It may be a bit shocking—at least it was a shock to this aging gen Xer—that today’s oldest millennials now fit into the category of adult/nontraditional (age 25 or older) students. Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials are an interesting group when it comes to their consumer habits and media consumption. Knowing a bit more about the specific activities and preferences of this interesting generation will help inform the channels and tools you use to generate interest in your institution and your programs.

Gleaned from several studies conducted in 2014 (Future Foundation Millennials Study, SDL Millennials Study, and Millennial Central Study), here are some data points to impact your communications with this segment of your adult student population.

  • 30% use four or more devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop, TV) a day (Marketing Implication: Responsive websites; make good use of multichannel marketing opportunities)
  • They check their smartphone an average of 43 times a day (Marketing Implication: Likely expect immediate gratification/response to texts, posts, tweets, etc.)
  • When making tech purchases…68% ask for friends’ advice, 59% ask their significant other, 37% look to mom and dad (Marketing Implication: Tech purchases can be big ($$) purchases—and so is higher education. Why not expect similar word-of-mouth activity and input for an investment like attending/returning to college? Influence the influencers if possible.)
  • 90% of millennials can be found on Facebook and 42% log onto the site daily (Marketing Implication: Validates the need for a strategic and sustainable social presence)
  • 52% would rather text than talk (Marketing Implication: Communicate with the medium of their choosing. Just ask!)
  • 93% prefer to browse on mobile devices—52% use smartphones and 61% use tablets (Marketing Implication: Did I mention responsive websites?)
  • 60% believe the consumer experience should be consistent across online, store, and mobile (Marketing Implication: An integrated, holistic brand strategy must be determined and executed seamlessly across digital and in-person/on-campus experiences. Live your promise consistently with every single interaction.)
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