Jay Reid Lends his Expertise on Marketing to Young People

Who Is Jay Reid?  

Jay Reid is a strategy director for Core. Throughout his long career, he has mastered the art of marketing to university students, which he discussed with Ellen Gunning for Dublin City FM’s Mediascope programme. Some people might wonder if it’s really valuable to perfect marketing strategies aimed at a demographic with the least amount of disposable income; the reason is volume. One in every three people in Ireland are under 25. The sheer number of individuals in this category makes them a key market. In spite of their often small disposable income, young people have enough spending power to influence the economy.  

Photo Credit: Jason Goodman, Unsplash

The Importance of Young People as Customers  

The new marketing segment of young adults is important for three reasons. If you acquire a customer when they are young, you maintain their custom for years afterwards. Banks can enjoy custom from students for decades if they can convince them to open an account when they are younger. Customers will stay loyal to a brand for a long time again if they buy into the products early in life. Market disruptions around the future behaviour of clients are always a possibility. However, for now, putting resources into attracting university students has proven to be a valid and effective strategy.  

The second reason for pursuing young adults revolves around the changing of life stages and flexibility. When a university student gets older, they gain more money and have different priorities regarding what they will spend money on. A college student is far more likely to choose a new brand in comparison to someone who has been living the same daily routine for years. In general, as young people search for a new identity, they begin to choose their own products instead of relying on their parent’s preferences. In general, young people are more open to new brands, concepts and products than older generations.  

Lastly, university students have nothing but positive potential for the future. Even if a customer does not have enough money to buy your item now, there is a good chance that they will in the future. Ensuring that audiences grow up wanting your product will encourage them to spend money on it later on. Aspirational purchases remain stuck in people’s heads for years, and many people view things that they can’t currently afford as something to strive for. Every brand should consider the future spending potential of an individual. They should not focus exclusively on how much money they have at present, marketing to a younger generation can often be an investment as opposed to an immediately effective strategy. 

Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle

How To Connect with The Market Segment  

The official channels and student unions may create difficulties for brands looking to advertise on campus.  Instead, Jay recommends pursuing digital channels. Young people are quick to adopt online platforms, and social media remains an effective way to reach them. “They are early adopters of social commerce” said Jay when describing the young adult audience. The penetration rates of ‘Gen Z’ on digital channels are astronomical. In addition, tradition channels like television can reach 80% of the university student demographic. Jay cautions brands against believing the misconceptions that young people do not use radio, television, newspapers or other tradition forms of media. There are so many ways to reach this population, companies would be remiss not to implement them. Reid confirms that the question is not if brands should pursue the 18–25-year-old market, but rather, how they intend on reaching them.  

Listen to Ellen Gunning’s conversation with Jay Reid on Spotify:

Originally aired on Dublin City FM’s Mediascope Programme

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