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Last week, we set the stage on an unprecedented back to school season. Now, it’s time to lay the foundation for a successful campaign. We’ll be sharing all of these insights and more shortly as we anticipate the launch of our annual 2021 Back to School guide. If you’ve realized you need to get those campaigns up sooner rather than later, we’ve got you. Now, on with the show.
Face-to-Face or Screen-to-Screen?
You’d better be prepared for both. Federal data revealed that nearly half of public schools were open for full-time, face-to-face classes in early 2021, a percentage that will likely increase due to increased vaccinations and lower positive cases. However, hybrid learning isn’t going away anytime soon, as explained in a recent article from Education Week, “…there are students who thrived [from remote learning]. Whether it was due to their ability to learn at their own pace, they found it to be a more focused learning experience.”
Your best bet as an advertiser is to cater to both at-home shoppers and in-person shoppers (also, don’t forget to first research the in-person school status in the region in which you’re advertising, since this split varies state by state):
- At-Home: These shoppers will be heading online for all of their back-to-school needs. Ad creative should include a CTA to navigate to your website to capture these conversions on your ecommerce portal. If you really want to compete with the bigwigs, like Amazon, offering deals like quick/free delivery in addition to your ongoing promotions will help to get more shoppers to add-to-cart.
- In-Person: Who said brick-and-mortar was dead? If you’re a retailer with a physical location to capture shoppers who have access to purchase in-store, now’s your time to shine. Similar to the ‘At-Home’ shopper cohort, you’re going to want to indicate both your in-store (if applicable) and online presence. As we like to say, twice the locations, twice the shoppers and twice the revenue. Don’t forget to provide no-touch purchase options, like curbside pick up, to make it easier to buy.
This Year’s Top of the (Targeting) Class
If you’re already targeting the usual ‘BTS Shoppers’ audience segments, consider adding these ones below. For the full list, keep your eye out for our annual guide, to be revealed shortly. Note – if you’re going down the Connected TV advertising route, you can access these segments through our partnership with Oracle Data Cloud:
- High Spenders: Boost your AOV and revenue in one hit. Search “back to school” and “top tier spend” to reach high-spending shoppers who are likely active towards the second half of the BTS season.
- Parents of School and College Kids: It’s usually the parents shopping for their kids – who also hold the purse strings. Search keywords “moms,” “dads,” “kids,” “college age.”
- High Income, Major Purchases: High value items are creeping into the BTS shopping cart – think computers, new office set up and more. Search “home office” and “home decor buyers.”
Buddy Up: Creative Meets Prospecting and Retargeting
If you really want to ace your campaign with flying colors, then your prospecting and retargeting efforts must work in harmony with your creative.
- Retargeting: Our proprietary data showed that July 2020 showed the highest number of conversions. We recommend setting up your retargeting campaigns targeted at shoppers who converted in July, and prioritize site visitors who purchased during summer school. And, whatever you do, don’t switch off those prospecting campaigns – keep them running to attract new shoppers.
- Creative: Tailor your creative messaging to both at-home and in-person learners, for example – keeping your message broad and leverage a “no matter where or how you’re learning, be ready for BTS” mindset. We also suggest having several types of creative up your sleeve that you can switch out quickly should restrictions change – so your campaign can adapt at a moment’s notice.