If the view from your window looks anything like mine, spring may be the furthest thing from your thoughts. But, thankfully, it really is right around the corner and now—before the crocuses pop their heads through the snow—is the time to start planning for the spring 2021 selling season!
Although this year’s selling cycle has been fluid, schools will still close out the school year with a round of purchasing and, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 presents new opportunities:
- Federal Funding: There is federal COVID relief money to be spent. Late last year, Congress approved a COVID-19 relief package that includes $82 billion for education, which adds to the $30.75 billion allocated when the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was approved in March 2020. There is also $175 billion to reopen schools in President Biden’s proposed economic stimulus bill. Schools can use these funds to lessen the impact of the pandemic on learning by purchasing solutions to address learning loss, technology, and updating school facilities and infrastructure.
- Materials for Reopening: As more and more schools move to reopen for in-person learning, they are facing new needs. In some instances they will have to rethink and reconfigure space. They will need to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitation supplies, and Plexiglas dividers; improve the ventilation; reconfigure classrooms, possibly with new furniture; and upgrade technology, including computers, tablets, and document cameras.
- Support for Students Returning to the Classroom: Schools are going to be looking for solutions to help mitigate the learning loss that so many of their students are facing as a result of the switch to remote learning. In addition, this past year has had an impact on students’ social emotional needs and many schools are going to find that they need support for both continued remote learning and a return to the classroom, either part-time or full-time.
- Professional Development: This may be a bigger need than ever before. Over the past year, teachers were asked to teach in new ways and use new tools. A recent MDR study showed that nearly one-fifth of educators want training related to the programs, platforms, and apps they are using for themselves and for parents and students. As some teachers transition back to in-person learning, teaching styles may also need to adjust as a result of the changes the pandemic caused.
- School Supplies: Teachers are also going to have unique needs for the remainder of the school year and into the future. Their school supply lists will likely expand to include disposable masks, face shields, and more hand soap, hand sanitizer, and wipes than ever before. If teachers are still teaching remotely, new headphones, devices, and even mobile whiteboards may top their list of needs. Plus, no matter whether they are teaching in the classroom or remotely, teachers will still be looking for the items that are on the school supply list every year and, due to distancing, they may need more of those things.
To successfully navigate these opportunities, developing targeted, multichannel marketing campaigns is key. Direct mail, email, display advertising, and social media marketing all play a critical role in reaching the right education customer, at the right time, with the right message.
As the saying goes, “with great challenges come great opportunities” and MDR is here to help you maximize the opportunities presented by the spring 2021 selling cycle. Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org new email.