The $10 Trillion Reason You Need to Market to College Students

Reasons for marketing to college students

A lot of companies are hesitant to spend too much of their resources on marketing to college students. We can understand why. The economy has had a major impact on millennials—many of whom still live with their parents, have crushing student loan debt, and are underemployed.

Besides, common wisdom says that millennials aren’t brand loyal and traditional advertising doesn’t work on them. Meanwhile, the post-college crowd has more disposable income, and they can more readily afford to buy your product. So why would you bother investing heavily into marketing to college students?

This reasoning would seem to make sense. But marketing-savvy companies are beginning to understand that college students represent a tremendous marketing opportunity that will go far beyond immediate buying decisions. If brands can capture the hearts and minds of the next generation of buyers today, they’ll have a leg up on their competition for years to come.

Why You Should Be Marketing to College Students

Why should your brand invest in marketing to millennials? Take a look at these figures:

  • Millennials make up 25% of the total U.S. population—at 80 million strong, they’re more numerous than the Baby Boomer generation.
  • By 2017, they will be spending $200 billion annually.
  • They will spend $10 trillion in their lifetime.
  • Contrary to popular myth, millennials are brand loyal. 60% said that they are often or always loyal to brands that they currently purchase.

College students are in a unique purchasing position. For the very first time in their lives, they get to choose how they will spend their money. Without mom and dad looking over their shoulder, they can finally make their own buying decisions and establish their own brand preferences.

The sooner you build a relationship and deep connection with millennials, the better—because today’s college students will continue to purchase from you as an adult. Think about the impact on your company from the lifetime value of a brand-loyal college student—better yet, of 80 million college students!

How to Successfully Market to College Students

Brands have been frustrated by marketing to college students because millennials don’t respond to advertising and marketing the way older adults have. Millennials are changing the marketing game. Successfully marketing to college students requires adapting your campus marketing strategies to connect with millennials—but if you do it well, the results can be tremendous.

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