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An Unspectacular Finish to 2016

Still A Good Year Overall

Feb 14, 2017

Fourth quarter sales predictions for ed marketers did not come to pass.  Some forecasts were off by more than 50%, yet overall, 2016 was still a good year.

Full year 2016 sales were reported up by +3%. The economy by far was the top pick to explain sales performance.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents plan no change to their advertising and promotion budget while another 35% plan budget increases averaging +12%. This is consistent with what marketers said about their advertising and promotion budgets at the end of Q3.

School marketers are forecasting FY 2017 sales to be up by +7% and 72% of survey respondents expect a modest improvement in economic conditions before the end of the 2016-17 school year.  Overall sales forecast for Q1 2017 is +2%.

 

Primary Business

            School Supplies                       45%

            Furniture                                   30%

            Publishing                                20%

            Other                                         5%

 

What is your title?

            President/Owner/General Manager         58%

            VP Marketing/Director of Marketing       18%

            Marketing Manager                                 3%

            Other                                                    23%

 

Which do you consider to be your primary market? (multiple responses)

            Preschools/Day Cares              25%

            Elementary Schools                  70%

            Middle Schools                        48%

            High Schools                            50%

            Colleges/Universities                 15%

            School/Public Libraries               5%

            Other                                         5%

 

Relative to last year, would you say that your fourth quarter 2016 (October 1st through December 31st) school market sales were:

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2016      Increase/(Decrease)         2015      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           50%                  10%                     59%                  12%

            Flat         20%                    0                       22%                    0

            Down      30%                 (15%)                    19%                  (9%)

Overall Q4 Sales +1%

 

To what reason(s) do you attribute this performance?  (multiple responses)

            Overall Economy                                  69%

            Marketing Strategies                             33%

            Change in School Funding Levels          33%

            New Product Development                    31%

            Competition from Amazon.com             13%

            Education Reform                                  8%

            Growth of Technology in Schools            5%

 

Relative to last year, would you say that your FY2016 year-to-date school market sales were:

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2016      Increase/(Decrease)         2015      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           57%                   9%                     62%                  11%

            Flat         18%                    0                       18%                    0

            Down      25%                  (7%)                    20%                  (7%)

Overall FY2016 Sales +7%

 

Are you changing your promotion and advertising budget in response to current economic conditions?                                             

                                                                 Average Cut/Increase

            Cutting Budget                  7%                    (22%)

            No Change                      58%                       0

            Increasing Budget            35%                     12%

 

Relative to the first quarter of 2016, what are you forecasting for the first quarter of 2017 (January 1st through March 31st)?

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2017      Increase/(Decrease)         2016      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           65%                   7%                     57%                   8%

            Flat         23%                    0                       35%                    0

            Down      12%                 (10%)                     8%                  (6%)

Overall Q1 2017 Forecast +5%

 

Do you expect economic conditions to improve before the end of the school year?

            Modest Improvement                72%

            No Change                               18%

            Major Improvement                     8%

            Major Decline                             3%

 

Relative to full year 2016, what are you forecasting for full year 2017?

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2017      Increase/(Decrease)         2016      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           88%                   8%                     72%                   9%

            Flat         10%                    0                       22%                    0

            Down       2%                 (12%)                     6%                  (5%)

Overall FY2017 Forecast +7%%.

 

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