Don’t Fail Your Back-to-School Marketing Campaigns

How did your back-to-school (BTS) marketing campaign go last year? Did you attract new customers? Were your sales elevated? Did you get a decent ROI? If even one of these things wasn’t a result of your campaign, or if you didn’t run a BTS campaign at all, now is the time to begin getting ready for this year’s campaign.

In 2017, the National Retail Federation estimates that back-to-school spending hit $29.5 billion. Back-to-college spending surpassed $54 billion. You’ll want to get in line for some of that. Here’s a few ways to do it:

Marketing Campaign Planning – Don’t Be Late

Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” Early planning is the pinnacle of your back-to-school marketing campaign success. If the new school year begins in August for your neighborhood, your marketing strategy and content should be set to launch at the beginning of July. If you want to allow yourself and your team enough time to produce an effective campaign, you’d get to work planning it right about…yeah…now.

As an adult, you now realize that when you took the time to study and prepare for school projects and tests, your grades were always better and you were far less worried about the outcome. It’s the same with back-to-school marketing. That’s why we published this article in spring, not in the dog days of summer. If we haven’t convinced you yet, a recent Deloitte survey indicated that the early bird retail stores certainly did get the customer worm: 60% of shoppers made their back-to-school purchases before August and they spent about 16% more than the later shoppers.

Study Your Subject

Or subjects. Both students and parents influence BTS spending. At the end of the day (or summer), it’s the parent that spends the hard-earned income and searches for discounts, sales, specials and coupons. In fact, 48% of surveyed parents said coupons influenced their purchases. After parents, most teachers spent over $500 of their own income on BTS supplies.

Coupons in the Classroom

Coupons are important to BTS shopping because parents are usually looking to get the highest quality items at the best possible price. So much so that Deloitte’s survey says 41% will use their phone to price compare inside the store and 37% will search for digital coupons.

Digital is growing in today’s retail environment, but many parents still use traditional, physical coupons. Consider some of the following coupon statistics:

  • 41% of Americans use print and digital coupons at the same level
  • 28% of parents of school-age kids will use more coupons than the previous BTS shopping year
  • 46% of Americans prefer mail or printed coupons over digital
  • 61% of BTS shoppers’ purchases are influenced by online promotions (which can include digital or printable coupons)

Don’t underestimate the impact that digital has on coupon use. Business Wire revealed that 28% of shoppers will use digital coupons while shopping. A report from Inmar asserted that digital coupon redemption increased by 67% in 2017. Digital or paper, coupons drive sales.

Back-to-School Campaign Strategy

Once you’ve decided on your offers for the back-to-school season, it’s time to decide how you’ll distribute your coupons and get the word out to consumers. Depending on the size and capabilities of your business, your budget may empower you to:

  • Send emails to customers and purchased consumer lists
  • Send coupons via text messages
  • Send your coupon promotion via direct mail and
  • Offer your coupons digitally

It just so happens that Valpak can help you with developing your coupon offers and the creative in print and digital formats. We can help you get the word out through targeted direct mail and create a digital listing branded with your logo, business locations and more so you can reach more consumers with the types of offers they want. If you need to purchase a consumer email or mailing address list, we can do that, as well as provide you with performance tracking, too. And we’ll always keep your marketing budget top-of-mind.

Ace your back-to-school marketing campaign and start planning today for greater sales tomorrow. Contact your local Valpak office for more information.

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