Back-to-School Marketing Tips for Every Kind of Business

It’s a happy summer day in late July, and you get your back-to-school (BTS) shopping list, reminding you that you have to go BTS shopping. But where? Most places sell BTS items these days, but you want the best deal. Where do you go? Online to compare prices. This is where businesses need to catch your eye.

You might not think a business in your industry can offer a BTS special, but if you spin your offer right then there’s no reason why you can’t capitalize on the BTS season.

If you sell office supplies

This is a big time of year for you, so you probably have a lot of marketing plans already in place. Remember the following to achieve the most significant impact.

  • Most schools send out a list of required supplies and tag on a section at the bottom for suggestions. It is a great idea for stores to stock the required and optional items on the lists of local schools.
  • Remember range – preschoolers and high school students are all going back to school at the same time, but they need different things. Those Lisa Frank designer notebooks aren’t as popular with high schoolers as they are with elementary school kids, so don’t limit your stock to one age group.
  • Make sure you get your hands on as many back-to-school shopping lists for the schools in your area as possible and have copies available for shoppers. You may find your store caters to three different school districts, and only having elementary school A’s list doesn’t help parents shopping for elementary school B.
  • Remember that parents aren’t your only audience during these last few sunny weeks of summer; the children have a big say in what pencils they want to buy, too. While some parents will print out that list and run to the store on the way home from work, other parents take their children with them to do the shopping.
  • Use images, an in-store scavenger hunt or other appealing tactics to get younger kids excited.
  • Older students are starting to plan their future, and you can use the way you present office products to tap into those hopes and dreams. Consider showing products being used by successful businesspeople to connect with the aspirations of older students.

If you don’t sell office supplies

Just because your product isn’t immediately associated with BTS doesn’t mean you can’t find a solid footing for promotions in the BTS season. Consider the suggestions below and don’t be afraid to get creative when marketing your products or services.

  • Technology is becoming a huge factor in schools. If you repair computers, consider a deal for those looking to get their machines in tip-top shape for the new school year. If you sell tech, maybe try a buy-one-get-one deal to appeal to students and their parents.
  • If you offer some kind of entertainment (like a driving range, amusement parks, etc.) maybe you can run an after-school special on weeknights.
  • With kids going back to school and fall activities entering full-swing, busy parents might have less time to cook. Restaurants should consider offering carryout specials for weeknights, kids-eat-for-less discounts and other promotions to target busy families strapped for time in the fall.
  • This time of year can also be good for home improvement companies. Whether inside the house or outside the house, it’s much easier for workers to do their work when kids aren’t running around underfoot. This could be a good angle to use in promotional messaging.

Whatever your business, think creatively about what you can offer to parents and adults during this time of year. Try to think outside of the pencil box when school is about to start.

As always, keep the most important parts of marketing in mind to create messages that incite action. Who are you marketing to? Why are they interested in what you’re selling? How can you reach them when they’re ready to hear what you have to say?

Building a solid digital marketing plan isn’t easy, but it can be a powerful tactic for generating leads, encouraging repeat business and building brand loyalty. Not sure where to start? The experts at Compulse can help you identify and execute the strategies that will help your business grow. Want to learn more? Let’s talk.