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: Why are students attracted to studentawards.com and how do you keep them engaged?
A: Students join the studentawards.com community to find money for school; we are the leading online source of Canadian scholarships, bursaries and awards, as well as a fun destination for student “money-for-school” offers for all kinds of students, that don’t require them to be a “brainiac”. What’s more, we take the work out of the search: we match each student’s unique profile with our up-to-date database of awards, putting them one click away from information and applications. Students come to our service because their friends tell them to, plus they are finding us in all kinds of places on the web.
We keep students engaged by regularly updating their personal mailboxes on studentawards.com with new, relevant offers and we send them email alerts about relevant opportunities and upcoming deadlines – we do the work, they reap the rewards.
Q: Uthink maintains different websites for English and French students (studentawards.com and boursetudes.com respectively). Is the language the only difference or do you interact with English and French differently online, and if so, why?
A: Where content is applicable, we present it on both the French & English websites; plus, we make sure that the uniqueness of the Quebec education system is taken into account to ensure relevancy to the target when putting info onto boursetudes.com.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge marketing to a youth audience?
A: The biggest challenge for marketers to this demographic is to keep the message relevant, honest, and upfront. Also, it is very difficult to build sustaining relationships with a group of people who constantly change their direction and their contact information. Adult assumptions are mostly wrong. With every survey we do, we are astounded with what this demographic considers “hot” and what is not.
Our approach to this challenge has been communicating with transparency and integrity – and has resulted in a trust relationship with the studentawards.com brand. We make sure that every message our members see from us honours this trust and gives back in some way.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week…