Five Minutes With: Joel Eisfelder, Director of Account Services at Campus Media Group

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

We’re looking at ways to help our clients throughout however they define their customer journey. This can be especially challenging when your target market is college students, as they can easily be turned off by heavy-handed tactics at any point in the process. From top-of-the-funnel promotions to lead nurturing with content all the way through the customer acquisition process, we’re looking for ways we can add value with a specific eye for the college market.

What keeps your clients up at night?

A big concern we hear about is impact – how do we know that the marketing investment we’re making is doing anything? In part this comes down to measurement strategies, but it also includes effective messaging, high quality engagement and user experience. It’s possible to spend a lot of money in the college space and barely see a blip on the radar for gaining brand awareness or sparking actual response.

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

That the playing field has drastically changed over the last three to five years for marketers. It’s no longer possible to take a shotgun approach with simple media promotion and hope that something resonates. We have to plan for creating something unique and memorable for students and then nurture that relationship using marketing automation tools to get results.

What are some unmet needs in the marketing technology landscape?

One of the big challenges is aggregating actionable data specific to college students. Colleges and universities themselves are huge silos of data. Combining that with more common consumer data available through third parties as well as online behavioral data segments is a big need. But it also raises legitimate questions about privacy and identity protection. How do we use data appropriately to provide better value to the market we serve without crossing the line?

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

I honestly don’t know; there seems to be a continuous flow of new social apps that students use to communicate with each other and build a walled garden for themselves to play in. Once intruders climb over the wall – parents, advertisers – they are going to find somewhere else to go. The important thing for us is to go back to the idea about creating a quality experience between brands and students. As Seth Godin wrote about nearly 10 years ago now, if you create something remarkable people will share it. College students are all about sharing their experiences, so if you give them something to work with you’ll show up on whatever social networks they are using. Authenticity is a real issue in that arena – you can’t fake it.

–Joel Eisfelder is Director of Account Services at Campus Media Group.

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