Tips to maximise your student marketing

Posted: 5 Dec 2018 - 14:26
Student marketing
This generation of multi-tasking, digital native students are more marketing savvy than any who came before. Faced with more than 5,000 advertisements every day, they have developed subconscious filters to prevent information overload; and your marketing message has to pass through it.

Snaring their attention is no mean feat – creativity is key

Multichannel Marketing

The most successful UCAS Media campaigns have come from brands which invested the time and resource into developing a strong multichannel approach. There’s no denying that it takes a lot of time to plan and create, but consistency across multiple channels is proven to increase sales by up to 74%. USPs and CTAs are reinforced at different times of day, on different devices, through different mediums; supporting the old rule of 7 adage. In the past, getting your marketing message in front of a prospect 7+ times took time; but the digital age has turned a campaign of months into minutes.

Consider the success of Apple, the world’s most valuable brand and one which also takes a great interest in students and millennials. This is a brand which is lived and breathed by most; from their flagship stores to the packaging of their products, their slick parallax websites to minimalist billboards. The message is clear to all. Apple know that they’re the best, and by keeping their story simple but reinforcing it consistently across every channel; they make sure that we know they’re the best too. Without ever saying it.

You don’t need the billion-dollar budgets of Silicon Valley to develop a consistent campaign. Define creative that works across devices/channels and utilise it consistently. Keep your messages simple and your CTAs simpler still. 

And never forget that your landing page is the most important channel of all. 

Direct Mail: Advantages Over Limitations

We’re consistently finding that direct mail is more effective than conventional wisdom would have you believe. The analogue communication is enjoying a renaissance among millennials in particular, according to our surveys, and there’s the added bonus of reaching parents and students in one campaign too.

Research from Royal Mail has shown that post lingers in the home for at least 17 days once it’s received, so designing eye-catching creative will heighten your chances of repeat interaction. Vibrant packaging and unique contents boost the potential further still, and the best direct mail campaigns leverage their advantages over digital. 

For all of its tangible benefits, digital is limited to screen and sound. With direct mail, you have texture and stock to play with, physical gifts, embedded technology, scratch and sniff, creative folding; the list goes on. Consider Belgium’s World Water Day campaign, whose message was only visible under a tap, or Kit Kat’s faux postal notice, unable to deliver because the package was too ‘chunky’ for a letterbox. 

Creativity in direct mail campaigns come in ignoring the channel’s limitations and recognising its very unique advantages. 

FOMO

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a powerful emotional response that permeates millennial culture. More than two thirds experience the feeling, which applies to news, events, products and anything else that will not always be current or available. Capitalising on this trigger is an outstanding way to drive demand of your services, and you will have undoubtedly already these tactics in use:

  • E-commerce website use pop-ups on products to show that it’s recently been purchased by somebody, often showing their name and location. This generates a response that the product might be running out, and also verifies the trust of the website with proof of other custom.
  • Accommodation providers often show details of expired offers, or oversubscribed rooms, building a very tangible sense of having just missed out. This often pushes a customer into choosing another room or property immediately, lest they miss out there too.
  • eBay and Amazon both started showing stock levels, and sometimes the amount that’s been sold too. Consider the feeling when you see ’19 sold, 1 left’ in red next to the item you’ve been hunting.
  • Amazon’s Prime Day and Black Monday deals are available in short windows, with timers ticking down on each product. This drives a loss aversion emotion in customers, persuading them to make a purchase when they may have otherwise deliberated for longer.

We know that marketing to millennials can be difficult, but we also see it done well so often. Taking the time to consider generational and preferential differences will pay off in the long run, as will dedicating resource to creative and unique campaigns that target these differences. 

We’re in the perfect position to support brands that want to speak to, and support the verified student audience, with products and services that will make their next step a confident one.

For more information on any aspect of our postgraduate research, or to find out how we can connect your brand to this important audience, please call 01242 544881, or email ucasmedia@ucas.ac.uk.
 

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