Is Every Campaign a Back-To-School Campaign?

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Does it seem like every campaign lately is a back to school campaign? You’re not imagining it – marketers, especially digital advertisers, have shifted their campaigns to leverage the rise of back-to-school shopping, and the result is that almost any campaign online these days is a back-to-school sale.

As parents across the country rejoice at the start of the new school year and struggle to adjust their kids back to the known routine, digital advertisers across the country are eagerly prepping back to school sales in the hopes of maximizing revenue and increasing brand awareness and loyalty.

While the school year only officially opened now, back-to-school campaigns have been spotted online as early as July 11th – almost a week later from the previous year and a month later than 2014. The shift in launch of back to school campaigns is likely due to the fact that digital advertisers want to create a sense of urgency – something that can’t be done two almost two months before the start of the new school year – while bringing a much needed boost to sales after disappointing holiday seasons and summer shopping.

In the past, back-to-school campaigns were largely focused on in-store purchases, however a recent study by the National Retail Federation reveled that online back-to-school shopping is increasing in popularity, with over 34% of parents reporting that they will make their purchases online this year.  The study further indicated that of those making their purchases online, 2 out of 3 parents would buy more than what was required of them on the school supply list – this is perhaps the largest reason that brands that operate outside of the back-to-school sphere have bumped up their digital advertising campaigns and found a way to connect their product to back-to-school needs of families.

As digital advertising is increasingly focused on mobile devices, it should come as no surprise that this year, more and more parents will make their back to school purchases directly from their mobile phones. The Rubicon Project back to school survey revealed that 60% of parents plan on purchasing as least one item on their mobile devices, and 30% reported that over a fourth of their purchases will be made on mobile devices.

Considering the increased reliance on digital devices for back to school shopping, coupled with the latest news from eMarketer that back-to-school sales are expected to go up by 2.6% this year in comparison to 2015, it’s no wonder that digital advertisers are doing all they can to leverage this latest shopping season to increase sales and maximize revenue generation.

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