Back-to-school season is here, and with it comes a myriad of marketing opportunities for B2C businesses. Did you know that consumers will spend about $70 billion on back-to-school supplies this year? This is the second largest consumer spending event of the year, second only to the winter holiday season. As kids head back to school, their parents will be bombarded with back-to-school ads from every direction, so it is vital that you get your message out to them early!

If your business sells supplies directly related to school, such as backpacks or notebooks, then capitalizing on back-to-school season is a no-brainer. However, many businesses that are not directly related to school supplies don’t realize that they too could be boosting their revenue by participating in this major marketing season. Oftentimes, marketers assume that back-to-school season only involves marketing to kids from kindergarten to 12th grade, but this is simply not the case. Out of the $70 billion spent annually on back-to-school merchandise, only $23 billion will be spent on K-12 students; the rest will be spent on students either starting or returning to college. College students’ needs are much more diverse than students in elementary, middle, or high school, because many of them will be living on their own for the first time in their life. If back-to-school season doesn’t seem to fit your business, it might be time to evaluate whether or not you have been including college students in that assessment.

Another group that is often overlooked during back-to-school season is parents. While marketers are great about reaching out to parents with offers for their children, many fail to realize that the beginning of the school year marks some major changes in the lifestyle of parents as well. As kids go off to school, many parents have much more free time on their hands. They may be looking for activities to fill up this newfound free time, or they may not have had the time to properly care for themselves while they were taking care of their children 24/7 over the summer. This is a great opportunity to offer discounts in the middle of the day, and give parents the chance to pamper themselves a little now that the kids are out of the house.

Also, don’t forget about adults returning to college to finish a degree later in life! They need school supplies just as much as the next college student.

One thing to keep in mind as you plan and execute your marketing strategy during back-to-school season is that this so-called group of “families with school-age children” actually covers a wildly diverse and varied range of people with all kinds of socioeconomic backgrounds, attitudes, lifestyles, budgets and shopping behaviors. This means that it is extremely important to segment your marketing campaigns accordingly. Don’t assume that everyone will respond to the same marketing message, or that they have the same resources to work with. They don’t, and failing to target within this larger umbrella category could hinder your marketing efforts.

If you need help planning your back-to-school marketing campaign, please give US Data Corporation a call at (888) 578-3282 for a free, no-obligation quote.