One way for companies to expand their marketing efforts into the crucial 18-25 demographic is to reach out to college students where they live.
American Eagle Outfitters is one retailer that has reached out to campuses, using college students themselves as “brand ambassadors.” A recent USA Today article points out that even when students shun the idea of big-business marketing, their own words can inadvertently demonstrate the powerful influence of peer opinion leaders.
Bijah Gibson, for example, a journalism major at Colorado State University, claims to largely ignore marketing efforts targeted through social media and elsewhere:
“It doesn’t affect what I buy,” he says. “My friends have a much bigger effect on what I buy than what I see on some website or on a Facebook update.”
And precisely where did those “friends” gain their enthusiasm? Some website or a Facebook update, quite likely ….
Red Bull is another company that has huddled with marketing advisers and come up with a college-based strategy. Red Bull sells more than 4 billion cans a year in the United States – its target market heavily skewed to 18-25 (with 8.4 million Facebook friends).
When students returned to school this fall, for example, thousands got sample Red Bull Energy Shots (2-ounce bottles that retail for $2.99) at college bookstores (talk about helping students stay awake for those study, work, play and party priorities).
It also moved forward with a “4-Pack Thursday” because “Thursday is the new Friday” promotion on campuses across the country.
Entrepreneur e-zine offers five tips for reaching the elusive college market:
- Consider mobile marketing.
- Get to the point, fast.
- Don’t try to be cool if you’re not.
- Get your product right before bragging about it.
- Win over mom and dad.
Ahhh, couldn’t we all learn from that fifth item: Honor thy father and mother!
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Filed under: Loyalty Marketing