The Complete College Grad Guide Series Recap

By BNC Marketing

Are you optimized to reach the new college grad [alumni] demographic?

As we wrap up our College Grad Guide Series, the complete resource guide for marketing to upcoming and recent college grads, here’s a quick recap.

2.9 million students will graduate with either an Associates or Bachelor’s Degree this Spring.*  With numbers simply too big to ignore, Barnes & Noble College asked upcoming grads about their plans after college, where they will live, what they will buy and how their lives will change.**

As graduates exit their college years and begin the next chapter of their lives, their major lifestyle shift will prompt new consumer needs and buying behaviors. Marketers, understanding what makes these men and women tick is the key to crafting solid college grad marketing programs.

Here are a few things on the minds of grads:

Grads have plans. 59% will work full-time jobs, while others will work part-time or go on to graduate school.

Grads will be on the move. 32% plan to live with family after graduation and 30% plan to invest in a new apartment or home.

Grads want gifts! The #1 gift grads are hoping to receive is a car. 55% hope to receive a car as a gift and 10% plan to buy one as a self-gift. Travel and airline tickets also top picks as 14% hope to receive the gift of travel and 12% will spend their own money to travel either domestically or internationally.

Grads will consume entertainment differently. No longer able to binge watch or view for extended periods, grads will squeeze in small bits of entertainment after work hours or on daily commutes.

Grads have made finances a priority. They intend to seek out new financial and insurance services providers for banking products, auto and renter’s insurance and more.

So, what are the top 3 to-do’s that will help brands successfully engage new grads?

  1. Reach them now, before they leave campus and continue the conversation after they exit. It takes a consistent effort to forge bonds with this group as they work to build new lives and take on bigger responsibilities. They are on the lookout for product information and education to help their decision-making.
  2. Build special offers for alumni. Whenever possible, provide a connection back to the school such as incentive items with school logo or mascot. Donate a percentage of profits back to school scholarship funds. Above all , make your offer exclusively for alumni.
  3. Be precise in your media selection. Use very targeted vehicles like school email addresses, athletic and homecoming events and social media sites – places where new grads told us they plan to remain active.

We hope you found our College Grad Guide useful in developing strategies to optimize the tremendous opportunities with this untapped demographic. If you missed any of our College Grad Guide insights, you’ll find links to each of them at the bottom of this post.

Please feel free to share this post with your colleagues. And, as always, we’d love to hear your comments.

College Grad Guide

P.S. Check back here for our Back to Campus 2019 series, which begins next month.

The Complete College Grad Guide Series
Meet the Class of 2018 Entertainment Viewing Habits Cars Travel and More Money Matters Grads Want Gifts


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