Apple’s first iPod was released. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings were hit movies. Kelley Clarkson won the first installment of American Idol.

When did these events all happen? 2001 and 2002.

Now that I’ve made you feel old… on to the goal of this post– 2001 and 2002 also represent the years that the class of 2023 were born. This spring, as you transition your marketing efforts to high school juniors, it is important to keep in mind what world they grew up in, what their communication expectations are, and how you can engage with this audience.

When did they grow up?
The class of 2023 are smack dab in the middle of the generation z. In fact, you’ve likely been marketing to this audience for some time, as early generation z members were born in 1996. But what’s unique about this audience is that, in American history, this particular class was either born before, or just after, the 9/11 attacks. In addition, they were born before the financial crisis. These two significant world events have built a cautious mindset for this generation.

What are their technology expectations?
Decisively digitally savvy – this generation has grown up in a world were online sites and cell phones were readily available. They also came of age in a time of social media. This means they are not only comfortable with technology, they’ve come to depend on it.

How can you engage with them?
Understanding that this audience is a digital first audience, it is important to use a variety of technology channels to connect. Do make use of social media channels, but also consider additional technology channels such as text, online chat, and yes – even email. But beyond the channels that you use, you must also consider the way you connect with them. When building your communications, remember to:

    • Communicate visually
    • Keep it short
    • Feed curiosity
    • Empower users with control
    • Connect viewers with collaboration
    • Educate and build expertise

Understanding their dependence on technology, offering online resources for this audience will place you in a good position as they begin their college search in earnest this fall. In fact, many of our partners are already hosting events that cater exclusively to this audience – such as: “Ask me anything” chats, Class of 2023 information session, and “Selfie” campus tours.

Ready to build your class of 2023 engagement strategy? Contact us today!