Content Marketing Today

by Newt Barrett

Leading-edge media content from Muncie Indiana attracts big-city marketers. 

In the header of its website Ball State University ties the name of the school to “education redefined.”  You might think that’s simply a meaningless slogan.  But in the case of Ball State, they really walk the walk, particularly with their Center for Media Design.  A recent study in teenage media use illustrates the really cool stuff they’re doing. In fact, taken as a whole, Ball State’s website rocks when it comes to content marketing

Decades ago, when I went to college in Indiana, one would have associated schools in the state with either football (Notre Dame) or basketball (University of Indiana).  You certainly would not have associated Ball State University, which used to be a teacher’s College, with leading-edge research into media usage.


Conducting research that appeals to Fortune 500 marketing executives

Today, David Letterman’s alma mater,is doing an incredible job of delivering world-class content in a number of areas.  But what intrigued me the most is their Center for Media Design. The University is taking advantage of its middle America location in Muncie to do research that is highly valued by marketing professionals on both New York and LA.

As the school puts it:

When the nation’s advertising, marketing, publishing, and broadcasting industries caught wind of the Ball State Center for Media Design’s (CMD) Middletown Media Studies, documenting the average American’s media habits, all eyes turned toward Muncie. The mid-sized Midwestern community is the perfect place for large companies to test their propositions because Muncie has “real people.”

ball state high school research For example, the recently completed a study on teenagers use of media.  This is important for marketers because they want to figure out how the heck can he reach this important audience.   As they CMD does for much of the research they actually shadowed 15 teenagers throughout the day to determining their time with print, TV, Internet.  One major finding: teens spend hundred and 20 minutes a day watching TV in the same amount in front of a computer.  Adults spend twice that amount of time in front of the television. Of course, this has important implications for marketers.


A very cool University.  An excellent website. Great content marketing.

ball state home page The Ball State website takes full advantage of the Web to present itself as a really cool place to go school.  Their website is every bit as sophisticated and useful as that of the best corporate content marketers.  By showcasing the leading-edge work that they’re doing, Ball State makes itself a very appealing University for exceptionally talented kids to attend.

The website and the research it showcases represent the very best of content marketing.  The school is creating intrinsically valuable content and using the Internet to make it available to researchers around the world.  At the same time, the quality of their content suggests that this is a school if you might choose instead of Harvard or Stanford. Be sure to check out what they’re doing online.