It’s that time of the year again. The days of head-scratching and daily planning for activities that keep the kids calmly engaged are slowly ending. The semblance of routine life is back on the horizon. Parents are getting ready to resume the normalcy of their daily practices; kids typically don’t share the same sentiment. It’s time to go back to school and a lot of question marks pop up. Back-to-school (BTS) retail prices are on the rise and parents are doing their due diligence when it comes to researching products and comparing price tags. Around 56% of consumers’ shopping journeys in the UAE, KSA, and Egypt begin on search engines as opposed to retailers’ websites and social media platforms (GO-Gulf Web Design Dubai, 2021) (1).
Through search browsers, parents and caregivers find their way to rich editorial-led websites that cater to their needs. Being a high-traffic MENA-based website that caters to mothers across the region, our internal data at Supermama.me shows that the needs of users around the back-to-school season are twofold: addressing the parent’s concerns and the child’s needs.
Parents experience a bittersweet sensation during BTS season; feelings of both excitement and stress begin to emerge. From mentally preparing their kids to venture back into their school routines to budgeting for school supplies and bracing for the daily preparations they need to do to keep things smooth sailing, parents need all the help they can get. The overwhelming feelings parents face during this transitory phase are also diverse and unique to each household. From the different grade levels each of their kids is attending and the number of kids in their households, to adjusting their schedules to ensure that everyone is well taken care of, a variety of factors pose uncertainty in the minds of caregivers. For example, one of the highest consumed articles on Supermama.me throughout BTS 2021 was “how to improve kids’ memory and concentration” (traffic increased by 92% in comparison to the months before). There was a remarkable 444% traffic increase for “ways to develop a healthy morning routine for kids”.
The impact of going back to school is even more arduous on kids. Content consumption traffic across Mawdoo3.com, the Middle East’s most visited website in 2021 (Forbes, 2021; Narrative, 2021) (2), indicated that concerns about lifestyle changes are also accompanied by the pressures of getting good grades, developing a healthy social circle, committing to extracurricular activities, and discovering their sense of self. Very real problems are being inquired about on Mawdoo3.com by school-goers such as ways to make friends at school, and how to deal with bullies. Social status also makes its way into the classroom. Wearing the trendiest clothes, buying the latest stationery, and eating the best foods are all thoughts that seep into the last days of students’ summer breaks.
Supermama.me offers kids a helping hand by proxy through their mothers. With over 82.4% of traffic acquisition derived from organic search (Google Analytics, 2022), Supermama.me skews much of its editorial content towards back-to-school by early August. In 2021, school-related content consumption on Supermama.me increased by 77% (Google Analytics, 2021). A wave of articles that covered product reviews and fashion tips flooded the website. The website’s nutrition and cooking section gave mothers tips on how to prepare delicious and healthy lunchboxes for their kids in under 20 minutes. Other articles such as strategies to make teenagers enjoy going to school also had a high consumption rate. Reading these articles might not completely dissipate the stress of the back-to-school season, but the numbers show that readers are engaging with a variety of categories. This data helps us locate the consumers’ pain points. It’s a simplified market analysis of what consumers need and how brands can lend a helping hand.
Much like how Supermama.me has established itself as an essential resource for mothers across the MENA region, advertisers also need to set themselves apart and leave a lasting and positive impact in the minds of consumers. Through content partnerships with trusted parenting platforms, editorial product reviews, and creative e-commerce solutions, brands can position themselves in front of parents by shifting their marketing strategies from focusing on retailers to the wants and needs of consumers. Parents and caregivers have many choices when it comes to products and so many factors play a role in their purchasing journey. With the average household expected to spend around AED. 2,427 ($661) during this upcoming BTS season (Deloitte, 2022, USA) (3), brands need to set themselves apart to win their share of the pie.
Seasonal events allow advertisers to experiment by becoming educators, opinion leaders, and providers of relevant and helpful content. By partnering with platforms such as Supermama.me, brands can benefit from the voice of a trusted publisher and provide consumers with insightful information, useful answers, and large doses of inspiration. Top funnel marketing solutions are no longer reserved for banners. Telling the right story and shaping the narrative while mothers are on the lookout for solutions that can help them, and their kids, navigate back to school can allow brands to tap into the right emotions and bridge the gap between consumers and merchandisers.