Market Focus: Elementary School Teachers
What Else Teachers Buy
Elementary teachers are predominantly women, and they have above average household incomes, Subrizi says. These two characteristics bring opportunities for a wealth of other offers targeted to teachers.
There’s a significant marketing opportunity for apparel sales to elementary teachers. Bullock cites “appropriate apparel for teachers” like Chadwick’s of Boston, and L’eggs and Hanes pantyhose among the users of her company’s data.
Teachers also are prime prospects for financial marketers such as credit card companies, Bullock says. And Subrizi adds that the fact that “they’re professionals with a steady income also makes them a good market for investment offers.”
It’s interesting to note that teachers tend to have summers off. “That opens this market up for a host of different offers, from summer camps to continuing education classes, to travel,” says Subrizi.
Travel historically has been a big category for teachers—both for class trips and personal vacations, adds Bullock.
Mail Still the Top Media Choice
When it comes to media, experts agree teachers still tend to prefer direct mail and catalogs over the Internet for making buying decisions. Not that teachers aren’t online: They certainly use the Internet for research and communication. But for shopping, they’d prefer to have a catalog handy that they can browse through at any time. “Direct mail is still a strong medium for communicating with teachers,” says Bullock.
When it comes to selling online, ClassroomDirect learned by experience that teachers like to have a choice. In the late 1990s, ClassroomDirect was School Specialty’s foothold on the Internet for reaching teachers, Jeffery explains. “Our belief back then was that in a few years, everyone was going to be on the Web.” The company spent a good deal of money “buying eyeballs”—only to learn later that consumers weren’t going to flock to the Internet. It has since integrated its online and offline channels. Today, it’s the teacher’s choice to use the Web or to send in a purchase order—whatever is more convenient for them. “Our Web site is very profitable now, and it’s an important channel; but it’s not its own business,” says Jeffery.