Marketing to students: they don't form a cohesive
We have all been students once, yet the more we get to the top of our careers as marketing directors etc. the more we become out of touch with reality and base proposals on myths rather than in depth investigation. This is especially true when it comes to marketing to the student population. The infamous student life, full of parties, booze, irresponsibility and recklessness couldn’t be farther from the truth in the 21st Century and yet marketers don’t bother to debunk these myths and don’t take students seriously... and this can cost a lot of money.
There’s not “one” student market, there are multiple student markets and each need to be looked and analysed into carefully as habits, values, opinions and feelings are extremely varied from one group to another, and a marketing proposal needs to be tailored accordingly. Or dismissing students as one whole block is also erroneous thinking as not all students are “poor” and okay with eating baked beans and hot dogs every night. During my time as a student, I’ve met a fair share of peers who would have no qualms eating Pret A Manger or Wasabi Sushi every day for lunch.
Fun Facts: Postgraduate students don’t think of themselves as students but rather as professionals and go onto have high paying jobs after their masters. Missing out on this key segment earlier can cost you, as these are the groups that will have higher disposable income to spend on your upscale brand.
International Students as well cannot be marketed towards the same way you’d market to British Students. Already International Students pay a different, higher university fee that already puts them in a different socio-economical segment. They also come with a very different set of expectations, values, cultures and opinions that need to be analysed. International Students are not even a whole group in itself as Chinese Students will have to be marketed towards in very different way compared to French Students or Nigerian Students.
In sum, broad brushed generalisations don’t work and it’s time to look more deeply into students.