Do you fully understand students?
Students are an ever evolving segment of youth, they are more career orientated, they have more interest in life experiences such as travel, they are more savvy and are more interested in what is happening in our world than ever before. Students however, will always be students and there are certain segments we can divide them into to better position ourselves as marketeers.
One particular category we have spent a significant amount of time researching is students attitude towards University and life in general – the “Last Minuters” and the “Overachievers”. We currently believe there to be circa 15% in the Overachievers segment and 30% in the Last Minuters segment. The remainder of the student population will be somewhere between these two ends of the spectrum.
But what do we mean when we say Overachievers and Last Minuters?
Overachievers can be described as those students who have a keen desire to achieve, to be the best they can be and who are willing to go above and beyond to ensure they achieve the very best results throughout their time at University, in everything that they do. The doers, the triers, the proactive kind.
Last Minuters as you may have guessed are much the opposite. These students are renowned for leaving everything to the last minute, failing to prepare, most likely to be that friend who is always late. These students live on the edge, scraping through University and life by the skin of their teeth.
So now we have identified these two segments, how do you market to them to hit their key motivators to buy?
The Overachiever’s motivators to buy usually comes from their own personal drive but can also come from pressure from parents/guardians or other family members to succeed. They want to impress, they want to be the best.
These students will be attracted to a product or service that promises to make them better. Whether this is a pair of the very best trainers that will make them win that race or a learning resource that will show them exactly how to ace that dissertation, if you can convince these students that they “need” your product to help them become the best they can be, you will hit their motivators to buy.
Don’t forget your timing, timing is very important. Bare in mind the nature of Overachievers, they fact that they are likely to be trying to get ahead of the game, looking for a product or service way in advance of when they actually need it so that they are prepared to succeed. With this in mind spend some time understanding the key times of the year when students of this segment are most likely to purchase your product, planning your campaign dates in advance of these key times.
With the clue in the title, Last Minuters are going to want things quickly and with ease. These students are attracted to products or services that promise to get them out of that tight spot they have gotten themselves into, they are looking for their hero! Whether this is ordering takeaway because they forgot to shop again, or completely forgot to get a thoughtful gift for a friends birthday, if you can be the saving grace for these students in their hour of need, you will hit their motivators to buy.
It will come as no surprise that marketing to the Last Minuters well in advance of when they need your service or product will fall on deaf ears. You need to clearly identify when they will be in that tricky situation and come to their rescue.
At BAM we spend a lot of time working with our clients to find out exactly who their audience is so that we understand them and best position our clients to market to them. For most brands their audience will be made up of a mixture of both Overachievers and Last Minuters so you must create your strategy in line with their varying motivations to buy.
Some brands however you may find that they are more attractive to Overachievers than Last Minuters or vice versa. If this is the case they must strongly focus on their attributes and motivators to buy when developing their marketing strategy.
Brands mustn’t forget that message and tone is of utmost important. This was shown in a recent presentation from Tim Bodenham at the YMS17, asking the question “are all students the same?”. From our intense research we have found that brands need to engage with students, not talk at them. Their message must be aimed towards them personally, in a language that they not only understand, but gain a connection with and find comfort and trust in.
To find out more about your brand’s student audience, about the segmentation of students or the routes to market, get in touch!