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Ed Market Bullish on 2018

Marketing Execs Forecast 2018 to be Up +6%

Feb 12, 2018

By Bob Stimolo

2017 is over, finishing with sales up +4% over 2016. The forecast for FY 2018 is even better with expectations overall for +6% growth.

Marketers credit the economy (53%) and their marketing strategies (33%) for the improvement in sales. Twenty-eight percent are increasing their promotion and advertising budgets by an average of 11%. Execs said sales reps (38%) and direct mail (28%) were the most effective advertising and promotion media.

Forty-one percent of respondents think the Trump administration will not improve education market sales. Twenty-five percent say it will and 33% are not sure.

Fifty-seven percent expect a modest improvement in economic conditions before the school year is out.

 

Primary Business

            School Supplies                       31%

            Furniture                                   24%

            Publishing                                24%

            Other                                        10%

            Technology                                8%

            Professional Development          4%

 

What is your title?

            President/Owner/General Manager         57%

            VP Marketing/Director of Marketing       20%

            Marketing Manager                               10%

            Other                                                    12%

            Product Manager                                    2%

 

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

            Preschools/Day Cares              20%

            Elementary Schools                  71%

            Middle Schools                        41%

            High Schools                            49%

            Colleges/Universities                 22%

            School/Public Libraries             12%

            Other                                         4%

 

Relative to last year, would you say that your fourth quarter 2017 (October 1st through December 31st) school market sales were:

                                                Average                                       Average

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

            Up           57%                  10%                     50%                  10%

            Flat         20%                    0                       20%                    0

            Down      23%                 (12%)                    30%                 (15%)

Overall Q4 Sales +3%

 

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

            Overall Economy                                  53%

            Marketing Strategies                             33%

            New Product Development                    27%

            Change in School Funding Levels          25%

            Competition from Amazon.com             14%

            Growth of Technology in Schools          10%

            Common Core                                        4%

 

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

                                                Average                                       Average

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

            Up           61%                   9%                     57%                   9%

            Flat         20%                    0                       18%                    0

            Down      20%                  (8%)                    25%                  (7%)

Overall Q4 YTD Sales +4%

 

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

                                                                Average (Cut)/Increase

            Cutting Budget                12%                    (10%)

            No Change                      60%                       0

            Increasing Budget            28%                     11%

 

Relative to the first quarter of 2017, what are you forecasting for the first quarter of 2018 (January 1st through March 31st)?

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2018      Increase/(Decrease)         2017      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           67%                   7%                     65%                   7%

            Flat         27%                    0                       23%                    0

            Down       6%                 (13%)                    12%                 (10%)

Overall Q1 2018 Forecast +4%

 

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

            No Change                               31%

            Modest Improvement                57%

            Major Improvement                     6%

            Modest Decline                          6%

 

Relative to full year 2017, what are you forecasting for full year 2018?

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2018      Increase/(Decrease)         2017      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           71%                  11%                     82%                  10%

            Flat         10%                    0                        9%                     0

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

Overall FY2018 Forecast +6%.

 

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

            No                                           41%

            Not sure                                   33%

            Yes                                          25%

 

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PUBLISHER:  Bob Stimolo

GENERAL MANAGER:  Kathleen Bill

The information contained in this Special Report was published by School Market Research Institute, Inc., the leading full-service direct marketing agency dedicated to the school market. For information about services, please call 800-838-3444 toll free, email info@smriinc.com, mail to 90 Main Street #212, Centerbrook, CT 06409, or visit our website at www.smriinc.com.

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