If Millennials are digital natives, Gen Z Effect are “hyperconnected junkies whose expectations will radically change the face of business forever,” according to Tom Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen of the Gen Z Effect.
They grew up with the Internet. Many of them do not even remember a time without on-demand TV, instant internet access and smart phones.
Historically, Career Colleges haven’t recruited technologically current students due to enrolling a more non-traditional older student population, but now need to adapt. Career colleges need to adjust their recruiting tactics to better capture this new breed of students, these digital natives.
You’ve Been Recruiting Millennials For Years
For Gen Z and younger Millennials, technology has played a pivotal role in forming their beliefs, aesthetics and values. With this changing generation, technology and the ever-fluctuating compliance requirements, it’s important to try and reach Gen Z and Younger Millenials with new marketing strategies.
Millennials were born between 1980 to 1996 and Gen Z stars around 1996. I’m sure the years will adjust a bit overtime, they always do. You’ve already have had many Millennials enrolled in your schools for years. More than any generation, this generation morphed because of their access to technology. A lot changed from how the first Millennials grew up in the 80’s to those in the 90’s.
The oldest Gen Z’ers are 19 now. And, already enrolled in college or is trying to figure life out. They are probably living at home.
You may be wondering, “we recruited Millennials for years, why should the next five years be any different?” Queue the smart phone.
With every passing year, phones keep getting smarter and the people who use them keep getting younger. Where before students rarely had smart phones, now almost everyone has one. The smart phone has become ubiquitous.
Check out our other article in the series, Inside Generation Z’s Mind: How Schools Can Better Find and Enroll Gen Z.
The Preferred Social Networks Are Changing
Millennials and Gen Z’ers need to be connected to the world. And one of their main ways of socializing is on their phone using Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram and all the other budding social networks coming online every day. While Facebook may still be an effective social network for recruitment and retention, your marketing department and/or agency needs to keep an eye out for these incoming social networks, and how their behavior is changing overtime.
Only 18% of Gen Z’ers share “a lot” online. In 2014, when Facebook updated it’s privacy settings, 25% of this generation left Facebook permanently for more controllable networks like Snapchat.
Mobile Overtook Desktop
Your Analytics Will Tell You How Much Mobile Traffic Is Coming To Your Website
Ask to see your college’s website analytics. You will probably see that over 60% of your visitors are coming from a mobile device or tablet!
Is your website optimized for mobile?
How is your marketing and enrollment process speaking to this new generation of digital natives?
Millennials Surpass Gen Xers As The Largest Generation In U.S. Labor Force
You might be thinking, we just recruited people who are already in the workforce. This graph may surprise you. It shows that there are already more Millennials in the workforce then Gen Xers. In the years to come more and more Millennials will enter the workforce and be underemployed and undereducated.
If career colleges adjust their marketing tactics, messaging and program delivery; they are primed to capture this huge demographic! (2)
As Boomers retire, Millennials are quickly overtaking them as the largest working population. Even though the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.4%, Millennials are still the most unemployed generation. This doesn’t mean that the Millennials who have jobs are happy in their jobs.
Check out this article about Lucy to find out why this generation is so unhappy (1).
Why Does Their Happiness Matter?
In Marketing, we need to understand the pain points of our target demographic in order to find out how to help them and how to enroll them. How does your marketing message and retention techniques changed to connect with the “Lucy’s” of the world?
Here is what the “Lucy’s” of the world think their career trajectory will look like. Sadly, reality is much different. How can you marketing speak to their expectations and help them reset their expectations with reality?
The Millennial Reality
The data tells the true story of what is happing: 44% of college grads are in their 20’s are stuck in dead-end jobs with low wages. And the amount of Millennials making less than $25,000 has spiked to the highest level since the 1990s.
The unemployment rate may increase more- as more and more Millennials graduate from college and enter the job market and as Gen Z’ers start entering the job market too. What happens to all of those students who didn’t pursue a college degree and are vying for the same types of jobs?
What an amazing opportunity for trade schools! These Gen Z’ers and Millennials can find fulfilling careers in cosmetology, networking, vocational trades, etc. How are you tapping into this frustration point?
Recruiting Gen Z’ers and Millennials Requires You To Reach Them Where They Are Most Reachable
Gone are the days where you can keep a “fits for all” attitude towards marketing. With the internet and rise of social media, it’s important to focus on keeping a marketing strategy that best reflects the ever-changing dynamics of the people you’re trying to reach.
There are 88 million Millennials. The sheer number of Millennials means that colleges, marketers and college support staff have had to change their campus outreach programs and strategies. Don’t count out the size of the Gen Z’ers who make up 25% of the population, which makes them bigger than baby boomers and Millennials, according to Forbes. How has your process changed for this incoming generation?
What worked with the previous generation, may not work on this generation the same way. It doesn’t mean TV is out. It’s consumed differently and generally when a Gen Z’ers and Millennial watch TV, they are on their smart phones tweeting about what they are watching with friends. And, they are actually purposefully watching commercials on YouTube, entertaining commercials of course.
The Shifting Dynamics
To recruit, you must know what type of media Millennials consume. You have to target them where they most frequent. With the advent of the internet, the introduction of smart phones that can stream multimedia anywhere and everywhere, this generation is the generation of the internet — of the always-connected—where everything is literally a click away and nothing can interrupt connectivity except poor battery life.
What this means is that marketing has gotten much easier and much more complicated.
Internet marketing has to evolve from the early days of the internet with pop-up ads, to the days of today where marketers can target the audience based on their previous search history. But what ads best hit Millennials and what works best can only be determined by figuring out what media Millennials consume most and where they consume it.
Keep an eye our for our next article, How Do Millennials Consume Media.
If you’re unsure how to deploy resources to capture Millennials, contact Tribeca Marketing Group today. Get a 15-minute strategy session for free.
We want career colleges to succeed in these turbulent times. Contact by calling (866) 255-4955 or requesting info from our Higher Education Marketing website.
- SmartInsights Mobile Marketing Statistics compilation
- PewResearch: Millennials Surpass Gen Xers As The Largest Generation In U.S. Labor Force
- “The Brands Don’t Stand a Chance: The Mobile Driven Life of Gen Z’ers.” Justin Ferrell, Digital Relativity, 2013.