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Marketing to Today’s College Students: 10 Key Insights

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Generational Marketing | Smart Marketing Cleveland Ohio

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Online search is a given: Google has always existed in their lifetimes.
  3. Their world is multicultural: CNN has always been available en Español.
  4. Time references are different: “Turn of the century” means the year 2000 to this group, not 1900.
  5. They have a different visual frame of reference for video: TV has always been in HD.
  6. Their own lives have always been recorded on video.
  7. They have grown up expecting access to Wi-Fi.
  8. Teachers have always had to insist that term papers employ sources in addition to those found online.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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