Group of people taking part in consumer fieldwork study

How to recruit students for consumer fieldwork…

Generation Z - that’s those born in 1995 or later - are coming of age. In fact, by next year, they will account for more than 2.65 billion of the world’s population, making them the influencers of tomorrow. Barely out from under their parents’ roofs, the spending power of Generation Z is rising by the day, making their habits and behaviours integral to market research today.

With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that most brands are extremely eager to understand the younger market. From their likes and dislikes to their spending behaviour and even their opinions on different products, Generation Z is an incredibly important demographic for market research. But reaching out to this generation can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.

So what’s the secret to fieldwork recruiting Gen Z? Read on for our top tips...

Find them online

Cold calling or putting up posters in the student union is probably not going to cut it when it comes to catching the attention of busy students today. Young people tend to do everything online, from studying to shopping and even socialising - so if it’s Generation Z you want, the internet should be your first port of call! Most young people use social media frequently and share their online activities with friends – which means that if you use social media effectively, you can easily reach out to a massive audience.  From Instagram to Twitter and even targeted Facebook ads, there are a variety of ways to communicate on social media. 

Try to create interesting and engaging content such as quizzes or games to grab their attention and ultimately direct them to your landing page. This kind of content is tailor-made for sharing and will ensure you have a much wider reach. Some social media platforms, like Facebook, also offer a number of opportunities for targeted marketing that allow you to specify the audience you want to reach by selecting things such as age and geographical parameters, as well as interests. Well-placed ads on websites that young people are likely to frequent – such as a website for purchasing textbooks, or how to boost your student income, for example – could be a good investment when it comes to fieldwork recruiting as well.

Head to student fairs

Colleges and universities typically organise a number of fairs and events during the academic year. Some are specifically job fairs for leavers and graduates, while others are broader community-oriented events designed to plug students into local businesses and services that they might need. The thing all these fairs have in common is that they can be a fantastic opportunity for market researchers to reach out to young people!

If you are on the lookout for Generation Z for your next market research project, make sure you contact local universities and colleges to find out their events schedule and ask what you need to do to set up a stand or even just walk around and meet people. On the day, make sure you create a nice presentation so that you can grab the students’ attention. Signs, digital presentations, flyers, freebies, and even handy giveaways are all great ways to share information about your upcoming consumer fieldwork studies and let young people know how they can help them boost their income.

Student writing notes as part of Consumer Fieldwork

Consider your incentive

It’s pretty standard to offer an incentive to thank your participants for taking the time to join in with your market research - and when it comes to fieldwork recruiting young people, offering an incentive is a fantastic way to encourage them to get involved. Let’s face it, students are often in need of spending money and other resources - so incentives can go a long way with this age group! Just be careful to make sure the incentive on offer is something that they will either really want or need. For instance, a gift card to the university bookstore, a voucher for a local restaurant, or a cash amount could be a strong inducement for them to sign up.

Make sure you do your homework

When recruiting young people for consumer fieldwork, it’s important that you don’t just go in blindly. Read up on youth studies, speak to educators and other people who deal with this age group, and listen to what the young people themselves have to say. It’s well understood that students are interested in many new technologies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are interested in all of them. For example, some people may be surprised to discover that today’s students still prefer using old-fashioned textbooks to e-readers. On the other hand, they are very interested in wearable technology, and may be particularly willing to participate in studies that involve that type of tech. Knowing these kinds of specifics about your student audience will help you target your efforts appropriately when recruiting for your study. 

Invite them to collaborate

Another important thing to consider when fieldwork recruiting young people is that Generation Z is the first truly digital native generation - which means they love being on the edge of innovation. When asking them to be a part of fieldwork, make it clear that you want to collaborate with them and that you are seeking their opinions and ideas to help create the sorts of products and services that they will find useful. This will not only show them how much you appreciate their thoughts, but will also let them know that participating in your research can give them the power to be influential among their peers!

In conclusion, when it comes to Generation Z and successful fieldwork recruiting, it’s important to look in the right places, offer a strong incentive and appeal to the values of young people so that you can find enthusiastic students for your consumer fieldwork. Want to find out more? No problem! At Angelfish, there’s nothing we don’t know about recruiting young people across a range of methodologies - why not download our checklist to find out more?

CTA banner: Your Checklist for Conducting Market Research with Children and Young People

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