5 tips for marketing to students on a budget
‘I’m broke’ – the phrase ringing across campuses nationwide. Although students are provided with around £3,600 per term, for most, budgeting is a constant struggle.
London is the most notorious for its pricey living standards. According to research by HSBC, University College London students spend around £315 per week on rent, bills, groceries, alcohol and bus passes – accommodation and food being the most prominent purse-drainers.
As a recent Voxburner study shows, 89% of 16-24 students think more highly of a brand if it offers student discounts. Bargain hunting is second nature to students; here are five tips for marketers to bear in mind:
1) Better sales and deals
Everybody loves a sale; the bigger the better. Students pay close attention to those magical percentage discount. Vouchers, however, do not always work. According to Voxburner, many young people just can’t afford ‘minimum spend’ conditions. Many of those surveyed commented on the inconvenience of vouchers with expiry dates or date-specific deals.
‘Black Friday’ has also become more popular among students due to Amazon’s great deals, which students ranked as their second most popular brand.
Simply having the ‘lowest price’ is the biggest purchase factor, applying to 44% of those surveyed and causing students to delay their shopping until the big sale days.
2) More advertising
According to Money Saving Expert, places like Yo! Sushi, McDonald’s and New Look hold promotions on certain days specifically aimed at students, but they’re not always advertised or made clear. If brands are offering one-day deals, vouchers or student-specific promotions, be sure to make your target audience aware. Social media is a great tool to help spread the word.
3) Offer online deals
As we become more dependent on technology, the internet and smartphones, online shopping has become more widely used by students. According to a Voxburner survey, 95% of 16-24s buy products online and due to apps, it’s incredibly easy to compare online prices with those in store. Many students will therefore ignore high street shopping sprees to save money later online.
4) Student Unions and the NUS
Student Unions and the NUS are key when advertising discounts to students. The NUS Extra Card is only £12 and brands associated with the card are more likely to be used by students. Voxburner Student Academy member Katie commented in a recent study that she buys toiletries ‘from Superdrug because of its Beautycard, and it’s ten percent off with an NUS card.’ Another member, Chloe, revealed that she uses Spotify Premium for the same reason, which is offered at just £4.99 with an NUS card.
5) Weekend deals
According to new YouGov research, takeaways are one of many deal types that have risen in popularity over the weekends – only 14% of students ‘sometimes/often eat takeaway food during the week’. Sales and deals over the weekends can help secure the interest of your student market – particularly food companies who are able to offer free delivery, half price for extra toppings or free drinks. Bigger portions will also earn you brownie points.
All in all, living on a loan is a challenge to many students, but by remembering these key tips brands can still reap the rewards. Big deals that are well advertised and well timed will ensure that even the most broke student will be more likely to buy your product or service.
For more information on how to effectively market to students, please feel free to contact us.
Author – Christina (UCL Student)