Do you think you know how to communicate with today's student? Can you text speak, relate to slang, understand all the technology and make sense of the pop culture references? Keeping up with this population is a constant challenge. This is why waking up early in Vegas to learn more tips on becoming the Big Marketer on Campus from Kim Cory and Dan Oltersdorf will be worth only getting 3 hours of sleep. Hey this is the life of a college student, so set your alarms and join the student experience during the upcoming NAA Education Conference & Exposition in June. Class begins on Thursday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. as they present, “It's All about the Connections! Making the Connections through Marketing and Speaking the Language of Today's Student.This generation is skeptical, constantly connected and relies on technology more than any other age-based demographic. Students will and do validate advertising claims. Everything can be researched and debunked, so it’s time to start being a real community and start showcasing the management team. Marketing techniques must be attention grabbing, entertaining, humorous and relatable.
Students look for a strong digital presence. They not only want to search for information on a website or ILS listing, they want to interact and learn about how a community business conducts itself online and what employees like. They’re not just looking at what past and current residents are saying on ApartmentRatings, but at real, live interactions taking place on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and even Linkdin. They're trying to determine how a community is different from its competitors and how it will respond to them once they make the decision to live there.
B.M.O.C. Tip #1: Stand Out From The Crowd by Selling the Experience.
Marketing is no longer just about the amenities, which have become commonplace in today’s competitive student housing market. Today’s student cares more about the experience, so that is what must be delivered.
Everyone wants something different, unique or memorable, so take your brand and give it a personality. Mascots are a great way to stand out and deliver an experience. They become something the students recognize as fun and not just a logo.
B.M.O.C. Tip #2: Focus on Relationship Building.
Make a personal connection with students through your advertising and interactions.
B.M.O.C. Tip #3: Connect With Campus.
Student residents have one thing in common—they are students. Focus on building strong relationships with the college or university your residents attend. Understand their resources, values and priorities and learn what is happening on campus. Position the community and its staff members as the ultimate “campus concierge.” Being able to help a student will give you the added value in service and will enable you to relate to what matters most to them—school.
Kim Cory is Director of Sales and Marketing at University Village in Columbus, Ohio.