What really matters to students

With YMS19 LDN less than a week away, this guest post from Seed gives you a sneak peek into what they have in store as Event Partners this year.

We’re looking forward to YMS LDN like Theresa May is looking forward to a holiday. So much in fact that we thought we’d share a little bit of a preview into what Seed will be getting up to on stage this year.

For Seed, it’s always been about knowing students. And we mean actually knowing students. Our Graduate and placement schemes ensure our office is always full of them and we have over 8000 students within our wider network that we can call on for on point insight at any given time. We would have also said we’ve all been to uni ourselves but that means nothing in a world that is changing faster than Taylor Swift’s costumes on tour.

Knowing a group of people, their habits, their fears and what grinds their gears is paramount to everything that we do and is why last year we orchestrated and commissioned What Matters To Us, a deep-dive research piece that examined the evolution of youth and student culture in Britain today.

This in-depth insight piece opened up new areas of conversations to be had between brand and student whilst turning anecdotal feedback into data-proven insight.


In some cases it reaffirmed and validated what we already knew, for example 92% of students plan to travel this year. In other cases it took us by total surprise like when we learned that only 28% of students chose a course that would help them get a job. What was however clear to see was how fast things change. This audience groups’ world, views and their cultural signifiers are constantly and consistently evolving. 

It’s for this reason that we’ve conducted a follow-up study creatively titled What Matters To Us…….Volume 2. Celia and Joe, our Founder and MD respectively will be taking to the stage to talk about some of the key topics covered in this follow-up piece.

What Matters To Us Volume 2 goes deep. It navigates new areas and it confronts stereotypes. It’s a rare example of a sequel being better than the original and stands proudly next to masterpieces such as Shrek 2, Terminator 2 and of course, Magic Mike XXL.

Here’s a look at some of the key topics you can expect to hear about during YMS LDN from Team Seed.

1. Budget to blow-out – what are students’ spending money on and when are they spending it.

Slide1.jpeg

2. Countless connections – Blurring the lines of love, friendship and networking

Slide2.jpeg

3. The Esport explosion – is it worth the hype for brands?

Slide3.jpeg

Understanding your audience is vital to any marketing brief and if you haven’t got the time to ask over a thousand young people what they use LinkedIn for we’ve pulled together some simple starters and top tips that you can do when navigating this audience.

1. Observe your audience in their natural feeding grounds

We recently received a brief from a brand involved in Esports. The first thing we did was march on down to our nearest Esports café for a spot of people watching and to try and understand what was driving their behaviour. Spending time with your audience in their natural surroundings can go a long way. And it’s pretty fun.

2. Talk & listen

Forget every pre-conception you had about students. Sit back and listen. Students have a lot to say, listen to what they are saying. Trust what they are saying to you. 

3. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions

Dig deep and ask close to home questions to unearth real and emotive insights. Students are willing to open up more so than any generation before them. It’s those types of insights that can lead to remarkable ideas.

4. Sense-check yourself before you wreck yourself

As a thirty-something male writing this blog who was married before Tinder came along and who thought a meme was French for something, I often ask my younger counterparts for help. Develop an idea that answers a brief, but sense-check against cultural markers that only a student audience can give you.

5. Get them involved

Lastly, get them involved in the process. At Seed, we collaborate with students and Gen Z throughout our campaigns. They help us shape and deliver our projects and is one of the reasons our work works.

Don’t miss Celia and Joe, Seed’s Founder and MD respectively, talking more about What Matters To Us Volume 2 on Day 2 of YMS LDN on the main stage at 14:10. You can also catch Olly Adams, Seed’s Business Director taking part in the panel discussion It’s all about the experience: How brands are winning over students offline over in the Student Marketing stream, Day 2 at 11:30.