Collegiate marketing faces increased challenges due to the recession and shifting technological trends; understanding these changes and marketing to students accordingly will lead to greater success.
Reaching college students has become a difficult feat. Not only do marketers have to know the ever changing fashions and trends of the moment—which can change in a blink of an eye—they have to know how to realign their company’s image in a fashionably hip way. On top of that, marketing to college students—students dealing with the repercussions of the economic recession—require a whole new evaluation of their wants, desires, and needs.
College students today tend to evaluate a product or service before purchasing. They want to make sure the purchase is worth the price and will contribute to their life in a meaningful way. They spend time researching brands, reading reviews, and looking for deals before buying a product. They have become thrifty, tech-savvy consumers. The sales person seems to vanish almost entirely from the equation, as students can make purchases directly on their computer with the vendor that provides the best deal. This changes the game and requires new college marketing ideas.
So what is the best way of advertising to students? The first priority of any collegiate marketing firm should be to find out as much as possible about the target audience and develop a college marketing strategy accordingly. A recent MediaPost article “found that younger Millennials are more likely to consider technology purchases and intangible experiences that foster connectivity as necessities.” Rather than buying superfluous consumer goods, college students want to buy an experience or connection. Successful college marketing companies will use this knowledge and develop a college marketing plan that shows students how your brand can add meaning to their lives.
College students fully embrace technology and use social media as a way to socialize with their peers. They also use social media as a way to construct and maintain their public image. Everything in social media is filtered; they only put up photos and content that goes with their carefully manufactured image. Social media marketing is an excellent way to engage students with your brand. If you develop a brand that appeals to their image, they will gladly adopt it and share it with their friends. Achieving recognition from the youth market can be quite challenging, but once you gain their trust, they make loyal customers and advocates.
 Granese, Nicole and Jordan Latham. “The Recession Gap: A Look At How Older And Younger Millennials Were Affected By The Recession.” MediaPost. 22 April 2013. <http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/198629/the-recession-gap-a-look-at-how-older-and-younger.html#ixzz2RioD3PUw>