Getting Ready for BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON – A Guide for Marketers!

The back to school season is when parents buy their children school supplies for the year. Stores usually advertise their back to school supplies by putting the children’s and young adults clothing on sale. As well as the office supplies, such as computers and related equipment. When it comes to the traditional supplies like papers, notebooks and pencils, it will often be marked with big discounts.

For many businesses, back to school means low sales and lower traffic on the online stores. However that doesn’t need to be the situation as there are many ways to attract an audience of parents, teachers and students to your business once school starts again. For marketers looking to make a positive impact on their back to school season, this article will guide you through the steps and introduce you the tips and tricks to use the BTS season to uplift your business.   

1.  Make sure to be marketing the right products:

 First of all, you need to make sure you’re using the right marketing methods. Your marketing campaign will not be successful if you don’t market the right product. So before starting your campaign, make sure you carefully select the items you will highlight in your store. And there are two ways to craft this. First one is to check your historical data, like what items were popular during the back to school season last year. And what are the items people tend to buy eventually. You can collect this information using your retail management system.

The second way is to make sure you’re fully aware of the trends in your store and collect some product insights. Google offers a free trends tool to help you do it. You can go to trends.google.com and find out what products are trending in your area. You can also view the search trends over time by entering the specific product or brand. 

2. Make your BTS products relevant to the newest trends: 

Search and find the latest trends that students would be interested in these days. Or even the newest events that people are talking about and make sure to incorporate it in your BTS marketing.

Some businesses used the “Pokemon Go” trend to uplift their marketing plans that took place in 2015. Which was a huge seller for students and also for the adult products.

So while planning the BTS campaign, make sure to incorporate the latest trends to grab people’s attention to your product. You can also use the “ Think with Google’s shopping insights” tool to find out the trends and popularity of a specific product you’re considering to market.

3. Make sure your products fit into the audience practical lives: 

Instead of only showing your products, you can also show the audience how your products will fit in their lives, the best way to do this is to point out how they can use the products in schools. 

Just like the furniture stores showcase their products in a living room, it could work the same way for your school products, you can set up a desk in the store to show off your products being used and make sure to highlight the best qualities in the product. As this will make it more appealing to the consumers.

To market your classroom essentials for example, you can go beyond only displaying your products as a stand alone products, you can as well use a photographed items including school props so that the consumers can see how the products could be used in a classroom sitting.

How can you make your products stand out? 

So many marketers are trying to gain a competitive edge in the BTS season, but you can be ahead of the competition with the help of the following tips:

Focus on the complete shopping journey:

Your back to school campaign should be catered to the consumer’s full shopping journey. As it should have a clear goal with multiple stages. Starting with having the consumers aware of products they need to purchase, to the different options available and how each of them could be helpful. Moving to targeting consumers at the right moment to make sure your offer is appealing to them. It would be quite useful at this point to have an awareness of the insights on how the customer research and shop to get their needed products.

Use data to define your audience:

Google’s data is very helpful at this stage as you can add Google’s data with your own, you can use Google’s tools such as “ Google Trends “ and “ Google Analytics” to gather data regarding the audience insights and add them to your own

Use Google’s products:

using Google’s tools and targeting tools to approach shoppers at each stage of their shopping journey is a very useful way to attract the consumers attention, starting with them building awareness of their needs and encouraging the users to purchase your brand. For example, YouTube marketing videos drive a huge impact on the awareness stage. 

YouTube is a great platform that brands can use to reach and connect with the parents when they need guidance, parents nowadays tend to use YouTube to learn more about modern parenting. A well marketed brand is considered the best choice for the parents if it was presented as a tailored content to solve their problem or fulfill their need. YouTube is one the most important marketing tool. Research results show that YouTube is very effective, with a percentage of 54% actually visiting the store to make a purchase. And 100% of them take a form of action.

How the online ads affects the BTS shopping?

 Nowadays parents take different methods for their BTS shopping journey. They do their research first, find out the best brands and offers and eventually going shopping for the products that caught their attention. 80% of the people who search online use Google Searching engine. And they start their shopping journey According to their research. A successful example for a great E-commerce is Jarir.

Even though Jarir deliver their products all over saudi arabia, sales data shows that remote cities that do not have any of jarir stores actually boast more sales than the cities in which they have jarir shops ( Location Targeting). Jarir achieved their goal by spreading awareness around their digital marketing platforms, especially to those consumers who live in remote cities.

Jarir’s search campaigns improved conversion rate threefold,  Data shows that 95% of the orders triggered by google ads came from the targeted cities. Jarir’s marketing campaign improved the conversion rate by a threefold increase. Which as well increased the return on their ad spend by 2.5 compared to the average rate of the website.

As a marketer, how is the BTS season is good for your own campaigns?

  • The BTS season is not only about school supplies, as a part of the customers shopping journey, they also go shopping for electronics, beauty products, personal care products, books and much more during the BTS shopping. Studies show that the furniture and groceries search categories were also very popular during the BTS season. Which meant that marketers on different fields could actually use the research and purchase behavior to lift up their products sales.
  •  70% of the Back To School shoppers have not decided which product they want to purchase, and when asked, two out of three undecided shoppers said that an ad video would help them make their mind. Undecided shoppers usually use YouTube to check the products reviews and opinions from different families. Undecided shoppers turn to YouTube for many reasons but mainly because they look for visual inspiration. To have an idea of how other consumers had their shopping journey and to use their experiences to decide on their own whether to take a certain brand or not.
  • Marketers can use the BTS season to advertise their products even if they were not related to school supplies. Great examples for that is how Kiri and IKEA managed to run campaigns that targeted a wider range of products to connect with the whole family during this season. 
  • Back to school is all about sharing, having fun and feeling like a part of a whole family looking for the same quality you are looking for. To inspire the BTS shoppers, Khawla and her daughter Rima share their purchase experience in a haul video. And to feel involved in a big family all getting ready for BTS season, Mama Sima shares her experience with other parents while getting her kids ready for school. To add some fun to the process, Noor and Mishari from OZX shared videos about girls vs. boys in exams. Which got more than 8M views.

Resources:

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-145/perspectives/local-articles/3-things-you-need-know-win-back-school-mena/

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-145/perspectives/local-articles/know-your-audience-mena-parents-want-3-things-your-youtube-videos/

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-145/success-stories/local-case-studies/jarir-boosts-ecommerce-sales-cities-no-physical-stores/

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