Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in HE

How do you attract Generation Z?

Beth Spencer outlines the scope of a brand new whitepaper from MintTwist about engaging with millenials

Posted by Rob Bertels | July 11, 2017 | Students

Most universities are now looking towards clearing in the summer and competing fiercely for the best fee-paying students. These students, now finishing their A-levels, are part of a group known to marketers as Generation Z. In this increasingly competitive and changing market, engaging effectively with Generation Z is what will define the victors from the has-beens. Universities have to wholeheartedly embrace the challenges and opportunities that Generation Z represent and not just opt for what has worked before. The distinctive attitudes and behaviours of this demographic pose a completely new set of challenges.

A new whitepaper, out today, from digital agency MintTwist aims to shine a light on Generation Z and answer the questions: Who, What, When, Where and How.

Generation Z have grown up in a world where, in many ways, science fiction is quickly becoming science fact. From voice activated intelligent personal assistants in your living room, to augmented reality and driverless cars. The technological advancements are happening at such a rapid pace that it is difficult to keep up.

Members of Generation Z were born into a world where it was normal for you to not only have multiple electronic devices but also to have readily available internet access. As such, they’re incredibly adept at embracing new technology. Having said that, mobile is the device of choice. Not just for Generation Z: we’re increasingly living in a mobile-first world. This touches all aspects of marketing (digital and traditional) so adopting a mobile-first approach is paramount.

Research has shown that members of Generation Z have an eight-second attention span – a decrease from 11 seconds for the previous generation. This isn’t to say they can barely focus for a long period. They actually compute information and relevancy extremely quickly.

For example:

Is this interesting to me?
No.
Scroll on.

Whether it’s video or web content, catching a Generation Z’s attention is paramount. Influenced by the fact that high-speed mobile connections have opened the door to data-heavy content, Generation Z favours images, videos, emojis and so on. Instagram and YouTube, perhaps the most popular visual channels, are hugely popular with Generation Z. Much has been made about their move away from traditional TV and to YouTube instead. Adopting a more visual communication strategy could be a great way to engage potential students.

Authenticity is a huge influence for Generation Z.  There’s a growing scepticism around advertising and marketing. Many members of Generation Z believe that a stranger’s review of something is more trustworthy than an advertisement from a company or brand. As a result, universities should place a greater emphasis on student feedback and student experience rankings – these could become just as important as the traditional university rankings.

To engage with Generation Z, universities can’t just adopt a straightforward marketing approach. As Sabrina Francis, Social Media Officer at City, University of London said this week; “Fundamentally, students and the people that engage with City will be talking about us online whether we choose to actively listen and engage or not; so, it's far better for us to be in the social space so we can learn as much as possible and offer the level of customer service that digital natives have come to expect.”

Today’s technological developments and channels of choice offer new and creative engagement marketing opportunities. Whether it’s developing a bespoke Snapchat filter for open day attendees or a Facebook campaign that ties into an offline print campaign, marketing to Generation Z is full of hugely exciting opportunities.

Colin Cheng has worked for a number of years with HE institutions in the UK and brings his experience and knowledge to the report. You can read it here: minttwist.com/gen-z-whitepaper

Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in HE

Related stories

Why you can't brand a university

Marketing to international students: improving engagement

HE must embrace digital marketing to engage with students

Universities, the cloud, and student engagement

Meaningfully connecting

Evolve or dissolve

If you want information, just Google it!

Infographic - The Impact of Student Response Solutions

Digital - the recruitment marketing driving force

Marketing Masterclass

Market place - view all

Hamworthy heating

Hamworthy Heating is a leading British commercial boiler manufacturer...

Promethean

Effective teaching is the key to successful, collaborative and pers...

Campus Living Villages

Campus Living Villages is a global owner, developer and operator of...

Sports facilities

Sports Facility Services Limited was set up in June 2013 with the ...

Nationwide

Award winning online banking: whether it's current accounts, credit...

Led hut

LED lights for home & business. SAVE money with energy efficie...