The Ultimate College Marketing 6-Point Checklist

Want to build a college marketing program, but don’t know where to begin? Download our turn-key checklist to begin planning!

You’ve decided to focus on the college market and have probably allocated funds for upcoming months.  Now we’d like to help you get moving with tactical details with this 6-point checklist planner and thought-starter. From detailed profiling of your college target audience, to forecasting samples and planning content topics, this quick checklist will get your college marketing program off the ground quickly.


The 2017 Back-to-College Shopping Season is Here. Give Your Brand a Head Start.


(Here’s How You Can) Connect with Over 5 Million College Students Right Now.


Believe it or not, students and parents are geared up for Fall 2017 and are in purchase mode right now for back-to-college time.


College Students: Savvy and Demanding Shoppers

Today’s 17-to-24-year-olds are looking for quality, convenience and choices while demanding exceptional value from brands they buy. Equally important, they are open to considering new products and brands as they enter into this new life stage. They’re eager to hear new product messages, try samples, test products, and take advantage of coupons and special promotions.


Make Student Connections This Back-to-College Season

Barnes & Noble College’s programs connect with students at key milestones throughout their collegiate journey, starting at critical back-to-school “trigger” points — before they even arrive on campus.

As we engage with students, both in person and online, we can give your brand selling access to this valuable demographic during college moments that matter most to students. We’ll provide myriad of connection opportunities where you can tailor your message, product and offer to best align with student needs, while driving momentum for your brand.


Join the Freshmen Journey

Consider the journey that incoming freshmen make. Our Freshmen & Parent Connection programs build relationships with both students and their parents during this key point along their journey that typically begins in early spring — right after acceptance letters are received.

Soon-to-be freshmen are eager to forge a bond with their school and future classmates and quickly join their college communities via social media “Class of” Facebook pages and special school blogs. Over the summer they continue to seek out new school contacts and information, all while shopping and socializing their shopping experiences and new purchases.

Once they finally arrive on campus, they attend New Student Orientation sessions and bookstore VIP Events to help ease the transition into college life.  Meanwhile, their parents attend on-campus Parent Information events and are receptive to all communications from the school and its partners.

Consider showcasing your product at these events when students and parents alike are in listen, learn, and spending mode. These events provide a unique opportunity for your brands to demo and sell product, advertise via signage and in-store TVs, and distribute samples and goodie bags.

To complement these in-person efforts, your brand can also authentically engage on this student journey via digital advertising, dedicated email campaigns and customized content delivery via our student blog, The College Juice.


The Journey Continues Once Classes Get Underway

Now, the journey is gaining momentum.  With Game Day events, Homecoming, De-Stress Events at exam time and other happenings in between, there are many opportune times to continue your dialogue with college students once they are settled into campus life – freshmen and upperclassmen as well.


The strongest brand relationships are built over time with nurturing and ongoing dialogue. The most effective and efficient way to engage in consistent dialogue with college students is along their college journey.


We’ve got the connections you’ve been looking for this Back-to-College Season.

Barnes & Noble College is the official bookstore partner on campus  and can open doors for you that others can’t. We can get you BRICK AND MORTAR or CLICK AND ORDER results for Back-To-College 2017.


Check back with us soon for the third installment of our Back-to-College Series for our Back-to-College Strategy Checklist. Learn helpful tips on how to forecast your samples, choose your venue and audience for optimal results, create content that is tailored to students’ lifestyles and proof points how important parents are to purchasing decisions.

Contact Lori Cohn directly at to see how your brand can get early access to students this back-to-college season and follow us on LinkedIn.



Marketers: College Students Have Already Started Making Back-to-College Decisions… and So Should You


Get Your Brand on Their Shopping Lists Right Now [Before It’s Too Late]


While most of us are welcoming the spring thaw and the first glimpses of green, college students have skipped ahead to the fall and are already heading into back-to-college mode.

College students of all ages, especially incoming freshmen, are busy preparing for next fall, which means shopping for everything from dorm essentials to clothing to financial services to electronics and even cars. Our research and experience confirm that these 17-24 year-olds begin back-to-college shopping as early as March, continuing through the summer, and concluding once they arrive on campus in the fall.*


College students spend billions on consumables — and they’re shopping right now.

Annually, college students shell out big dollars on tech, clothing, entertainment, food, personal care and other consumables, and 74% of their spending occurs during back-to-school shopping sprees, beginning in March — a full five months prior to arriving on campus.

Their dollars add up quickly when you consider that students and their families spend a hefty $889 each year on back-to-college spending, according to the National Retail Federation.


Get “early access” to students while they are actively evaluating new brands.

As students prepare for the upcoming school year, they’re considering new brands, styles, flavors and experiences as they seek to establish their unique college identity — away from their families. They are most receptive to new brands and will tune into your messages and engage and sample with enthusiasm. This window of time poses the greatest opportunity for brands to begin establishing long-lasting relationships with this demographic.


Don’t forget their parents.

Parents of college students hold the purse strings and are highly engaged at this time — especially for substantial purchases and for anything they believe will help their kids succeed in college. Any message and campaign that does double duty to reach both students and their parents will yield better results.


Want to connect with college students and parents who are in back-to-school shopping mode? Check back with us NEXT WEEK for the second installment of our Back-to-College Series, “ The 2017 Back-to-College Shopping Season is Here. Give Your Brand a Head Start.”


We’ve got exclusive access to over 5 million students and parents as the official bookstore on 770+ college campuses. To learn how your brand can get early access to students this back-to-college season, contact Lori Cohn directly at and follow us on LinkedIn.







*Source: Barnes & Noble College | College Insights