A campus ambassador program is a means for a company to maintain its presence on campus. In a campus ambassador program companies essentially hire students to represent their companies on campus. Companies hire campus ambassadors to promote their companies on campuses by creating a community for a product or service. Companies such as Microsoft, Red Bull, Garbattic, One Plus, AISEC, Tinder and Internshala have established campus ambassador programs across campuses.
Campus ambassadors reveal a return to the basics of marketing. According to Nielsen 92% of consumers believe in recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising. In this day of digital advertising, people still put their trust in their peers. 64% of marketing executives believe that word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing but only a fraction of that bracket testify that they have mastered and harnessed the power of this resource.
As part of a campus ambassador program, students hired by different companies are provided with a plethora of learning opportunities. Students learn to organize events such as workshops and seminars resulting in increased interaction with the student body. To represent the company on-campus, students also develop relevant skills such as social media marketing and content writing. Campus ambassador programs also better equip students to handle their academic calendar as well as their responsibilities as a campus ambassador. This develops multi-tasking skills in students. Additionally, credentials as a student ambassador are a great addition to your resume.
Running a successful student ambassador program requires several factors. A company needs to compensate students but not only in cash, akin to One Plus’s program which gives students a stipend coupled with access to the latest OnePlus products and merchandise. Cash might be king but different benefits keep the students incentivised. Secondly, the company needs to stay in connect with the students and their calendars, setting unexpected expectations for students, for example, working during exams or breaks will alienate the student body. The company also needs to try to keep in touch and answer the student body’s queries and not just handing it off to a third-party. The current millennial generation is adept at filtering out information that they don’t need, and they look for recommendations from trustworthy sources before buying anything. This practice of the current generation makes them unreachable through the arsenal of established marketing tactics.
Red Bulls’ wings team campus ambassador program has been one of the most successful iterations of this strategy. Their targeted advertising campaigns on college campuses has over the years established a synonymity in the mindset of students and athletes with Red Bull during sports and exams. This targeted marketing has paid off big time for Red Bull. Going back to the basics has proven to be one of the most effective marketing strategies.