Marketing to Today’s College Students: 10 Key Insights
One of my favorite marketing events is the annual release of the Beloit College Mindset List.
Each year, Beloit researchers compile a profile of how incoming college freshmen view the world. It’s guaranteed to make anyone over 40 feel suddenly a lot older.
But for marketers, it offers fascinating insights into the next generation of consumers – which makes it must reading for anyone creating a marketing strategy that targets students or young adults.
Here are 10 key takeaways for marketers from this year’s list for the Class of 2019, published yesterday:
- They have a completely different view of electronic communication than their parents: Email is a “formal” communication while casual communication takes place in texts and tweets.
- Online search is a given: Google has always existed in their lifetimes.
- Their world is multicultural: CNN has always been available en Español.
- Time references are different: “Turn of the century” means the year 2000 to this group, not 1900.
- They have a different visual frame of reference for video: TV has always been in HD.
- Their own lives have always been recorded on video.
- They have grown up expecting access to Wi-Fi.
- Teachers have always had to insist that term papers employ sources in addition to those found online.
- Cultural icons instantly recognizable to adults were dead before this class was born, including Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau, and Mother Theresa.
- And this one that really hit me as a direct marketer: They’ve never licked a postage stamp.
If college students are your market, this list is worth some serious study when planning creative approaches, selecting marketing channels, and using cultural references in your marketing campaigns.