The back-to-school shopping season is, for parents, a time of both excitement and dread. As the school year approaches families are involved in a complex balancing act of caring for their home-for-the-summer children, while making all of the preparations for the beginning of the school year.
If your business targets mothers, it’s critical that you understand the levels of stress they are under during this time of year when they must balance a job, caring for their children, and making back-to-school purchasing decisions.
Moms Can Make Your Back-to-School Campaign
Nationwide, it’s still moms that make the majority of back-to-school purchasing decisions, with a full 73% of all back to school purchases made by mothers who will spend between $500 and $700 on their family’s back-to-school needs this year. Note: Keep in mind that these numbers don’t include all the non-traditional buying decisions that happen due to the end of summer.
What are they buying? Most back-to-school purchases fall into five main categories: Supplies (notebooks, pens, calculators), clothing, personal care items, textbooks, and electronics. With the high costs of these items (especially electronics and textbooks) moms are always on the lookout for a deal. But with their busy schedules they don’t always have time to scour the internet and the weekly flyers looking for the best deal available.
Key Focus for Back to School Marketing
Wrapping up summer activities, getting haircuts, school supply shopping, clothes shopping, scheduling new Fall after school programs, meeting teachers, getting physicals, making sure summer reading gets done — these are just a few of the end of summer responsibilities that mothers have. They want a deal, but what they need more than anything is TIME. It’s their most precious commodity.
Think about your industry. What ways can you help moms out during this busy time of year?
This applies even for businesses that wouldn’t traditionally be considered part of the “back-to-school industry.” Maybe you run a day spa. Wouldn’t it be nice to remind mom that she needs to reward herself? A day of rest and relaxation can be just the thing she needs after that frantic last week of summer. She’ll return revitalized, prepared to focus on ensuring her children’s academic success.
For your industry, think outside the box if you don’t fall into the five categories above — there’s quite possibly a way that you can help busy moms and families make this transition smoothly.
Show Them How Your Business Can Help
Motherhood is too often a thankless job. So don’t assume they’ll inherently know that your business can help them. Make sure to be specific in your marketing — both in its message and timing — about how your company can help make their back-to-school transition easier. Be on point with your marketing — make sure to say exactly how your business is of value to them (or the educational success of their kids).
Most people have a memory of back-to-school shopping in their own family being a time of chaos. And now, with an increased emphasis on college, and more moms in the workplace, the stakes are even higher. Your business has the opportunity to ease the tension of the summer to school transition.
Get Started Today
- Make a list of the best ways you can help moms (and families) during this time of year. This is a great opportunity to conduct an internal brainstorming session to get a long list of ideas that are thinking beyond the most obvious back-to-school promotions.
- Think about timing. When will mom be making these decisions?
- For example, larger purchases, like a new laptop, are going to be made earlier than smaller items like pens and pencils.
- Also, some purchases happen after the school year starts and therefore don’t need to be promoted as early.
- Take the results from your brainstorming and incorporate them into your marketing plan. Act now! September will be here before you know it.