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BMOC (Big Marketer on Campus): How Your Brand Can Win Over the College Crowd

by John Mousseau  |  
October 5, 2012

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.

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  • by Richard Posey Fri Oct 5, 2012 via web

    I looked at the opening paragraph and it didn't ring true ... it should be $120 billion, not $120 million. The latter number would mean that the average college student only has about $5 in available cash for the year. That's true for the parents of college kids, though. :)

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Fri Oct 5, 2012 via web

    Richard, you're absolutely correct. So is that number in the article, now.

  • by Tammy Nelson, VP Research at re:fuel Fri Oct 5, 2012 via web

    You are correct Richard, that figure should be $120 billion, not million.

  • by Tammy Nelson, VP Research at re:fuel Fri Oct 5, 2012 via web

    Thanks for the update!

  • by Andy Huston Tue Oct 9, 2012 via web

    Thanks for noting the Greek Community as an influential audience. I work for the North-American Interfraternity Conference and we work with businesses that are looking to engage with our college students through their headquarters as well as the 840+ campuses with fraternity/sorority life.

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