Today’s youth pose a serious challenge to automakers. This article explores college marketing tips for automakers and discusses how the auto industry can appeal to college students.
In my last blog, I wrote about three college marketing tips to help automakers successfully market to college students. In today’s blog, I would like to further explore college marketing tips for automakers and how auto brands can connect and engage with the college audience.
College Marketing Tips for Automakers
4. Automakers Should Inform and Engage When Marketing to College Students
Today’s youth have grown up with the internet and feel very comfortable researching products and making purchases online. They love the convenience of shopping online and like how the whole process is on their terms. It’s a no-pressure environment that they are comfortable with.
Millennials are less comfortable with face-to-face interactions than previous generations and try to avoid uncomfortable social situations. Automakers who want to capture the college and youth market need to make the sales process as painless as possible for consumers and that means avoiding high-pressure sales tactics.
Gen Y “are convenience-driven. They’re impatient to get what they want. And they like an upfront, transparent process that lets them make choices without the pressure from a salesperson or finance manager.”
Keep in mind that most college students will have researched your car thoroughly before coming into the dealership and there is a good chance they will make a purchase if they aren’t scared away by the sales team or the lack of transparency. Show them the car, let them do a test drive, answer any questions they may have, and then explain the buying process so they know everything going into it and aren’t caught off-guard later on.
Have a conversation with them, engage them, and let them experience the car. Remember, that “engagement is not the end in itself, but works as a discernible mechanism to directly drive sales.”
5. Automakers Should Advertise On Campus Where Students Live
Automakers advertising to college students should advertise on campus where students live. This is a great way to generate brand awareness on campus and to target your niche audience. Consider placing table tent ads in campus dining halls. Students often visit their dining facilities multiple times a week and some students eat all of their meals on campus. This is a great way to get repeat exposure of your auto ad in front of students on campus.
Dorm room advertising is another great college marketing strategy for automakers. Some universities don’t allow freshmen to bring cars on campus their first year and require first-year students to live in dorms. This is a great opportunity for automakers to connect with college students who will most likely be looking to purchase a car in the coming year. Auto brands can hang door hanger advertisements on college dorm room doors—essentially advertising to every student who lives in the dorm. Tell them about an upcoming auto event or let them know about a college-buyer auto program discount.
Automakers who advertise on campus where students live will make an impression with the college crowd and drive students to nearby dealership locations.
Stayed tuned for more college marketing tips for automakers. We will be exploring this topic more in future blog posts! Contact us if you want to speak with a college marketing expert!