Often students are underestimated by companies as a valuable consumer base on which to focus their marketing. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap! While students tend to get the reputation (sometimes unfairly) of being poor, bear in mind they’re generally pretty resourceful. Many of them are experts at making their money go far, but that’s not to say they’re not spending it at all. When it comes to travel, they could in fact be your most lucrative market.
Regular travelling is necessary for many students
Think about it. Whether it’s a trip to see friends or family (for the many students living away from home), a sneaky weekend getaway or even a mid-week study break, students regularly spend on train, bus and coach fares. Some of them may drive; a fair proportion won’t, or rightly conclude that public transport helps save them from driving themselves and the cost associated with excessive fuel consumption.
Don’t underestimate Word of Mouth
It’s also worth bearing in mind that quite a few university courses require field trips and may require coach hire to get them there; marketing to students could indirectly get you this extra business as their course lecturers hear about it through word of mouth. It’s more common than you might think for course leaders to take recommendations from their students seriously when it comes to this kind of thing.
Of course, word of mouth is even more valuable when it applies to students telling each other about the latest and best deals available. By coming up with innovative and attractive deals on travel you can entice students more so than other possible markets, especially if – as in many cases – their funds are otherwise tight. Even if money isn’t an issue, it almost seems to be ingrained in student DNA to gravitate towards the best money-saving deals. It’s worth understanding this mindset and taking appropriate marketing action.
Important Fact: students are more Internet savvy than other markets
This isn’t to say working professionals and the slightly older generation aren’t as tech savvy as their student counterparts, but there’s an important element in play here that one can’t discount when approaching the student market. That is; even the most hard-working ones not only tend to be research experts, but they have a more flexible schedule and a little more time on their hands. This indirectly leads to a certain amount of procrastination, through which the Internet is typically the main conduit. You can bet a few of them are actively searching for the latest industry news or travel deals; one of them may even be reading this article right now! Again, this could work in your favour in regards to word of mouth. With an eye-catching deal on offer, it may be the case that a student ends up finding you independently.
Travel Agents have a golden opportunity to capitalise on
Plenty of students see the end of their course as a fine opportunity either for an overseas break, or to do some travelling after an intensive 3-4 years of tough studying. This can be an essential part of life before settling into a potential long-term career role and/ or starting a family.
The fact is, many students see the conclusion of their course as the perfect time to take a ‘gap year’ and do some travelling. Bearing in mind the sheer number graduating every year, this is perhaps the most lucrative opportunity open to travel agents, if you market the right deals throughout the year for students to keep an eye on.