• University Marketing: How to Attract Generation Z Mar 8, 2019
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    Wave goodbye to Millennials, marketing to Generation Z is the new and challenging task that all universities are now faced with.


    Higher education institutions over the UK are now having to reimagine and create their marketing strategies to predominantly target and recruit this new and diverse range of potential students.

    Marketing to Gen Z doesn’t have to be as mind-blowing and difficult as it’s often perceived.

    What to consider when marketing to Gen Z:

    Understand your audience.

    Like the first steps to any successful marketing campaign, you need to understand your target market’s behaviour so you can know exactly how to approach them. Here’s everything you need to know about Gen Z:

    · Gen Z is the most connected, educated and sophisticated generation because they live in a world where the internet and other forms of technologies have always been present, providing them with instant access to whatever information they need, anytime, anywhere, at a click of a button.

    · Gen Z is digital and tech-savvy with 92% having a digital footprint and 40% already self-proclaimed as “digital device addicts,” and view social media as a way of life and a key contributing factor of their decision-making process. Therefore, if it hasn’t already, your university’s strategy needs a drastic medium shift to predominantly focus on your brand social media and digital presence, with a heavy focus on mobile-friendly content.

    · Gen Z is less focused than any other generations, according to an article published by Huff Post, due to having access on-demand to continuous updates, Gen Z processes information faster and therefore has a lower attention span. Therefore, quick and attention-grabbing campaigns are a must; you have no more than 8 seconds to capture their attention before they lose interest!

    · Gen Z is more entrepreneurial-minded than Millennials, employers envisage that those who are born from 1995 onwards are highly likely to go straight into work than stay in higher education, with 8 in 10 students in compulsory education aiming to start their own business. It is therefore paramount that a clear message of the key advantages university life brings is easily accessible.

    · The perception of brand loyalty has changed, now Gen Z expects brands to be loyal to them, not the other way around. Therefore retention and relationship marketing is key; if they don’t feel appreciated, they’ll move on.

    Now that their characteristics are understood, here are our top tips for university marketing to Gen Z students:

    #1: Promote what they will achieve from attending your university.

    With an entrepreneurial mindset, Gen Z is driven by results, what will benefit them and the success that will be gained from attending your university.

    Having grown up with an online presence, peer opinions are extremely important, so try to introduce and include video case studies of alumni successes and current students talking about valuable life experiences learnt and achievements so far in their university career.

    Your university can then post these videos on digital platforms such as apps, social media and websites.

    Ensure those who are being interviewed wear branded clothing printed with your university’s logo, such as promotional hoodies; this is an effective way of adding to your brand identity and instantly making your logo recognisable to the viewer.

    It’s also a good idea to create a hashtag for current students to use when talking about your university on social media, this way prospects can search to see what’s being said. Research away from main sites means viewers feel they are getting a more genuine review.

    #2: Think digital first and stand out from the 130 UK universities

    What gives your university a competitive advantage and how will the tech-savvy Gen Z first perceive your brand?

    Gen Z has access to multiple screens; mobiles, tablets, desktops and TVs, so think about the frequencies in which they use them. According to Marketing Tech, Gen Z engage with an average of 10 hours of online content a day, spending over 5.9 hours viewing content on their phones. A mobile device strategy is, therefore, a given, but how do you ensure it differentiates from the strategies of competing universities?

    HSBC recently launched its ‘sound identity’ as part of their rebrand, using a devised piece of music to build their brand when their target market is always distracted. Creating a piece of signature music for your university that resembles its character and ethos is an innovative, tech-savvy way to engage with Gen Z. The music can be incorporated into many digital channels such as phone apps, website, and the introduction to your videos and will be instantly associated with your university.

    Merchandise such as promotional earphones is a great way of introducing musical branding, especially when coupled with other mobile phone accessories printed with your logo and landing page or app name to act as a call to action.

    #3: Show your loyalty with Merchandise

    Merchandise is key to retaining loyalty, with 79% of promotional gift recipients feeling appreciated. The key to a successful promotional gift is finding a product that is useful to your target audience. Gen Z is a digital and tech orientated market, therefore branded gadgets are at the forefront when it comes to practicality.

    Here’s some promotional gadget inspiration to help gain the loyalty of Gen Z:

    Branded Charging Cables-so they can have a charging solution for their devices wherever they go.

    Promotional Powerbanks - so their phones can remain constantly charged.

    Printed Phone/Tablet Stands - for comfortable screen viewing.

    Personalised Phone Screen Cleaners - to help maximise visibility of your marketing campaign.

    Please get in contact with our team for more information about how merchandise can help you to create an effective strategy for marketing to Generation Z!

    01245 382600 | [email protected]
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