Wednesday, March 24, 2010

'Genuinely Hip Professor' Metaphor

Some professors are mediocre and some are good. Some are rather great. After a bit of thought on what makes a good professor great, I came up with three traits: (1) Contemporary, (2) Smart, and (3) Accommodating.

Because my thoughts so often veer towards marketing, I've developed the 'Genuinely Hip Professor' Metaphor. Any company that caters itself to the college-aged target market should think about these principles. Students in the 18-25 year old range can relate to the metaphor because most have dealt with the good and bad of professors.

Update: The professor in this illustration is Doug McKinlay, a former ad agency founder and owner. He exemplifies all the characteristics of a good professor. In the advertising program he is considered the King of Creativity.

First, let's analyze a bad professor. Usually bad professors don't care much about their students and they don't make many efforts to appear as if they care. In other words, 'accommodating' is not in their vocabulary. They see teaching as a 9-5 job and they rarely offer help sessions, office hours, or even in-class discussion or questions. Granted, I understand the difficulty some professors have in catering to all their students in large classes. Nevertheless, the good professors still find ways to accommodate students in the 300+ class sizes.

Bad professors are boring. They don't make efforts to teach in ways that spurn creativity and remembrance. These professors can often be worse than textbooks--because with a text book, one can at least read at one's own pace. These professors are also old-fashioned, often stuck on old-school teaching methods with old-school technology. These professors rarely relate to their students.

Students love great professors. Just take a look at As I come to the close of my undergraduate education, I can remember some of the thoughtful professors I've had. These professors exhibit all three traits.

If you're marketing your products to students, I'd keep in mind these traits. Here are a few questions you might want to ask:

"They relate to me." 
"I relate to [your] brand."
Do you relate to your consumer? Can they relate to you?

"I trust their knowledge about [your] industry."
Are you smart enough about your industry that your consumers can trust your services/products?
Does your consumer know that you have a wealth of knowledge/information about the industry?

"They care about me."
Do you care about your consumer? Do you show that you care?

I don't want to get into the LCV (lifetime customer value) factor, but if you really think LCV is important, you might want to measure yourself in these areas.

Update - Here are a some great professors I've had throughout my BYU education: Jaren Hinckley, Susan Eliason, Gary Hansen, Cindy Brewer, Hans-Wilhelm Kelling, Matt Holland, Arden Pope, Brent Strong, and Doug McKinlay

No comments:

Post a Comment