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Q3 Ed Sales Up 75% Over Forecast

Oct 29, 2019

By Bob Stimolo

Survey participants reported sales up by 7% for Q3 2019 - well above the forecast of +4%.

The positive third quarter sales spurred school marketers to adjust their sales forecast for Q4 and FY2019.  Overall, survey respondents forecast Q4 sales to be +5% over prior year, one percent higher than what they had forecast in Q2. They adjusted their forecast for FY2019 to +6% an increase over their full year forecast in the Q2 survey of +2%.

Seventy-three percent of the respondents were top executives in their companies, with the majority selling into the K-12 market.  As in the Q2 survey, the two biggest reasons given for this performance were overall economy and marketing strategies.  The majority are planning no change to their promotion and advertising budgets.

Majority See No Change in Economic Conditions Before End of Calendar Year

Just over half the respondents (53%) anticipate no change in economic conditions before the end of the calendar year.  Twenty-three percent anticipate a modest decline and 19% expect a modest improvement.

Sales Reps and Direct Mail remain top choices for most effective marketing media followed by email marketing.  Forty-four percent believe that President Trump will be reelected, 19% think former Vice President Joe Biden will be elected president, and 14% think the next president will be Senator Elizabeth Warren.

 

3rdQEffectiveMedia

 

Survey Responses by Question
 
Primary Business

            School Supplies                       40%

            Furniture                                   21%

            Publishing                                21%

            Other                                        13%

            Technology                                4%

 

What is your title?

            President/Owner/General Manager         62%

            VP Marketing/Director of Marketing       11%

            Other                                                    13%

            Marketing Manager                                 6%

            Product Manager                                    9%

 

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

            Preschools/Day Cares              19%

            Elementary Schools                  74%

            Middle Schools                        49%

            High Schools                            47%

            Colleges/Universities                 15%

            School/Public Libraries               6%

            Other                                         2%

 

Relative to last year, would you say that your third quarter 2019 (July 1st through September 30th) school market sales were:

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2019      Increase/(Decrease)         2018      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           73%                  12%                     61%                  10%

            Flat          9%                     0                       18%                    0

            Down      18%                  (8%)                    21%                  (9%)

Overall Q3 2019 Sales +7%

 

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

            Overall Economy                                           39%

            Marketing Strategies                                      35%

            New Product Development                             30%

            Change in School Funding Levels                   28%

            Change in the Timing of School Spending       20%

            Competition from Amazon.com                      15%

            Growth of Technology in Schools                   15%

            School Choice/Vouchers                                  7%

            Weather and/or Natural Disaster                       4%

            Enrollment Change                                          4%

 

Relative to last year, would you say that your third quarter 2019 year-to-date school market sales were:

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2019      Increase/(Decrease)         2018      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           70%                  11%                     64%                   8%

            Flat          9%                     0                       11%                    0

            Down      20%                  (6%)                    25%                  (6%)

 

Overall Q3 2019 YTD Sales +7%

 

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

                                                                Average (Cut)/Increase

            Cutting Budget                  2%                    (10%)

            No Change                      78%                       0

            Increasing Budget            20%                     15%

 

Relative to the fourth quarter of 2018, what are you forecasting for the fourth quarter of 2019 (October 1st through December 31st)?

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2019      Increase/(Decrease)         2018      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           56%                   9%                     64%                   6%

            Flat         29%                    0                       25%                    0

            Down      15%                  (4%)                    11%                 (11%)

Overall Q4 2019 Forecast +5%

 

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

            No Change                               53%

            Modest Improvement                19%

            Modest Decline                        23%

            Major Improvement                     2%

            Major Decline                             2%

 

Relative to full year 2018, what are you forecasting for full year 2019?

                                                Average                                       Average

                           2019      Increase/(Decrease)         2018      Increase/(Decrease)

            Up           73%                   9%                     68%                   7%

            Flat         11%                    0                        9%                     0

            Down      16%                  (5%)                    24%                  (5%)

Overall FY2019 Forecast +6%.

 

Who do you think will be elected as our next president?

            President Trump     44%

            Other                      21%

            Joe Biden               19%

            Elizabeth Warren     14%

            Bernie Sanders         2%

 

FREE Promotion Critique
It’s time to plan your promotions for the 2020 Winter/Spring season.  SMRI has the most experience reaching PK-12 educators. You can benefit from our research and testing. Contact us for a FREE promotion critique. Call 1-800-838-3444 x201 or email rstimolo@smriinc.com.