Category Archives: Building Value
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.
College Marketing Tips for Automakers
Be Honest and Transparent When Marketing to College Students
A major challenge automakers face when advertising to students is establishing trust. College students distrust traditional advertising and brand messaging. Steve Martin, Co-Creative Partner at Firefly Creative Company, expresses his concerns with marketing to millennials (college students are a subset of millennials): “They think marketing is lying. They don’t believe something just because it’s in the newspaper or on the internet. They’re very skeptical, therefore it’s important for a brand to be authentic or genuine.”
The planning and logistics of skiing can scare people away from the sport. However, you can counter this and attract college students to the slopes by marketing adventure.
Skiing can seem like a lot of work, especially for those who’ve never experienced it before. There are a lot of logistical concerns one must plan before even hitting the slopes, including: arranging transportation to the ski area, renting gear and transporting it to the slopes, buying lift tickets or ski passes, obtaining the right winter gear, clothing, and accessories, and securing lodging to name a few. This can be intimidating and scare people away from skiing. However, ski areas can counter this and attract college students to the slopes by marketing adventure.
Many companies face college marketing challenges. Brands can surmount these obstacles by delivering authentic ads to students using the resources and expertise of a reputable college marketing agency.
At a glance, college marketing is a relatively straightforward concept: brands promoting their products or services to college students. In practice, however, college marketing is a difficult endeavor.
The college demographic is increasingly distrustful of corporations and institutions. This is not surprising, given the fact they’re living in uncertain times and face economic challenges ahead; they can’t even be certain that the degrees they’re pursuing will help them gain careers in their field of study and the recent government shutdown only heightened their insecurities about the future.
Co-creation marketing allows consumers to contribute new content that shapes brand identity in conjunction with brand generated content. This can be hair raising for brands, as they’re relinquishing some of their control to their consumers. However, co-creation will happen whether a brand officially encourages it or not and those brands that choose to embrace co-creation marketing techniques will reap the rewards, especially when marketing to the youth.
Marketing experiences to the youth is becoming increasingly profitable as the youth value experiences over material goods. Learn how brands are utilizing this to their advantage.
The youth mind set is changing and advertisers must change their youth marketing tactics to realign with millennials’ values. Consumer goods no longer have the appeal that they once did with this demographic; increasingly millennials value experiences over possessions. Clyde McKendrick, Executive Strategy Director at WDWC, explains this generational shift:
Automakers face a dilemma as more and more teenagers are declining to drive. College advertising may be the solution to reaching college students and capturing the youth market at full throttle.
Trends don’t look good for automakers. Teenagers are waiting longer to get their driver’s license, let alone a car. A recent article featured in the Chicago Tribune, Cars not a driving force for teens, drives this point home stating, “Many youths today are more interested in phones and social media than cars, a trend that has long-term implications for concerned automakers.” This is troublesome as cars use to symbolize a coming of age moment; having your own car signified freedom, adventure, and youth. While it can still represent those things, automakers have to be savvy when advertising to students and youth marketing.
Increasing discretionary spending among college students means college advertising is essential now more than ever. If college students recognize the advantages of your product, price does not have to be the determining factor when making purchases.
College students often get classified as poor or broke and to some extent that is true. According to American Student Assistance, “there is roughly somewhere between $902 billion and $1 trillion in total outstanding student loan debt in the United States today. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports $902B while the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau reports $1T.” The majority of college students today have to take out student loans to help them with their education costs and living expenses.
Creating a student appreciation day or event and advertising it on college campuses is a great way to reach college students and create repeat customers.
College students like to be appreciated and when they find a company that respects them, it creates loyalty in the consumer. When a company has a college student appreciation day, it really can attract quite a following among college students. For Example, on Monday nights in Tallahassee Chic-fil-A has college night; all college students with a valid id can receive a free chicken sandwich with the purchase of any other menu item.
Show college students the value of your brand by marketing an experience and highlighting the connections they will form through that experience.
College students have minds of their own. They are spontaneous experimental individuals who are tech savvy and easily influenced by their peers. Given these characteristics, marketing to college students poses a serious challenge. They do not trust companies that push their brand too hard and they do not react well to being told what to do or how to think. They value their individuality and constantly seek to further explore who they are. Their experiences add meaning to their lives and help shape them as individuals.