Transitional periods make great marketing opportunities. Reaching college students during orientation is a great time for brands to connect with the youth.
Given the problems Millennials face today—the tough economy, increasing student loan debt, and high unemployment rates among college graduates—marketers might overlook this highly influential market, thinking that they do not have significant buying power. Sandra Lopez, Intel Marketing Strategy Director for New Business, in a recent interview quickly dispelled this notion:
There is a perception that the Millennial generation does not have significant purchasing power given their unemployment rate is around 16%. Yet, they have $200B direct purchasing power and $500B in indirect purchasing power. They are influencing the generations before them and the generation that follows. We need to start to think about their influencing power as currency.
Not only do Millennials have a considerable direct purchasing power, but the power of Millennials to influence others’ spending habits is huge! This shows that this demographic—18 to 34 year-olds—should not be disregarded when it comes to marketing and advertising.
Given the range of years, why does reaching college students during orientation matter? Why is it such a critical component of college advertising? There are several reasons why orientation marketing remains an essential part of collegiate marketing:
1. Newfound Freedom and Responsibility
Incoming students want to experience their newfound freedom and the responsibilities that go with it. They have not established fixed buying habits and are still exploring their surroundings. Many students have to purchase products for the first time, such as laundry detergent, household cleaners, furniture, household items, etc. This provides a great opportunity for college advertising as students will welcome product samples and information. College sampling increases the likelihood of students buying your product later and can greatly improve your customer conversion rate. Advertising to students during this impressionable time, could translate in to lifetime customers.
2. New Surroundings
For many, orientation is their first exposure to campus and student life; some might have lived in the same town as the college they are attending, but this is their first real experience they have as a member of the college community. By participating in college marketing events surrounding orientation, you can increase brand exposure and gain an edge over the competition. Our Student Brand Ambassadors can pass out college flyers to students, informing them of your establishment and its location. This friendly interaction will expand your clientele and drive business.
3. Strong Social Clout
As mentioned early, Millennials have a strong influence over others. They make great advocates of brands they enjoy. They value connectivity and will spread the word about your product on social media sites and through word of mouth viral marketing. If you can capture this niche demographic, they will inspire others.
Reaching college students during orientation is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!