In this regular item we catch up with one of our members...
Ben Bestford, Director of BAM Student Marketing in Cheltenham, tells us what they’ve been up to over the past few months, their thoughts on
why brands should consider targeting students, and what he’d say to a senior
new business target if he had 30 seconds with them in a lift.
IPM: Hi Ben, thanks for
talking to us. How are things going at BAM Student Marketing at the
BB: Things are really great thank you. We have had our biggest January
in 20 years including a 113% uplift YOY. We are already in talks with clients
about their freshers fair activity and recently signed off a research project
with Hollister which will see us fly out to Berlin to conduct ‘shop alongs’.
With a recent office move, the whole team have kicked off the year in style and
the enthusiasm is bouncing off the walls. Here’s to a big 2019!
IPM: How is your business
developing and evolving – any interesting plans for 2019 you can share with
BB: 2019 is already off to a flyer and for us it’s about continuously
delivering results for our clients. Each year we get better and better at what
we do and our retention rates are at an all time high which speaks volumes for
the work we do. We have had some refinement with our internal processes to make
us even stronger in this field and looking to see the business grow from this.
One thing that is evolving is our work outside of the student market.
As a niche student marketing agency, it’s difficult to be considered as a full
end to end marketing agency for work outside of this demographic. That being
said, we are finding more and more of our clients are asking us to help with
other marketing including store openings, new city launches and bespoke
experiential campaigns like supporting the First Bus ‘Bus in a box experiential’
with promotional staff.
IPM: Why and how should
brands / agencies consider targeting the student market?
BB: Where do I begin! Firstly, my advice would be to understand the
demographic before you start allocating budget. Spend some time researching
before you plan any campaign. Ultimately research = Insight and Insight = the
building blocks for the campaign. This will then give you the tools you need to
plan and execute an effective results driven campaign.
Students are a diverse demographic from all corners of the world so there
are challenges to get your message right. Students are also savvy so understand
when they are being sold to. There are thousands of opportunities to reach
students both on and off campus so insight is really key here. Failing that, we
can help advise and guide you on what will work (shameless plug!).
With over 2.5 million students studying in higher education and with
access to around £23 billion in expendable cash, it really isn’t a demographic
that should be ignored. If you can get your marketing right, you can gain a
lifelong customer, so spend time planning your campaign before you go to
market. I could go on all day so drop me a line if you want to know more!
IPM: You find yourself in a
lift with a new business target, you've got 30 seconds to make an impression on
behalf of BAM Student Marketing - what would you say and do?
BB: People make conversation in lifts?! To be honest, for me this just
isn’t this right environment to be talking shop, however if I was asked who BAM
Student Marketing are, I would let them know that we are the most experienced
student marketing agency who have been connecting brands to the student market
for over 20 years. We have tried and tested thousands of channels but if they
want to find out more, I would say let’s grab a coffee / alcoholic beverage
(delete as appropriate) and talk in more detail. These things can’t be rushed
IPM: Thanks so much for
your time Ben – have a great day!
BB: You too!
If you’d like to get in touch with BAM Student Marketing, drop them a
note at firstname.lastname@example.org