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Back-To-School Marketing Pro Tips

By collegemktgrp | April 20, 2016 | Brands/Advertisers

The team at College Marketing knows a thing or two about college marketing. It’s what we do day in and day out. So let’s ask the team what they think brands need to do to prepare and keep their back-to-school marketing from being so basic.

“What is important for marketers to have ready or clearly defined before they start their back-to-school marketing plans?”

Ryan – “This is your first impression, how do you want to be perceived? This is the opportunity to persuade a fresh mind and newly independent adult. This is a time when students are getting bombarded with ads and new experiences, are you creating an experience or ad message that will stand out, give an experience, or be helpful?”

Amanda – “Make sure you have a clear and consistent call-to-action (CTA). Students don’t like ambiguity and don’t have time to think about what you are asking. Be clear on what you want them to do and the benefit they’ll get by following your lead.”

Kimberly – “If you start working on your media assets and campaign creative before defining clear, measurable, and realistic goals, you might not achieve your goals. Your messaging and design should not have to work hard.”

Mike – “Without a doubt, the most important thing for marketers to identify before marketing on campus next fall is to identify their primary and secondary goals? How those goals will be measured must be included when those objectives are being developed. After those two questions have been defined, we can start to develop other strategies (media type, messaging, etc) for achieving those goals.”

Tom – “How will you know what “success” looks like for back to school? How will you know the difference between on campus or college specific sales vs high school purchasers? Is there a tracking element you can include to help you?”

Mitch – “You can’t be everywhere at once without a hefty budget. College marketers should ask themselves if they looking to market to college students nationwide or can they start with a smaller list of schools, or regional campaign? Sometimes it’s best to start small and then go big when you know what’s working.”

Brandon – “College students are great at picking up on deceptive marketing messages, so think about how you can be relevant and real at every touch point. If you can be authentic in a way that evokes emotion and makes your story sharable, you will hit a homerun.”

Stephanie – “Who is your target audience? If you say ‘college students,’ then you are only part of the way there. What type of college student is your product or service best suited for? Are they a Freshmen or Senior? What are they likely to major in? Part-time student or a full-time student? The more you can define, the clearer your message can be.”

Dan – “It is essential that your company have a professional website even if it is a simple one. A web presence provides a lot of convenience to your customers and lends credibility to your business.”

Jason – “Make sure your marketing message is clear and concise. Clearly state how your product or service will make their lives better. Once you do that, find a copywriter that can help you communicate that in a way that both informs and entertains.”

Joan – “Take the time to carefully consider how you will tie back results of the campaign to your original goals. How will success be measured and compared to “business as usual” benchmarks? Be certain that everything you do, from media selection to creative execution, drives back to your original defined goals.”

Joel – “Think about the value your product or service can add to the back-to-school experience. Be authentic to your brand. And don’t forget it’s okay to just do something that’s entertaining if it helps build a connection with this audience – shareable and memorable.”

Sally – “Give college students a reason to take action on your offer. Whether it be a ‘this week only,’ or a ‘first 500 students…’ discount, a time-sensitive message can drive them to interact with your brand and build that momentum among their peers.”

Iman – “Campus advertising is tricky. Be prepared to speak to the students in a way that will resonate with them. Understanding how to communicate with them effectively is what is going to set you apart from the competition.”

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