Mass Meida vs. the Personal Experience

I’m thinking about our e-comm plan here at SMC.

Our site allows students to “personalize their experience.” They are able to check off areas of academic, athletic, and student activities that they are interested in. I can then send information and news specific to those interests.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if this really is a good thing. I’m beginning to think that I’d be better off letting students filter on their own.

Thinking back to my experience (and I may not be typical) I applied to 3 schools with 3 different majors. I was just clueless.

I also wonder if getting news on a variety of different programs speaks to the academic quality of the institution overall? If I see that psych students and history students are getting grant money to do research, than it must be a pretty decent place academically, right?

The volume of messages isn’t overwhelming ( less than ten a month probably). Does narrowcasting make sense and how would I measure that?

I’m leaning towards no. Send it all out and let the students decide.

I’d appreciate any opinions out there.

5 thoughts on “Mass Meida vs. the Personal Experience

  1. I could see it either way. You’re right – most students really have no clue what they want. I say send them all the print materials but then use email to really personalize their communications (also, think about giving them an easy way to update their major/athletics/activity preferences in the really personalized messages).

  2. I agree Drew,Being a liberal arts institution means that you shouldn’t be trying to fit students into boxes, especially not at the time when they are trying to figure out what exactly they are doing with their life in general. And I agree with wanting to let them know about everything that is going on around campus. Keep up the awesome blogging during work hours. P.s. you’re cute

  3. Karlyn,Thanks for the input. The “easy way to update their major/athletics/activity preferences” is key. I need to take another look at our template and make sure that we offer that.

  4. It depends on which problem you are trying to solve. If the problem is that you know the students are being overwhelmed by massive amounts of information that they don’t care about or don’t read, then narrowcasting makes sense. I can’t say how one might know this with certainty.If the problem is that you cannot afford to send all students all of your information, then narrowcasting makes sense. This does not seem to be your problem.In this case, narrowcasting seems to be a solution in search of a problem. Part of the joy of being in your line of work is that you are not selling products through a catalog – that is, you are not simply trying to get someone to “buy” your product. Instead, you are allowing them to see what opportunities await them at your college. In this sense, erring on the “too much information” side seems reasonable.

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