We all make assumptions. For example, we assume on a daily basis that spring will finally kick in soon, well, that’s more wishful thinking! But trust us when we say it’s easy to fall in the ‘assumption’ trap when it comes to planning student marketing campaigns, particularly when you don’t know anything about your target audience and haven’t done your research!
When you make assumptions about an audience, more specifically the potential consumer, and these are wrong, it could be seriously detrimental to a brand, and not just a waste of time and/or budget. So, here are our top misunderstandings brands make on a regular basis about students…
- Students just like to get drunk and party all the time
While socialising is a right of passage for anyone who goes to university, and deciding between having one last drink or being able to get a kebab on the way home is a genuine problem, it isn’t actually the main reason students go to university! Only 29% of students claimed they went to university ‘for the experience’, so think again if this is something you thought university was all about!
- They follow a staple diet of pizza, ice cream and sweets
While there will be a group students that fall into this category, you’d be surprised just how many students are paying better attention to their health and food consumption at university. Care packages from parents, a savvier student, university initiatives and easily accessible better options at convenience stores all contribute to a healthier more conscientious student population.
- Equally, they’re all fitness fanatics and just want to eat kale, avo and whatever new hipster food is on the agenda
Students do still love pizza. That’s all.
- Their laziness would put Sunday to the test
Although there will still be those students that need to pull an all-nighter to get their dissertation done because they’ve left it until the day before, the majority of students aren’t actually that lazy. More and more students are finding better, more valuable ways to fill their spare time – work experience, part-time jobs and university societies are just a few of the ways students are making the most of their time, so if you can offer something more than just a free t-shirt, you’ll be making some good mates.
- They don’t care about anything!
As a matter of fact, students are actually quite conscientious people! Young people in particular are well informed on environmental and human rights movements, with a huge 97% saying ‘ethics’ is important and 51% more likely to make purchasing decisions based on a brands ethical values and credentials. So don’t get stuck in the trap that students are easily fooled, because they can see right through the falseness and aren’t afraid to call you out on it.
- All students live on-campus
With the rising costs of life in general, more and more students are opting to stay at home and commute to university. Around a quarter of students (27%) in the UK now stay at home while they study, so brands need to think about whether planned marketing efforts account for students that live at home – i.e. a strong and engaging social media strategy that will help to connect with those students not around for the more on-campus activity.
- They’re all born at a time which makes most of us feel ridiculously uncomfortable and old
Don’t be fooled that students are all 18-21, in fact less than 60% of students are under 21. Yep! That one surprised us too. So, not only are you making false behavioural assumptions about students, you’re also discounting a huge proportion of them down to age! Oh dear…
- They’ll only care about price because they never have any money
Ok, this one really grinds our gears. Students collectively have massive spending power, around £20bn per year. The thing to note here is not that they don’t have money, because they do, they are just generally a lot more careful in how they spend their money. So the challenge is making a good enough argument to convince students to part with their money. Not too difficult is it?
- They believe that the word ‘studying’ derived from the words ‘students’ and ‘dying’
While many students do huff and puff when deadline day looms, the majority of the time they are with their heads in the books, working during their free time to get some extra monies (not just for beer), or trying to find ways to gain that holy grail all students seek for, work experience. Students spend 52% of their time studying, 5% engaging in extra curricular activities and 5% working, so don’t fall into the trap of assuming all students hate working – if your brand can offer a valuable experience, students will connect with you on a more meaningful level.
Get in touch with our team for more information.