Lessons in Back to School Marketing

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The back to school season has been in a state of constant changing over the past few years. The diverse and complex environment calls for a change in strategy for marketers. The BTS “season” should no longer be viewed as the time frame a month or two before school starts. Marketers instead should shift their focus to a year-round strategy that can capture BTS sales occurring outside the month or two before the start of a new semester.  Here are a few lessons in back to school marketing:

  1. Back to school season is departing from its traditional paradigm

The retail world is in a state of constant change and has evolved since the days back to school was defined as the time before the start of a new school year. Several factors have driven change in this market. Colleges have revamped their programs to attract students who aren’t just fresh out of high school. Mobile has allowed for consumers to shop across multiple devices, instead of traditionally going to physical stores. This allows consumers to start thinking about this season for a much longer time with the comfort of knowing they can receive items whenever and wherever.

  1. Knowing your customer drives results

College students today are more diverse than they’ve ever been. They are different races, ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures. Understanding who these students are – not just who they are, but what resonates with them – will pay off and grant you greater opportunity to drive sales. Students today do not fall under one specific stereotype – they vary in age, interests, reasons for going to college and buying behavior. It is important that brands can cater to all the different needs students have at different times of the school year.

  1. Data and tools are crucial to measure sales

Marketers should take advantage of the availability of data and tools to better market to consumers. Data that analyzes beyond demographics is important to understanding the nuances of each consumer. Technology platforms leveraging this data assist in marketing to these consumers in the right way and at the right time.

  1. Keep up and implement a year-round strategy attitude

Each year, the marketing environment is changing with different technologies, and with more and more businesses catching on to the lucrativeness of the back to school season. It is important to keep up to these changes by implementing a year-round attitude towards back to school – it is never too early to start thinking about your strategy for the upcoming months.

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