Rethink the College Campus: Marketing to the American College Student

Being an international brand can be challenging when approaching different demographics in different countries. And when it comes to targeting college students, this varies even more so. College students in America may have different wants and needs than students in other countries. However, one thing that seems to stay consistent among college students is that they all seem to head back to school at some point.

Because of this, brands tends to think about ‘back-to-school’ as the ideal time to target toward college students. However, these young adults are embarking on new challenges with adulthood, bringing with it new life events. Let’s take a closer look at how and when American students are engaging with brand content.

Engage in Their Life Events

According to a survey conducted by global media agency UM, 75 percent, of roughly 600 American students, identified doing well on their first test as a milestone, while 71 percent said getting their first bad grade is another meaningful moment. Other milestones include the first set of final exams, moving into a dorm and registering for classes.

The flow chart represents a variety of ‘first-time’ experiences for a college student and potential brands who could partner with the experience.

Brands need to take notice of these life events and tailoring the marketing strategies accordingly. Instead of the tailoring your campaigns to hit at the beginning of the school year, use our data collection resources to survey when students need the most help and/or opportunities. This could be anything from assigning tasks to help them pay for second semester books to assisting them with the holiday travel budget.

Using the Right Method of Communication

What’s almost more important than marketing to students at the right time, is using the appropriate channels to ensure your campaign is getting through  For one, traditional ads aren’t necessarily the best way to reach this demographic. According to the study, which has analyzed similar data over the past few years, students are less likely to notice TV, magazine or radio ads than they were three years ago.

A breakdown of the percentage of students who said TV, Radio, Magazines, Out of Home, and Flyers on Campus were platforms on which they consume content.

In 2016, 48 percent of American students are relying solely on streaming services, a 15 percent increase from 2015. Overall, of the average 56 hours spent consuming media each week, nearly half of those hours are on laptops, followed by mobile devices and radio (due to the rise of streaming).

Remember to Give Back

Finally, in addition to marketing at the right time using the right channels, 88 percent of the American students surveyed said they are more responsive to brands that give back to the community. Meanwhile 70 percent feel that the brands they buy from need to focus on responsible business practices. Remembering this while developing your student ambassador tasks will play into higher student engagement and a stronger retention rate.

Need some help getting started?

Connect with us today and we’ll give you a complimentary 30-minute strategy to assist you in developing your student rep marketing campaign. To learn more about how we’ve helped brands, like you, boost their awareness, check our Case Studies, or connect with us directly!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>