Today, youth marketing agency Barnes & Noble College Marketing (BNCM), the leader in marketing to college students and young adults, announced that it reached a new marketing milestone by reaching one quarter of all U.S. college students. The college marketing agency now has on campus marketing capabilities on more than 640 Barnes & Noble College (BNC) campus bookstores across the country, the largest and most engaged social media network of its kind, and a group of e-commerce websites that receives more than 160 million visitors annually. This growing community has helped BNCM grow by 53 percent in three years, and it gives BNCM’s brand partners an unparalleled ability to market to college students. “We have increased our portfolio of assets to maximize our level of on-campus engagement,” said Lisa Malat, BNC’s VP, Marketing & Operations. “Our growth and our on campus marketing abilities have positioned BNCM as a premier youth marketing agency, and it has provided our brand partners with greater scalability and access to the elusive college market segment.” In fiscal year 2011, BNCM executed multi-platform marketing programs for more than three dozen global brands and Fortune 100 & 500 clients, many of whom have partnered with BNCM for three, four and five plus years. Select partners include: Apple, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Garnier, Unilever, P&G, Adobe, Verizon, Hershey’s, Symantec, Johnson & Johnson and Pottery Barn. BNCM’s access to nearly five million college students is the result of three factors, including:
- A growing number of bookstores: There are now more than 640 BNC bookstores nationwide, including 41 top NCAA Division I FBS schools, such as LSU, The Ohio State University, Penn State and University of Michigan, just to name a few. BNCM’s on-campus and community presence at top athletic universities provides its brand partners the opportunity to reach students and alumni on game day weekends.
- A robust social infrastructure: BNCM’s digital marketing assets, including social media, email marketing and website advertising, have increased by 112 percent over the past 3 years, and it is the largest network of its kind.
- A growing number of café stores: Now, more than 60 BNC bookstores feature Starbucks, which drive more foot traffic into BNC bookstores.
“Reaching today’s college student requires an integrated 360 degree campaign approach. College students are digital natives and demand the ability to interact with our brand partners not only in BNC bookstores, but also through our online channels,” continued Malat. “We’ve focused on developing our online presence so that our brand partners can provide college students with the connectivity and social interaction they demand.”Beyond BNC’s bookstores, BNCM has access to 2.5 million active email subscribers. It also maintains 650 e-commerce bookstore websites, and a social community of more than 500,000 Facebook and Twitter fans and followers. Some of BNCM’s capabilities include:
- Sampling – One-to-one and hand-to-hand reach to students via BNC bookstores. BNCM coordinates and distributes more than 10 million product samples on behalf of its brand partners.
- In-Store Signage – BNCM’s premium signage lends a high impact voice to brands.
- Web Advertising – BNCM develops and places creative, clickable ads on behalf of its brand partners, which reach an average of 2.5 million visits per month.
- TV Marketing – Barnes & Noble College TV Network is available in each BNC bookstore. Stores average two or more 55 inch HDTV screens placed in highly visible locations. Each TV streams action and mainstream sports, news, weather, trivia and entertainment, as well as targeted advertising.
- Experiential Event Marketing – Events allow brand partners to connect one-on-one with the college audience, offering an in-store and on-campus experience.
- Athletics Programs – College football and basketball season means hundreds of thousands of passionate fans streaming onto college campuses and into college bookstores.
- Freshmen – From their letter of acceptance to the first day of class, BNCM allows brands to connect with incoming students and their parents as they prepare for a momentous life change.