Summer's behind us, fall's here, and across the US students have descended upon college campuses for the new academic year. With those students comes a huge amount of economic power: The US boasts more than 21 million college students, who have a total discretionary spending power of $120 billion per year (according to re:fuel College Explorer by Crux Research). Their impact on the economy is unquestionable.

Not surprisingly, then, marketers are increasingly excited about the opportunity to market on college campuses.

If getting in front of student audiences is something you're thinking you might want to do, here's a quick refresher course on how to win on campus and make the biggest splash with your own brand—or a client's.

Find the right contact

Do you need to deal with student affairs, recreational sports, the athletic department, the college bookstore, some other department, or all of the above to get the permissions and access you need?

Knowing whom to contact at the university is crucial to ensuring you get the requisite approvals to accomplish your marketing goals. The "right" contacts vary by campus, so don't assume you'll deal with the same departments across different schools.

If you're not sure whom to contact, we recommend starting with the student affairs office; the people there can usually point you in the right direction.

Understand your target

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John Mousseau is EVP/GM, Midwest, at MKTG INC, an alternative media and marketing services firm that specializes in building brand advocate networks, offline and online, to drive market share and profitability for clients.