COLLEGE MARKETING and How It Pays Off
College marketing provides you a wellspring of new customers
Engage students where they go to school, shop, and socialize
Align your brands with Gen Z - your future consumers
Reach is wide, 200+ colleges and universities across the US
Receive daily content of students engaging with your brand for social
Gain insights on rising trends and preferences before your competition
What is college marketing?
College marketing is the engagement of students on and off-campus. College marketing comes in all shapes and sizes - from poster advertising to event activations.
College marketing is how you reach Gen Z consumers the next few years - it builds your customer base now and in years to come.
College is a time when people are exploring brands and create new buying patterns.
Smart brands focus on college student marketing as they know they're their future consumers.
College marketing offers wide reach - there are 1,000,000+ college and university students throughout the United States.
College Marketing Services
Devise strategies to achieve your student marketing goals.
Create ideas for your brand to attract and engage college students.
Activate your plan in specific college markets.
Document everything, in creative ways, for your social channels
Measure and assess the effectiveness of your college marketing program
College Marketing Benefits
Engage thousands of students daily near prominent universities.
Students tend to embrace new brands and experiences.
College is where many first-time and lifelong opinions are formed.
Students typically have parent-funded disposable income.
Students are your future customers; reach them before your competition.
It's rare in this marketing world to find a place where potential customers gather in large numbers, like at colleges and universities.
Best college marketing cities
Boston is the number one city for college student marketing. You can reach 150,000+ students near Northeastern University, Boston University, Harvard, MIT, and dozens of other schools.
Chicago and Philadelphia are tied for second place, as both have a plethora of universities and colleges.
Other cities where one can easily engage with thousands of students are day are Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
And even small cities like are fertile marketing ground when they have universities with 20,000+ enrollment.
College marketing strategies
On-campus marketing - Schools restrict which companies can be on-campus, plus often limits your event space and activities, but if you can gain access, it is a wonderful place for brand activations.
Just off-campus marketing - Activating on public sidewalks offers the opportunity to connect with thousands of students without a cumbersome university approval process - these activations often take the form of street teams, sampling bikes, and experiential vehicles.
Partnerships - Partnering up with cafes, nightspots, student housing operators, and local events is an excellent way for your brand to show up and introduce yourself to students.
Popups - Hosting a pop-up shop in student-heavy footfall neighborhoods is always a an excellent way for your brand to shine.
Wild Posting - Postering is a long-time favorite to market brands, on and off-campus.
Student groups - Aligning with on-campus student organizations is the indirect way to get on campus.
Sports - Tapping into sports culture and tailgating is super smart, as often stadium have brand activation opportunities.
College Marketing Process
Share your college marketing ideas, cities, and goals - ideally two months before you like to start.
Receive a custom college student marketing plan.
Approve plan, submit deposit, and start production (e.g. outfits, signs, carts, posters, etc.)
Activate and receive daily reporting photos and weekly recaps.
If you'd like to receive a complimentary recommendation for your brand, share your dreams and goals.
To explore on-campus marketing in more detail, be sure to read our On-Campus Marketing Challenges blog post.
Engage students, your future customers!
College student marketing tactics
Examples consist of posters and flyers placed on-campus as well as at retail shops, cafes, and other locations students frequent, plus outside on street poles, public bulletin boards, and other visible streetscape locations.
The most popular posters mediums for college posters programs are 11″ x 17″, and flyers are typically 4″ x 6′ in size.
Typically initiatives consist of placing posters on and around campuses over 2 to 3 weeks.
College student experiential activations typically consist of off-campus street teams, product sampling vehicles, food truck marketing, nightlife partnerships and a variety of other activities.
Activations tend to occur just off-campus on public sidewalks or at venues popular with students (e.g. cafes, off-campus housing, etc.) as universities tend not to approve branded events.
Typically the only way to activate on-campus with permission is if the activation is sponsored by an academic student group.
College football tailgating marketing is a common approach for reaching college students.
Most schools offer packages for brands to activate on stadium grounds within a 10' x 10' to 20' x 10' footprint.
A low-key football tailgating marketing approach is also feasible - street teams to engaging students on their way to the game or stadium in the parking lots.