like Periscope and Meerkat have television rights management folks working late and missing their kids’ soccer games. The live streaming technology that allows a user to point, shoot and stream to the world, provided they have a stable Wi-Fi connection, is growing at a rapid pace. We aren’t sure what it means for brands right now, but the possibilities for engaging content, sponsorship,
and brand ambassadors are endless.

–Jason Bakker is Chief Operations Officer at Campus Media Group

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