College students have already started their back-to-school shopping.

By BNC Marketing

Here’s why a back-to-college marketing strategy needs to be on your to-do list NOW.

Right now, college students are busy prepping for their trip back to college this fall. They’re building shopping lists and sharing them with family and friends. It’s as if these students (and their parents) are competing in a Back-To-College Shopping marathon that extends from early spring through students’ fall arrival on-campus.

The most successful brands engage with college students continuously throughout this key window of opportunity. Early and ongoing access to college students gets your brand into their consideration sets and shopping carts since the majority of purchases are made while students are still at home.Marketers: take note – back-to-college dollars add up quickly. Consider that 21.7 million students will attend US colleges and universities this fall and that yearly average back-to-college spending per student is a hefty $889, according to the National Retail Federation.

2018 Back-to-College Marketing Guide: Tools You Can Use 

Barnes & Noble College has been going back to college with students for decades and has extensive insights and experience to share with you. Our 2018 Back-to-Campus Series will provide ideas on the best ways your brand can engage college students. Check back here often for new tools and tips to help you build a successful back-to-college marketing program.

Add to your Spring To-Do List: Get Early Access to College Students.

As you look ahead for improved brand building and activation results, the back-to-school timeframe is a critical window of opportunity. It’s important to reach college students and their parents NOW while they’re in active buying mode for school essentials. Here are some tips on how to get your brand on college students’ shopping [to-do] lists now.

Important points as you strategize for back-to-college programs. 

The majority of back-to-college brand purchases occur between March and July. This is when students are most receptive to new product information and special offers. They are actively researching, visiting brand websites, and reading emails and texts. They are hungry for information and deals.

Product conversations are omnipresent on social media during this same time period. An extremely social group, college students actively compare notes with roommates and friends on what they’re buying and where. They are quick to share brand experiences and promotional codes. Whenever possible, your brand should go where they go and be active in their social media space.

 – Students are school brand obsessed. School sponsored partnerships and co-branded offers and deals will go a long way. Consider featuring the school logo and/or colors in your communications. Develop special offers for newly accepted students who are looking for ways to connect with their new school community.

Want more strategic insights to get your back-to-college marketing program off the ground? Barnes & Noble College has the knowhow to get you early access to back-to-college student shopping. Connect with us today.

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