Campus Insights Exec Team
(L to R, Stephen Soward, Riley Soward, and Ameet Kallarackal, Head of UX Strategy & Research)[/caption]

Campus Insights Team takes Fresh Approach to College Student Market Research

In college, we often forget that we have a voice, and a strong one at that. Through campus advocacy groups fighting for a better world, to surveys for your next spring concert performer, students have a say in many things while they're busy studying for their careers. It's no surprise then that companies have been making a strong play for the college dollar. Our Student Spotlight feature this month focuses on a student-run company working to bridge the gap between businesses and the college demographic. Read on to learn more about the team at Campus Insights.

irene kim

Irene Kim, UX Researcher for Campus Insights[/caption]While many websites and phone applications do target college students, they tend to do so without the right feedback to fine-tune their message and services. Riley and Stephen Soward, co-founders of Campus Insights, saw an opportunity to turn their love of providing insightful, constructive feedback for their cousin's Facebook games and for local startups into a viable business venture. After more than a year and a half of work, Campus Insights has grown into a healthy company comprised of students and alumni from Boston College & University of Michigan.Stephen Soward, co-founder and COO, believes that companies can't employ a one-size marketing strategy to college kids, and that's where the company's expertise comes into play. "Each company requires a different college marketing strategy," he says. Using tactics such as ambassador campaigns, sponsoring Greek social events, and word-of-mouth, Campus Insights makes sure the student voice is heard loud and clear.

Campus Insights leverages their position as "millennials" by conducting candid user interviews, multi-week retention studies, surveys, among other methods. The team then formulates actionable suggestions these companies can use to further their strategies, from mere tweaks to entirely new features. One of the biggest challenges for the team, however, is ensuring that they're not seen as just 'too young'.Irene Kim serves as the team's UX Researcher, and expresses the company's determination for further success regardless of skill. "We have found it valuable to talk with marketing research and UI/UX testing experts at companies like Amazon and Dropbox to gain insights into how establish teams conduct their research and what their pain-points are. These conversations have helped us improve our processes, differentiate ourselves from competitors, and launch new product offerings to best support our clients," she says.

kelsey bishop

Kelsey Bishop, Sales Development Manager for Campus Insights[/caption]Another big challenge for the team is distance, as Kim studies at the University of Michigan, while other team members are spread out between Massachusetts and California. With the team split between several locales, this allows for varied feedback, but also calls for flexibility. Tools such as Hangouts, Asana, and the messaging service Slack help the team stay informed, while empty classrooms and WeWork spaces serve as their offices when they all reunite.

When the team isn't working on the business, they enjoy a range of activities, including photography, ultimate Frisbee, discovering new music, abstract painting, and boxing. The majority of the team also give back, whether it be on campus or within the community as a whole.Since 2014, CEO Riley Soward and the CI team have been working toward providing companies with ways to reach a target market, and the company has high ambitions for developing its customer base. By helping international companies learn more about the US market and its interests, Campus Insights continues to grow and develop into a full-service market research firm."We have high ambitions for the future of the company‚Ķ Research is our first step," he states. As for what's ahead for the team, the vision for the road ahead is clear. ‚ÄúAnything could happen over the next two years before graduation. Right now we‚Äôre just focusing on growing our number of clients and building a sustainable, scalable company.‚ÄĚ

If you would like to learn more about Campus Insights, please visit

May 24, 2016
Student Spotlight

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