Student Affairs Technology

Emerging Approaches to acquire and best leverage student feedback


  • Jill Marchick, Vice President, Consumer Insights, Aramark
  • Malinda Sanna, Founder and President, Spark Ideas, LLC

We developed a platform to provide “just in time” communications with students that we share with Aramark to improve customer support.


  • What is LookLook?
  • Why traditional methods of research fail with GenZ
  • The methodology in action: case studey
  • In Sum

What is LookLook?

  • It’s a chat tool that allows us to view actual behavior, including shopping, consuming, socializing.
  • Moderators chat 1-on-1 with people and exchange visuals and videos during the course of their normal day or night, creating a rich set of data and observations.
  • Our philosophy: complete transparency

What we use it for

“Mobile ethnography” allow us to track a day in the life

  • Food journals/diaries
  • Closets, and pantry choices
  • Shopper insights in-the-moment
  • Digital behavior and SoMe usage
  • Exchanges about creative materials

Participants download the app and then track what they do and how they interact with the products/services you’re tracking. We pay the students on average about $150 for their opinions.

Why Traditional Research Methods Fail with GenZ

  • Today’s youth are highly visual
  • We want to answer the question of “WHY” a student feels a certain way about what we’re measuring
  • Focus groups rely on verbal discussion and reporting on one’s behavior
  • College students want full, individual expression
  • Authenticity is everything
  • Dynamic of texting is an instantly intimate virtual confessional

What do we measure?

  • Overall campus culture
  • What is the rhythm of a normal day?
  • What’s not working
  • Where are they eating off-campus and why?
  • What do they love?
  • What pie in the sky ideas do they have for innovation?
  • Where are they dawn for community on campus and why?

We aim to have 15-20 students per campus, 50% freshmen, 50% non-freshmen. We work with Business and Communications departments and student clubs.

Case Study: XYZ University

We creaet a word cloud based on answers to participants’ thoughts on “what words come to mind when thinking about this university?”

  • We do a QHCP analysis (not clear what this means, I’m not a marketer, haha)
  • We also do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  • Dining brings students together
  • We look at what’s working on a campus
  • Shared a bunch of observations and recommendations for the campus in question.

Six strategies to build loyalty and interest

  1. Create a hub of food authority right on campus
  2. Step up vegan sophistication
  3. Make ethnic more authentic, less “generic”
  4. Create an oasis of serenity for recharging
  5. Nourish the Netflix occasion
  6. Consider making one property 24/7

Four principles of emerging methods of talking to GenZ

  • Make it easy for them to express themselves
  • Create a safe space where they can be candid
  • Ask For their ideas
  • Give them visual tools

By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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