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7 Ways to Engage Students as Customers

7 Ways to Engage Students as Customers

College students and Millennials represent one-third of the buying population. In most cases, these segments possess the inclination to purchase, primarily because of the availability of disposable income, and thus greater purchasing power.

So, for businesses who want to increase their bottom line, a marketing communications plan focused on students would be effective to achieving this objective.

To develop a marketing strategy for students, tweaking the 4 “Ps” of marketing—Product, Price, Promotion and Place—is a good place to start. Below are 7 tactics businesses can use to engage students as customers.

Create a Product Based on Students’ Inherent Tastes and Interests

Add a few tweaks to a product targeted at students, and you might have students really interested and raving about the product. Online retaile, Amazon provides students accounts with two-day free shipping to expedite the buying process for students.

Companies in the mobile industry can tweak product features to focus on features students like and make the most use of. If the target students are interested in mobile entertainment, the focus could be on large phone storage. If the interest is gaming and internet speed, a ramping up in RAM and processing power would be desirable.

Create Separate Price Packages for Students

Competitive price packages targeted at students would enhance students’ motivation to patronize the company. Telecommunications network Campus Sims provides affordable sim packages targeted at international students to enable them to stay connected.

Students admire affordable and flexible price packages that enable them stay within their budgets.

Bringing Needed Products to Students’ Locations

The most successful companies have taken on a new approach to “locating” desired products. Rather than advertising products and services offered, while creating location in static places, companies with best practices take the products and services to their customers’ locations.

As students are constantly working to manage their time in order to meet school objectives, service delivery options can be created—not only for the company’s products, but for the products of their competitors as well. In this way, companies can become the one-stop shop, and thus, first port of call for purchasing.

Engaging Students in School Work

Helping students reach their educational goals can be a marketing tool, as marketing departments work toward successfully engaging these audience, and making them loyal customers. This “in your face” mentality is effective in getting customers to think favorably about a company and its mission.

Textbook website, Affordabook, partners with publishers to offer students search engine services to get the best deals on textbooks for students. Chegg, another textbook website, creates a platform to purchase used textbooks, as well as provide students with help on homework and locating internship opportunities.

Similar product offerings can be designed. For example, companies offering mobile services can provide links to tech educational tools. Companies offering writing services, if in the UK, could offer free plagiarism checker UK for students.

Social Media Engagement

The different social media platforms are tools that should be used not only advertising, but for successfully engaging customers as well. From building communities, to creating challenges, and providing instant customer feedback, social media could be a powerful platform to connect with consumers and develop a brand.

As students go online to stay connected with friends, peers, and loved ones, keep up to date on their favorite celebrities and entertainers, or follow up on new interests, companies can proactively act on this knowledge by creating platforms for students to discuss and debate on their favorite topics.

Video-sharing site, Youtube, acts as an inviting platform where students chat up, and analyze the performance of their favorite sports team.

Offering Freebies Based on Challenges Completed

Everyone loves a free gift, especially when it’s accompanied by some form of challenge. This is the view surrounding game development, as players earn rewards for milestones reached.

Online or on-site, college campuses can be an ideal way of awarding the completion of challenges. If the budget attached to the promotion is hefty, on-site could be the desirable option. If the budget is constrained, then challenges via social media could be choice.

Engage students in different challenges related to company products (or services) and reward them for successfully completed challenges.

Compiling a Combination of Back-to-School Gadgets

At least, twice a year, at the beginning of the new semester, students purchase these products like laptops, smartphones, notebooks, writing tools, and headphones to take back to school. Getting these products at discount prices, advertising companies can offer these items to new intakes or at the beginning of the new semester, in addition to the company’s product offering.

Concluding, a myriad of methods exists to advertise and engage students to adopt a company’s products. Modifying these offerings, while ensuring optimal value for the students, is key to developing successful student relationships.

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by Richard Smith //

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.