Officeworks launch new integrated back to school campaign

Office supplies chain gets in early with new campaign to get the jump on school suppliers

Officeworks has launched its new integrated back to school campaign early this year to alert parents the office supplies outlet is an option for the booklist in addition to the official school supplier.

The brand efforts sees the retailer targeting parents over the coming months via TV, online, radio, social media, PR, outdoor, CRM, catalogue and in-store with its message that smarter parents shop with Officeworks.

The campaign, developed in collaboration with Officeworks’ internal team, also utilised multiple agency partners including AJF, Initiative Media, AKQA, Haystac and Columbus, and started with a strong data-led understanding of parent and student customers needs’ at the back to school time. 

“Using these insights, as well as learnings from previous campaigns, we form a clear view of the types of messages that will best resonate, and form a plan which ensures we are communicating the right messages, through the right channels, at the right times,” Officeworks general manager of marketing, Jess Richmond told CMO.

Richmond explained that while many elements remain the same, Officeworks evolves the strategy each year to respond to the changing ways parents and children approach the return to school task.

“This year there’s a strong test and learn component to what we’re doing as well," she said.

Officeworks deliberately chose September, earlier than in previous years, to launch its annual back-to school campaign after research showed many parents and students receive booklists as early as September or October and many are keen to get their school shopping done before the silly season sets in. 

It made sense, Richmond told CMO, to launch its list service early “to help those customers who want to take advantage of low prices, but also with the convenience of not having to go through and shop the list themselves”.

It has also improved the school list service and launched a new Upload & Compare tool which allows customers to compare the range and prices of items on their child’s booklist online by answering a couple of questions and submitting the booklist. 

The online booklist service is a few years old, developed from the in-store service which started about seven years ago. The online uptake has been growing in the last few years.

“Customers upload their booklist, then receive a list of comparable items that can be purchased at Officeworks including prices. In some cases these are exactly the same products as have been specified, in others they’re the best match.”

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