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Bentley Students and Faculty in Agreement with Harris Interactive Marketing Study

February 5, 2003

WALTHAM, Mass. - The latest results of Alloy's 360 Youth College Explorer-Study, conducted by Harris Interactive®, reveal the '10 best tips' for marketers as they attempt to reach college students. A random survey of faculty and students at Bentley finds the study to be quite accurate.

Andy Aylesworth, associate professor of Marketing, recognizes that this generation of consumers is particularly savvy.

"They've grown up with ads inundating them more than any previous generation. Thus, 'traditional' advertising doesn't affect them as much, and marketers have to find other avenues - like grassroots methods and the Internet," he said.

Jenny Wendel, a senior majoring in Information Design and Corporate Communication, notes her strong brand loyalty and shopping patterns.

"Everything I buy from laundry detergent to toothpaste to food products is the same as my parents, she said. "Most of my friends are the same way as well, but we'll also buy the generic brand on items like sugar or dish soap. Freshmen are probably more likely to break away from that pattern because they're trying to be unlike their parents, but as they get older, they'll probably find themselves shifting back."

Peter Sechoka, a sophomore majoring in Economics/Finance, says that students are easily able to spend money, even if they don't necessarily have it.

"Students value low prices, but they're willing to sacrifice a low price for products they really want," he added. "More students are getting credit cards, and with new avenues for marketing, spending money seems almost too convenient - with a telephone or computer in arms' reach. If a company wants to succeed at marketing to young independent adults, they must realize there are many different markets within the group, and they must find the right one to target."

Jessica Low, a junior majoring in Marketing, agrees with the objectives of the survey.

"There are not many companies who specifically target their advertising campaigns and sales promotions to college students," she said. "This huge market is virtually ignored, and I hope this offers some insight to marketers as they begin to plan and create new angles in order to capture a percentage of the dollars being spent."

The study "underscores the need to better understand college students' lifestyles and preferences as this consumer segment, which spent more than $210 billion last year alone, becomes more and more critical to the success of brand marketing."

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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