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To Reach Generation Next, Tap into the Insights of Higher Education Marketing
By: Cindy Wendland
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If you have a child in college or nearing college age, you are well aware of how universities are reaching out to this market segment. If you have a product you want to sell to 16–25-year-olds, pay attention. Generation Next has a few things on their minds that could help in your marketing.

Some universities are drawing the link between student passion and careers. Like any emotional pitch, appealing to the passion helps the connection begin. Another strong point with university marketing has found that this group expects to be treated like equals. When designing the pitch, consider that Gen Next values the experience over the outcome and an informal and personal tone will appeal more strongly.

To reach this group of people different approaches need to be incorporated. Universities found that although some Gen Nexters may visit university websites, it is more important is to get to them where they are, at one of their various touch-points. More emphasis on social media and advertisements on YouTube will likely impact this group.

It’s clear that this group of people has grown up with technology and social networking and has developed a short attention span. 80% of this group has a primary goal of getting rich. They have recently seen economic downturns, losses of jobs in families, and experienced foreclosures personally or remotely. Financial security and prosperity are top of mind for this group. Appealing to that goal in your message hits home with Gen Next.

A sidenote: while a lot of emphasis is being placed on Facebook marketing for this group, realize that a lot of this group is no longer on that platform. Once their parents and grandparents came on board, they jumped ship. Twitter and Instagram are popular places for them to be found, but they are there to get away from it all. Surprisingly, many in this group still like good ole mail.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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