As a fourth year college student, I have been the target of many college marketing campaigns. From online promotions to guerilla marketing tactics, believe me, I’ve seen it all. However, being a part of the college audience and having experience as a Brand Ambassador gives me a unique perspective on college marketing. These insights, from a student’s perspective, are crucial for companies to remember when marketing to college students.
We’re a unique demographic
A one-size-fits-all approach to marketing is never the most effective strategy, especially when it comes to college marketing. Knowing that your target audience is college students is not enough. You need to know what our interests are, what our schedules are like, and what we find important. Additionally, each college campus is unique, so it’s important to get to know each campus before creating your campaign strategy.
Word travels fast
As you know, social media and technology are embedded into the lives of college students. With platforms such as Facebook, GroupMe, and Yikyak, if you bring something of value to campus, you will see it spread organically. Many times, companies seem to promote their brand with items that are of no value to us, such as flyers, which go straight to the trash. Instead, provide us with an item we want or will use and people will talk about your campaign to their friends, both on and offline. Word of mouth travels faster on college campuses than in most other communities, so take advantage of it!
Students relate to fellow students
As a Brand Ambassador and a student, I find that college marketing campaigns that use student Brand Ambassadors garner more attention and engagement than others. Since college campuses are filled with mostly students and professors, it is extremely easy to spot someone who doesn’t belong. To students, non-student marketers stick out like sore thumb.
In my role as a Brand Ambassador, I see many of my colleagues and friends around campus, so it’s easier to attract people to a promotional booth I’m working. As a fellow student, I can also pinpoint the needs of students and pull out the qualities of the product that solve those issues. My perspective as a student Brand Ambassador, as opposed to an outsider’s, leads to much more effective marketing.