Reaching Students – Throughout Student Areas
Moving on from our last guide, we now look at activity suggestions when students are away from home and not busy studying at University. Surrounding each university campus there is a thriving local economy serving the local student community. So in this latest instalment, we look at what can be achieved when focusing activity into this often overlooked activity location.
Where To Go?
Student Suburban Areas
Universities create their own student ecosystems, some adjacent to the universities and some have grown simply by being the place to live. Each student suburb offers unique opportunities to engage with students with all local residents being in some form of education. These locations are usually full each day with the exodus of students leaving and returning to university. This provides a highly lucrative student activity location during key morning and evening times.
Student Area Bars & Pubs
Without wanting to sound cliché, we know the students like to party and their social behaviour shapes the economy of their local watering holes. There are bars and pubs that exclusively service the local student community and others that specifically offer student-focused events and nights. For the right brand and with the right timing these locations offer an easily identifiable student market.
Student Shopping Areas
Contrary to popular belief, students do still buy ‘some’ essential supplies to get through their term time. So the areas surrounding universities especially the shopping or retail areas are regularly attended by the local community. These areas give great promotional opportunities and the chance to really display a brand message to the local community. We also feel that at this time of student day there is often more time to engage, potentially with a greater dwell time than during the dash to university on a morning before lectures.
What Do Do?
We believe it is key to make an impact and offer students something outside of the norm. The locations we have discussed all offer their own unique advantages and challenges, so we need to think a little differently. Why not brand an entire student area, displaying materials inside the frequently visited local retailers? How about positioning your student roadshow in a highly populated student shopping area? Or potentially consider sponsoring or creating your own student night at a popular bar or pub? Give students a lift into university with branded adbikes? Or give an entire student body a product sample on their way into their university from home?
The point here is that the possibilities are endless and you can see the value of building these alternative locations into your student marketing mix. Get noticed, and don’t simply default to thinking that your next student promotion has to be on campus because it simply doesn’t.
When To Do It?
This may sound silly, but term time always helps! University calendars are complex and as such careful consideration needs to be taken when considering holidays, reading weeks and exam periods. We would also tread carefully in terms of evening timings – yes 11 pm at a rammed student bar location seems a great idea but we need to make sure that we are still engaging with students and not simply preaching to drunken revellers. When we are looking at activity away from campus we must consider the time of day but this needs to be balanced with realistic student timetables. Not all students study at the same time, but if your campaign is highly visible and engaging you can grab student attention with only the smallest amount of time needed. Depending on what we are planning we will advise on timings to ensure we cut through to the students at the most appropriate times.
“Don’t get lost in the marketing mix; the student community is dominated by event promoters and other local business all touting for a piece of the lucrative pie. Stand out; be clear about the promotion and offer something amazing. Word of mouth and social media within the student community is hugely important, so make sure your campaign stands out from the crowd”.