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Ed Publishers and Preschool/Day Care Marketers Start 2018 Off with a Bang!

Marketing Execs Forecast Q2 2018 to be Up +4%

Apr 25, 2018

By Bob Stimolo

Educational publishing companies started the 2018 year off with an impressive +4% increase in Q1 sales.  Companies that market to the Preschool/Day Care market came in second with a +3% increase in Q1 sales.  But the rest of our survey respondents report flat sales or minor decreases in sales.

Overall, respondents reported Q1 sales down -1%, but they remain optimistic forecasting sales up by +4% in Q2 and +3% for FY2018.  More than half (56%) expect to see a modest improvement in economic conditions before the end of the school year.

Changes in school funding levels and marketing strategies were the two most cited reasons for sales performance in Q1.  Seventy-two percent of respondents said they will not change their promotion and advertising budget as a result of Q1 sales.

Sales reps were cited as the most effective advertising and promotion media followed by direct mail.

The impact of the Trump administration on sales for education marketers was a draw.  One quarter of the respondents said it will improve sales, one quarter said it will not improve sales, and the remaining half were not sure.


Primary Business

            School Supplies                       40%

            Furniture                                   20%

            Publishing                                15%

            Technology                              13%

            Other                                        11%

            Professional Development          2%


What is your title?

            President/Owner/General Manager         60%

            VP Marketing/Director of Marketing       22%

            Marketing Manager                                 9%

            Other                                                     7%

            Product Manager                                    2%


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

            Preschools/Day Cares              29%

            Elementary Schools                  78%

            Middle Schools                        45%

            High Schools                            45%

            Colleges/Universities                 11%

            School/Public Libraries               7%

            Other                                         4%


Relative to last year, would you say that your first quarter 2018 (January 1st through March 31st) school market sales were:

                                                Average                                       Average

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

            Up           41%                  12%                     47%                  10%

            Flat         18%                    0                       30%                    0

            Down      41%                 (13%)                    23%                  (8%)


Overall Q1 2018 Sales -1%


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

            Change in School Funding Levels          49%

            Marketing Strategies                             40%

            Overall Economy                                  32%

            Competition from             23%

            New Product Development                    23%

            Growth of Technology in Schools          13%

            Weather and/or Natural Disaster              8%

            Common Core                                        2%

            Education Reform                                  2%

            Enrollment Change                                 2%


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

                                                                Average (Cut)/Increase

            Cutting Budget                11%                     (7%)

            No Change                      72%                       0

            Increasing Budget            17%                     11%


Relative to the second quarter of 2017, what are you forecasting for the second quarter of 2018 (April 1st through June 30th)?


                                                Average                                       Average

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

            Up           54%                   9%                     56%                   7%

            Flat         36%                    0                       30%                    0

            Down      10%                  (8%)                    14%                  (9%)


Overall Q2 2018 Forecast +4%


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

            No Change                               31%

            Modest Improvement                56%

            Modest Decline                        11%

            Major Decline                             2%


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

                                                Average                                       Average

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

            Up           63%                   9%                     70%                   7%

            Flat         18%                    0                       12%                    0

            Down      20%                 (11%)                    19%                 (11%)


Overall FY2018 Forecast +3%.


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

            Not sure                                   49%

            No                                           27%

            Yes                                          24%


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PUBLISHER:  Bob Stimolo


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, mail to 90 Main Street #212, Centerbrook, CT 06409, or visit our website at

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