Over the decade, Target has moved to become a go-to resource for college freshmen and students in general. Harnessing this phenomenon and the reality that parents are increasingly spending more money on preparing their kids for school, Target will be kicking off their annual back-to-college marketing campaign with a reality-themed digital campaign, campus events, TV ads, and introducing 200 new products. According to data reported by USA Today:
The share of Target shoppers who say they plan to spend less on back-to-college declined, while the percentage of Target shoppers who say they’ll cut back for their younger school-age children increased… Revenue at retail stores opened at least a year (an industry measure of a store’s health) rose 3.9% in June compared with the same month a year ago, according to a preliminary tally of 12 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The mall trade group had expected an increase of 3 to 3.5%. Revenue rose 3.4% in May.
To resonate with millennials, the digital campaign specifically will let online shoppers interact with five Youtube personalities. The digitally enhanced rooms will be in Texas A&M, Auburn, Georgia State, George Mason and UCLA. In making the most of Youtube’s rich media capabilities, the faux roommates will spend four days in dorm rooms outfitted with Target products, and viewers can interact with them through social media and mobile technology to win prizes and purchase all of the featured items.
To further support its sales efforts, Target will continue to do Target After Hours, which is a tactical execution where Target provides buses that transport students from their campus to a local retail outlet. All of these executions crystallize Target’s investment in millennials and Generation Z. In addition to focusing on this critical lifestage, they are also working to establish themselves as a cornerstone of the back-to-school ritual.