Globe.com seeks campus crowd

In a bid to attract a younger audience, the interactive division of The Globe and Mail is reaching beyond its traditional readership with the launch of GlobeandMail.com/campus, a new site dedicated to the university and college crowd....

In a bid to attract a younger audience, the interactive division of The Globe and Mail is reaching beyond its traditional readership with the launch of GlobeandMail.com/campus, a new site dedicated to the university and college crowd.

Globe Interactive’s newest online offering will deliver student-relevant news – it’s the only Web site in Canada with a direct feed from Canadian University Press – and gather audience data through the use of polls and contests. Company management expects the site to attract over 10,000 unique visitors each month.

The long-term goal, says Jennifer Howe, marketing manager for GlobeandMail.com, is to prime future newspaper readers, and to make GlobeandMail.com ‘a household name’ among various market segments, from students to retirees.

Currently, she says, the average age of the Globe’s newspaper readership is 44, while its online division skews slightly younger at 39. That’s well above the age when most people determine their brand allegiances, and the franchise is hoping to attract a whole new range of advertisers, says Howe, by offering them yet another demographic.

Armed with what Howe terms a ‘significant’ marketing budget, Globe Interactive launched its new portal with an instant win contest whereby students can win one of three $5,000 cash prizes or goods and services from Clearnet Communications, Chapters.ca and Via Rail.

Aside from the contest, marketing efforts will include advertising in campus newspapers and banner advertising on student-oriented Web sites such as CampusAccess.com and Schoolfinder.com.

However, the lion’s share of the budget will be spent on guerrilla marketing tactics. Several hundred ‘don’t bother knocking’ doorknob hangers, as well as magnets and whiteboards adorned with the site’s URL will be distributed to 22 target universities, which are home to about 300,000 students. Washroom panels, designed by Toronto-based Mosaic Group, will also direct students to the site with the headline: ‘Forget the student loan, this is $5,000 you don’t have to pay back.’

The multi-pronged initiative is considerably more intensive than Globe and Mail student programs of the past, which relied largely on subscription discount programs.

‘This is a relationship marketing initiative for us,’ says Howe. ‘[We intend] to create lifelong relationships with them in their early 20s as opposed to once they graduate and they’re in the workforce.’