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By BNC Marketing

Ryan Caufield Joins the Barnes & Noble College Brand Partnerships Team as Integrated Sales Manager

Barnes & Noble College Brand Partnerships gives brands unprecedented access to Generation Z – today’s college student – through our omnichannel platform that reaches 6 million college students, parents and alumni.                                                                                                                                                                                                Continuing to grow our client support team, we welcome Ryan Caufield as Integrated Sales Manager. Well versed in building integrated marketing programs and in nurturing partnerships (and always with good humor), Ryan comes to Barnes & Noble College after holding positions at Bloglovin, Playwire Media, Complex Media, and media giant Viacom.

Here’s what Ryan recently shared about his new position.  (If you’d like to speak with Ryan he can be reached at rcaufield@bncollege.com.)

Why Barnes & Noble College?                                                                                   Having an authentic, organic line of communication to the college-aged Gen Z audience is possibly the most coveted position anyone in my field could have. Then consider Barnes & Noble College’s experience in cultivating an atmosphere of metaphorically holding a freshman’s hand on Day 1, providing tissues on Graduation Day, and being there for all the moments in between – and you have an absolute recipe for success.

What’s the main value Barnes & Noble College offers to its brand partners?        While others are trying to get their arms around the Gen Z mindset, Barnes & Noble College is miles ahead and has been developing relationships and delivering successful programs to this demographic for some time. They understand that Gen Z marketing involves much more than just a simple update of a brand’s millennials’ marketing program.  The ethos of Gen Z couldn’t be more opposite than their Millennial counterparts and must be “translated” into unique Gen Z marketing strategies. That’s exactly where Barnes & Noble College’s insights and experience comes into play.

What does your experience tell you that students are looking for in their interaction with brands?                                                                                                  Authenticity. Transparency. Guidance. They are searching for a genuine connection. Students these days are smarter than I was when I was their age attending DeSales University.  They have seen every gimmick you can imagine and can spot an inauthentic and forced conversation before it even starts.

What is the biggest challenge facing brands today?                                                    Marketers demand assurance that their brand messaging is going to reach the exact right audience, Gen Z (and their parents), in a safe and interactive environment. The industry refers to this audience as “early adopters” because if you reach them early enough with the right product then you can win a customer for life.  So, it’s: Step One: Brand awareness. Step Two: Brand loyalty. Step Three: Brand affinity.

What was the best piece of advice a previous boss ever gave you?                               “PICK UP THE PHONE.” Everyone relies and hides behind email and social messaging platforms, you’ve got to cut through the clutter if you want to succeed and make valuable connections with people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked away with a better understanding of my client’s objectives and strategies after talking it through.

If you were 18 years old and a college student again, what would you be studying? Artificial Intelligence…the machines are about to have a moment.

What is something nobody would ever guess about you?                                               I oddly have a green-thumb and know a lot about horticulture. That and I have no problem cooking a three-course meal!

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