Market Focus: Elementary School Teachers
Reach Those Who Teach
Elementary school teachers are responsible for making their classrooms conducive to learning. While the school districts may supply the textbooks and the desks, it’s the teachers who purchase much of the other materials for their classes—including workbooks, educational toys and videos. They also buy things to make the classroom a happy and bright place—items such as job charts, weather calendars and ABC posters.
“Teachers control some school funds and spend some of their own money on school supplies, as well,” explains John Jeffery, president of ClassroomDirect and Sax Arts & Crafts, both divisions of School Specialty, a Greenville, WI-based education-marketing company. In addition, teachers have some influence over larger school budgets through purchase orders, Jeffery adds. For this reason, he describes his target audience as “somewhere between B-to-B and B-to-C.”
The nation’s 1.7 million elementary school teachers have two spending streams, confirms Mike Subrizi, director of marketing, Market Data Retrieval (MDR), Shelton, CT. “First, there is the annual $200 or more budgeted by the school per teacher for classroom supplies. Then, there’s the teachers’ own out-of-pocket spending.”
Teachers Need Supplies
Two out of every three teachers are given a classroom budget for instructional materials and school supplies, according to MDR’s Educator Buying Trends report. In addition, annual teacher out-of-pocket spending on school supplies and instructional materials equals about $400, MDR’s survey reveals.
Samantha Bullock, K-12 product manager for MKTG Services, a Wilmington, MA, education list compiler, confirms, “Among obvious users of teachers’ lists are companies who sell supplemental text information, classroom decorations, maps and so forth.” She continues, “Some of these users include U.S. Toy Company, Delta Education and list brokers such as School Market Research—which works for a number of marketers including textbook publishers, bulletin and award producers, and general school supply companies.” Another cataloger successfully selling to this market is Oriental Trading Co., which many teachers turn to for classroom accessories, Bullock adds.