Advertising is very prolific and offers a variety of ways to distribute brand messages.
Social media is one of those platforms that has burst onto the scene and continues to grow. The use of social media is akin to the tried and proven method of word of mouth. It just happens electronically now. Marketers can generate plenty of buzz via social media. The problem is knowing when to use it and what messaging should be used.
One key time period for marketers is Back-2-School (B2S)! Each year, social media is proving to be very valuable in this endeavor. Families rely on influencers, bloggers, and others for recommendations regarding clothing, snacks and school supplies. Pinterest and it boards are huge and do drive purchase intent of parents. Other social media relying heavily on pictures, such as Instagram, tend to skew parental interest too.
It also appears the time period for B2S is getting earlier each year. Some parents start as early as May or June but July and August are peak shopping months. September also realize lower percentage of shopping activity, albeit for the late comers and deal seekers. While shopping during this time-frame, parents have a tendency to apply value qualifiers to their purchases. Value doesn't mean cheap. It means good price for the quality sought. While promotions and discounts may drive clothing purchases, when purchasing food items and supplies, parents may regard quality a more important qualifier for this type of purchase.
B2S is also a time to dial-up your brick and mortar offerings. The majority of this shopping takes place in-person. It's an ideal opportunity for the entire family to be together. Think about what you can offer these parents (families) during their visit. It is also an opportunity to consider mobile and special offers while these parents are in store. If you have some of these parents already as customers, consider what you may do differently with your loyalty program during B2S time-frame. Again, it is important to have other media executed, in addition to social media to assist in driving preference and purchase intent.
Even though in-store is preferred do not forget about developing your strategy to drive those parents who shop via the internet. The goal is to achieve your "un-fair share" of their wallet. After all, the point is to do everything to keep your brand top-of-mind and ahead of your competitor.
Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant, freelance writer and author of "Elements of Buying" (a self-help advertising guide), available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise's 2016 Women of Power in Advertising & Marketing and 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: [email protected]