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Ed Market Bounces Back

Q3 Sales Up +4%

Nov 1, 2017

By Bob Stimolo

Results are in from our third quarter survey of school marketers and here are the highlights:

Q3 up +4% due to marketing strategies, overall economy and new product development.

Forecast for Q4 is +2%.  Forecast for full year 2017 is +6%

Twenty-one percent of respondents are increasing their promotion and advertising budget by an average of 13%

Almost half (46%) of respondents see sales reps as most effective advertising and promotion media.

Twice as many respondents (14%) say direct mail is more effective than email, SEO, automated marketing or telemarketing.  Convention marketing, social media and space advertising seen as least effective.

Almost half (45%) say that the Trump administration will not improve sales for education marketers.

Most respondents (84%) strongly or somewhat agree that federal and state funding has a significant impact on their sales.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents say that 30% or more of their inventory comes from overseas.

One-third (34%) strongly or somewhat agree that their products must meet Common Core Standards.

Twenty percent say the demand for their products is very or somewhat influenced by the U.S. immigration population.

 

Primary Business

            School Supplies                       34%

            Furniture                                   28%

            Publishing                                22%

            Technology                              13%

            Other                                         3%

 

What is your title?

            President/Owner/General Manager         53%

            VP Marketing/Director of Marketing       16%

            Marketing Manager                               13%

            Product Manager                                    3%

            Other                                                    16%

 

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

            Preschools/Day Cares              38%

            Elementary Schools                  63%

            Middle Schools                        41%

            High Schools                            47%

            Colleges/Universities                 13%

            School/Public Libraries               9%

            Other                                         3%

 

Relative to last year, would you say that your third quarter 2017 (July 1st through September 30th) school market sales were:

                                                Average                                       Average

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

            Up           55%                  12%                     67%                  13%

            Flat         10%                    0                       16%                    0

            Down      35%                  (6%)                    17%                  (7%)

Overall Q3 Sales +4%

 

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

            Marketing Strategies                             48%

            Overall Economy                                  45%

            New Product Development                    45%

            Change in School Funding Levels          26%

            Competition from Amazon.com             13%

            Growth of Technology in Schools            6%

            Enrollment Change                                 6%

            Common Core                                        3%

 

Relative to last year, would you say that your third quarter year-to-date 2017 school market sales were:

                                                Average                                       Average

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

            Up           55%                  13%                     72%                  12%

            Flat         17%                    0                       12%                    0

            Down      28%                  (7%)                    16%                  (8%)

Overall Q3 YTD Sales +5%

 

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

                                                                Average (Cut)/Increase

            Cutting Budget                14%                     (8%)

            No Change                      66%                       0

            Increasing Budget            21%                     13%

 

Relative to the fourth quarter of 2016, what are you forecasting for the fourth quarter of 2017 (October 1st through December 31st)?

                                                Average                                       Average

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

            Up           48%                   7%                     70%                   9%

            Flat         32%                    0                       23%                    0

            Down      19%                  (7%)                     7%                  (8%)

Overall Q4 2017 Forecast +2%

 

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

            No Change                               56%

            Modest Improvement                31%

            Modest Decline                        13%

 

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

                                                Average                                       Average

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

            Up           71%                  11%                     82%                  10%

            Flat         10%                    0                        9%                     0

            Down      19%                 (10%)                     9%                  (9%)

Overall FY2017 Forecast +6%.

 

Do you think the Trump administration will improve sales for education marketers?

            No                                           45%

            Not sure                                   35%

            Yes                                          19%

 

Federal and state funding have a significant impact on my sales:

            Somewhat Agree                      45%

            Strongly Agree                         39%

            Neither Agree nor Disagree        10%

            Somewhat Disagree                    6%

 

What percentage of your inventory comes from overseas?

            10%                                         50%

            20%                                         12%

            30%                                         15%

            40%                                           8%

            50% or more                             15%

 

My products must meet Common Core State Standards:

            Neither Agree nor Disagree        43%

            Somewhat Agree                      17%

            Strongly Agree                         17%

            Strongly Disagree                     17%

            Somewhat Disagree                    7%

 

The demand for my products is influenced by the U.S. immigration population:

            Neither Positively nor Negatively      80%

            Somewhat Positively                       17%

            Very Positively  3%

 

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