College campuses are big places and investing your ad dollars in the right places on campus and reaching your target student demographic is key in getting the best bang for your buck. College marketing is not ‘one size fits all’.
When speaking with companies who are interested in investing in marketing solutions to reach college students for the first time, the initial question I ask is, “Is your product general in nature or is it geared toward a specific type of college student on-campus?” A college campus is a micro-market in itself with a unique set of demographics.
Companies need to ask themselves two important questions:
- What type of student are we looking to reach?
- What program can focus in on that type of student specifically?
Focusing in on your specific college student demographic is key in maximizing your ad dollars and will ultimately allow your company to spread your message to more campuses thus raising the chances for a strong return on investment.
When devising a college marketing strategy, a company must look at their product and message and keep in mind the following ideas:
General vs. Segmented
If your product is general in nature, making every college student on campus a potential customer, then every program and every place on campus is on the table. However, if your product is geared toward a specific type of student (i.e. freshman, seniors, dorm students, students off campus etc.) then it makes sense that you direct your ad dollars to hone in on where those students are located and select programs to reach those student accordingly.
Educational vs. Commercial
If your product is educational (engineering program, math grant program, etc.), a study abroad program and/or a program of a similar nature, then it makes sense to target those academic buildings, classrooms and offices accordingly. In many cases, if your offer is providing something of educational value, chances are the appropriate department on campuses will welcome the offer. If your promotion is a commercial type offer, then it is best advised to focus your efforts to general areas on campus that are high traffic such as student unions, mail rooms, student lounges etc., as that is where universities typically permit commercial offers.
College campuses are unique markets in their own right, which requires an in-depth analysis to determine your demographic and then determine how to best focus your ad dollars to geo-target those students on campus. College marketing is not ‘one size fits all’.
Questions? Contact NAM Youth Marketing to learn more!