Marketing to College Students During the Holiday Season

Marketing to College Students During the Holiday Season
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It is finally that time. Store fronts jam packed with turkey themed kitchenware and holiday lights, and customers frantically storming in to get their holiday shopping done in time. Welcome to the Holiday Season, both your stores worst nightmare, but financially, your best dream.  Shoppers from all over the world embrace this two-month shopping season. Is your marketing to college students during the Holiday season ready?

College students are just one target group within this ocean of shoppers. And targeting college students, during this time, calls for some extra thought. As they are blooming into adulthood, it is usually their first few years of being responsible to buy gifts themselves. What do they like to give? How do they shop? What is their budget? Below, check out some tips on how to reach college students effectively.

  1. The Earlier, The Better

There is no better time than NOW to start planning your holiday marketing campaign. This season is hectic, and when you plan ahead of time, you can set yourself up for success. Planning ahead guarantees you do not miss seasonal promotions or sales, and you can stay one step ahead of competitors. Since marketing during this time to college students requires more thought than just your average joe, planning is crucial.

  1. Make it VALUABLE

College students like to feel connected to what they buy. This generation is known for valuing VALUE in products. They want their holiday gifts to be meaningful.

  1. Stay in BUDGET

Although value is important, staying in budget for college students tops it. College students are usually on a strict budget, with potential allowances from their parents, or income from part time jobs. They are careful and strategic in how they spend their money. Make sure you offer promotions and discounts in order to catch their attention. Make it easy for your product to fit into their budget.

  1. Brick-and-Mortar vs. Online Shopping

During the holiday season, Brick-and-Mortar shopping is extremely evident. People like to pick out their gifts by hand and have vision on sales. However, online shopping is increasing like never before, and odds are, college students may be too busy to head to the store. They like fast delivery and convenience. If they can order your product with just a couple clicks, that is the way to go.

  1. Mobile Advertising

College students are almost always on their smartphone devices. Make sure to place holiday advertisements on mobile devices, in order to spark the thought and remind them of what needs to be done before they head home for break.

  1. Consider Using Influencers

The effectiveness of using influencers may differ between industries, however in the world of retail, it has grown to be an extremely successful strategy. Social media is a great place for people to interact with your brand during the holidays. College students and millennials make up most of the social media population, making this channel perhaps one of the best ways to target them specifically.

  1. Create a false urgency

Whatever promotion you run, create a sense of urgency for customers to buy it NOW. Make them think the sale will end—this will incentivize them to hit the purchase button, rather than ponder or forget about this potential purchase.


Be prepared for more competition than ever during this time. Make sure your marketing to college students during the holiday season is ready. And hopefully, with these 7 tips, you can run a successful holiday campaign. Goodluck, and Happy Holidays from OnCampus Advertising.


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