Millennials are a powerful demographic that arguably are the most knowledgeable group as they grew up in an age where technical advances were frequent. They know how to do their research and what to look for in a reputable business. Millennials are now thriving students at universities and are freely spending £23 billion a year, making them the key to accessing the student market and getting ahead of your competitors and increasing your product sales.
A large percentage of the £23 billion per year spend goes on accommodation, social events and food which means local businesses are getting a lot of this expenditure – but how do you encourage students to shop locally with you in the first place?
Students are loyal customers so if you can market your brand to them in a way that influences them to store, your products or services, your business might just gain some lifelong customers. When it comes to deciding what businesses to engage with, students like a brand to have a sense of community and feel a part of something whether this is exclusive discounts or incentives. If you can create a community that students feel welcome in then it is more likely that these students will repeatedly purchase from your brand as well as spread positive brand messages through other effective marketing techniques, such as social media and word of mouth which are hard to mimic.
There are countless benefits when marketing to students due to how powerful this generation is; their opinions are crucial and they have the power to influence the buying habits of their peers to a large degree, so if you create a positive experience for one student, this has potential to create a positive ripple effect amongst their peer group. By connecting with students at this influential turning point in their life where they are letting go of previous brand alliances and developing new brand loyalties, you will be able to keep them as customers as they continue passing milestones in their life such as career and lifestyle changes.
Here are a few suggestions as to how your local business could increase sales by targeting students…
Everyone loves a discount, but did you know that 80% of students are more likely to be influenced to buy from a new brand if there is an offer available? Whether you offer student-only discounts or one-time offers, these small changes in your marketing strategy could open your brand up to a whole new demographic of eager customers.
With this tech-savvy generation, traditional marketing just won’t cut it on its own. Targeting students in a way that they respond positively to are crucial, so with 40% of students preferring initial contact from brands to be through social media, you should consider becoming more active across social channels in order to increase your brand engagement amongst this demographic.
The most effective way of reaching students is to go directly to them in their ‘natural habitat’. On campus events are more than just distributing freebies and samples, it is establishing your brand amongst an open-minded audience in a way that they don’t feel intruded. Studies have shown that over 60% of students attend Freshers Fair to get freebies, so ensure that you have a good amount of your best products on hand to entice them to shop with you in the future and become loyal returning customers!