Back-to-school in 3 Lessons

From Mike Pollack, Head of Sales, US, Ogury


Consumers plan to spend a record amount on both school and college supplies this year. According to the NRF, consumers are expected to spend $849 on back-to-school shopping and $1200 on back-to-college shopping.

This presents a huge opportunity for marketers to identify and attract consumers over the busy shopping period.

To help marketers navigate this opportunity, I developed three key lessons that can be applied to media activations.


Lesson 1: Leverage insights to tailor messaging in a privacy-compliant way

To ensure your back-to-school messaging resonates with consumers, marketers should understand the nuances between the varying audiences. It wouldn’t be effective for Ikea to share a dorm room furniture ad with a consumer who is shopping for school supplies for their first grader. To understand these nuances, marketers will need access to a unique and robust audience dataset. This data should ensure 100% user privacy and must be future-proof for an identifier-less world.

Once marketers have access to this data, they will be able to distinguish the demographics, interests, and discriminants of the varying audience groups. This will allow them to leverage data-informed inputs in the campaign targeting set-up to ultimately be more relevant with their brand messaging.

For example, Ogury’s data modeling and visualization solution, Ogury Active Insights revealed that moms of younger children heading back to school show a strong affinity to cost-saving apps and sites including and Rakuten. It also revealed this group’s Audience Markers, which are the keywords that represent their discriminant interests. Words that stood out include ‘discount’, ‘save’, ‘quick’, and ‘food’. Knowing this, a snack food brand could serve this audience an ad that includes cost-saving messaging and highlights product simplicity.


Lesson 2: Prepare for the continued explosion of mobile

If the past year taught marketers anything, it’s that they need to focus their media strategies on digital. Whether it’s to research, browse, or buy, consumers are turning online to conduct their shopping. Within digital strategies, marketers are particularly leveraging the power of mobile.

Mobile usage has increased drastically this past year. In fact, Mint revealed that there has been a 25% increase in time spent on mobile since the start of the pandemic. This resulted in advertisers increasing their mobile budgets. eMarketer shared that 75% of all digital ad spend in 2021 will go to mobile.

This presents a huge opportunity for marketers to attract and engage specific audiences with relevant brand messaging on mobile as they conduct their back-to-school shopping. But, in order to reach these consumers effectively, marketers need to go beyond focusing on the message alone. They also need to reach them via the ad format that will capture the most attention.


Lesson 3: Build a winning mobile video strategy

Video consumption is increasing rapidly, particularly on mobile. Video is the number one source of information for two-thirds of people around the world, and more than 75% of all video viewing is done on a mobile device. Marketers realize this, which has resulted in the rise of mobile video advertising.

By 2024, mobile will account for 73% of video ad spending. This is the result of consumers requesting more videos from brands, and marketers placing increased importance on video. In fact, HubSpot revealed that nearly 90% of people want to see more videos from brands in 2021 and that 91% of marketers feel the pandemic has made video advertising more important for brands.

It’s clear that marketers that advertise over the back-to-school shopping season should be leveraging mobile video. Unfortunately, advertisers often pay for ads that are only partially visible to the consumer, which limits memorability and wastes ad budget. Marketers must ensure they only partner with companies that offer full-creative visible formats.

To learn more about how to achieve effective and sustainable brand advertising on mobile over the back-to-school shopping season, feel free to email me directly, at