20 February 2019
Should Your Company Consider Student Marketing?
The way that companies market themselves in today is changing.
With the advent and increasing ubiquity of the internet, a social media presence, user-friendly website and dedicated online advertisements are becoming every bit as important as traditional marketing channels like TV, radio and newspaper ads, physical flyers and mailers.
As these mediums evolve, so too does the consumer. There was a time when students were stereotyped as hedonistic, work-shy scroungers who could barely scrape together enough money for their next meal, let alone luxury items. However, the stark reality is that today’s youth are well informed, more discerning and enjoy greater disposable income than ever before. This makes them an important (and often untapped) target market which more and more businesses are targetting.
Engaging in student marketing can open up the gateway to a whole new range of customers, and with them a wide array of benefits. Here are just ten of the pros which creating an on-campus profile through student marketing can bring to your company.
Pros of Student Marketing
- On-campus publicity. The importance of visibility cannot be overestimated in the world of marketing. After all, out of sight equates to out of mind, right? In a similar fashion, a strong on-campus publicity can do wonders to raise your brand’s profile and get your name out there, which will significantly increase your chances of attaining leads and converting those into customers.
- Positive first impressions. Arriving at university for the first time can be a daunting prospect for any new student, especially those from rural backgrounds or with a shyer disposition. Having on-campus brand ambassadors to welcome those shrinking violets into their new habitat and helping them to settle into university life can be invaluable in forging bonds between a potential consumer and the company in question, far above and beyond the products or services the company itself offers.
- Interactive campaigns. Experiential marketing, otherwise known as engagement marketing and even guerrilla marketing, is the practice of building your brand profile by offering your target market a unique, interactive experience. This can take the form of social events, pop-up stalls or any number of other innovative marketing techniques and can help to create a powerful impression of your company’s image in their mind. With our Raptor brand ambassadors, you can even achieve the added value of boots on the ground.
- Multi-pronged approach. Of course, any marketing campaign worth its salt will employ a variety of different mediums to reach as many people as possible. In-person brand ambassadors and visual advertisements should always be combined hand-in-hand with a prevalent social media presence and online campaign to maximise your outreach – especially with a demographic as tech-savvy as university students. The average person spends up to two hours online each day and for teenagers that can be three times as much, so competitive businesses can’t afford not to command an online presence.
- Word-of-mouth endorsement. While marketing messages and media campaigns are essential to raising your profile, nothing beats the power of word-of-mouth endorsement, especially when that comes from a consumer’s peers. Indeed, 89% of millennials apparently trust a recommendation from friends or family more than they do from the company itself, while 68% of them seek out advice from their peers before making a purchase. Having Raptors on hand to dish out that advice and explain the advantages of your company is worth its weight in gold.
- Expendable income. Gone are the days when students would subsist on baked beans and very little else. One UK university estimates that students spend up to £270 per month on food alone, indicating that they have generous budgets for satisfying their appetites – and not just their culinary ones. Positioning yourself as an attractive brand among student circles can help you tap into that expendable income.
- Discerning tastes. Given that they now have more cash to play with, students often demonstrate discerning tastes when it comes to clothing, accessories and technological gadgets. While price might still be the most important factor for surveyed students, dictating the purchasing habits of 83% of them, quality was not far behind (at 73%). A reputable and reliable company can take advantage of that fact.
- Conscientious consumers. The younger generation consistently has its finger on the pulse more than their older peers and as such are more likely to care about issues like environmentalism, animal cruelty and general company ethics. For those companies who advertise their virtuous policies, they can create an effective USP and make themselves attractive to this demographic in an innovative way.
- Tomorrow’s target market. As well as having more money to spend now, the students of today will become the big spenders of tomorrow. Those with a degree or doctorate are more likely to take home a bigger pay packet than their counterparts ten years from now, so attracting their attention now can pay off exponentially in the long run as their career prospects and salaries progress.
- Lifetime loyalty. Habit-forming is an integral part of retaining custom for a business operating in any niche; if a consumer is happy with the service or product the first time around, they’re unlikely to seek out alternatives in the future – and that brand loyalty can last a whole lifetime. As mentioned above, the students of today will become significant consumers tomorrow, so locking in their loyalty early on is an essential step in widening your customer base.
What are you waiting for?
With all that in mind, the question is perhaps not “Should your company be involved in student marketing?”, but rather “Can your company afford not to consider student marketing?” That’s especially true if you offer products and services that are likely to be attractive to a younger generation increasingly sure of what it wants and is capable of attaining it.