Future students hide behind curated content: Is targeting emotions the answer?

University marketing will need to look beyond traditional demographics when targeting future students, and instead focus on the emotional state and connectivity of this diverse audience, according to a recent CSNBC article.

Findings from the “Generation Z 2025: The Final Generation” report by US media group Sparks and Honey revealed that age, location and ethnicity will no longer be as useful as frame-of-mind when it comes to customising brand communications to digital-savvy, Generation Z. According to Sean Mahoney, vice president and editorial director at Sparks and Honey, this audience will start “to exhibit lots of different traits that will dissolve the sense of traditional demographics.”

“We’re left to focus on (Gen Z’s) moments and how they make them feel,” he adds. “Happy, sad, alone or connected – these are states we all experience as human beings.”

So, what does this mean for university advertising? Basically, the messages delivered to future students must be more targeted and individualised than ever, which will mean getting down to the nitty-gritty and understanding the personal preferences of this audience. This will mean getting up to speed on leading-edge, technological communication.

Creating such customised messaging will be a challenge, however, given Generation Z’s affinity for privacy and the fact they’re almost constantly engrossed in curated content: This audience gathers information from a variety of sources that may include social media or RSS feeds, videos, pictures and so forth, giving themselves the freedom to make their own choices. As Mahoney puts it, this age group conceals themselves behind such content, in order to avoid “programming” by marketers.

While that may be the case, we at Venus can help you get your message across to this elusive audience – tomorrow’s university students. To learn more, simply contact us on (03) 9510 7000.