A male teacher in a classroom with young students, happily sharing the school supplies he bought from a company that was marketing to teachers with a teacher discount.

7 Reasons You Should Be Marketing to Teachers

If you’re not marketing to teachers, you’re missing out. The US has 4 million K-12 teachers, and they’re spending $1.7 billion of their own money on classroom supplies alone. 

Recent research provides new insight into teachers’ spending and shopping habits and reveals why marketing to teachers is both smart and lucrative for brands.

01 Teachers Need Our Support

Teachers are dedicated to their students and feel compelled to ensure that every student has an excellent learning experience. So when schools cut budgets, teachers do what they can to make up for shortfalls. Over the 2018-2019 school year:

  • 99% of teachers spent personal funds for school-related purposes.
  • Nearly half (48%) spent more than $250.
  • Some spent as much as $5,000.

02 Teachers Love Discounts on Everything

With so much out-of-pocket spending on their classrooms, it’s no secret why teachers enthusiastically embrace discounts when they can find them. Agile Marketing’s recent survey found that 95% of teachers are more likely to make purchases from a company that offers a teacher discount.

Nearly 9 in 10 teachers would use a discount to buy school supplies, but it doesn’t stop there. Teachers love discounts that support every facet of their lives. If offered a teacher discount:

  • 71% would buy electronic devices.
  • Nearly three in five would purchase apparel, travel, and entertainment. 
  • 37% would even use it on insurance!

03 Honoring Teachers Builds Loyalty

Being a teacher is more than a job: it’s an identity. So when brands take the time to acknowledge teachers as a special group by giving them discounts, it has an impact. 

Nearly two in three (64%) say teacher discounts make them feel valued, and 42% say the discounts make them feel respected by the brand. 

Using discounts in your marketing to teachers goes a long way toward building long-term customer loyalty.

04 Teachers Will Promote Your Offer

Teachers talk a lot about sharing, but they also practice what they preach. When they discover a brand that treats them well, they share the love with their peers.

Seventy-one percent of teachers said they would share a teacher discount with colleagues. And 78% said they hear about teacher discounts from other teachers. That’s a lot of word-of-mouth marketing, and it’s all free.

05 Teachers Want to Hear from You

Teachers learn about personalized offers from their peers, but they also pay close attention to companies that market to them. More than half of teachers said they hear about teacher discounts directly from brands, usually via email or social media. 

When you offer a teacher discount, you not only make them feel respected and valued, you’re forging a customer relationship that has staying power.

06 Teachers Shop All Year Long

Marketers often run back-to-school campaigns, but providing a teacher discount can be lucrative for your brand all year long. Classrooms need supplies throughout the year, and 58% of teachers said they shop for school once a month or more.

Michaels is a brand that knows the value of marketing to teachers with ongoing discounts. It’s a strategy that keeps teachers shopping there all four seasons.

“Our support for teachers extends well beyond the start of school with a 15 percent discount available every time they shop, all year long,” said Steve Carlotti, Michaels Executive Vice President of Marketing. “Convenience is a top priority.”

07 Marketing to Teachers Pays Off

Target ran a three-day teacher promotion in 2018 that got incredible national attention in print, broadcast, and online media. Jill Sando, a senior vice president with Target, said the “phenomenal response” to the campaign led the company to run it again this year, make it a week long, and include many more products. 

What brands like Michaels and Target have discovered is that marketing to teachers with personalized offers has broad gains. It raises brand awareness and helps brands acquire new customers.

But perhaps the biggest reason you should be marketing to teachers is for the brand affinity it creates—not just among teachers, but parents, students, and everyone who appreciates the service teachers provide, too.  And all that goodwill is good business.

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