A summer full of uncertainty has come to a close and kids have headed back to school. Well, sort of. While the school year has begun for most children across the country, most kids are being educated from home with remote learning tools. This creates a challenging reality both for the American family and for brands that were banking on in-school, OOH youth marketing campaigns.

Families are faced with the stress of balancing their childrens’ education, and your brand is trying to determine how to recover from in-school campaigns that no longer have much reach. So where’s the win in this scenario? We believe that brands have a unique opportunity to mold their back to school marketing strategies around the families’ new normal to relieve stress and build brand loyalty.

Families are facing a new normal this fall

In a typical school year, over 50 million kids would be heading back to school in the last few weeks of August. This year, though, families are faced with a completely different reality. School districts are floundering for solutions, and many have chosen to operate remotely to keep students safe. 

Of course, this poses a challenge for working and stay-at-home parents alike, now faced with the burden to provide their children with an ideal learning environment at home. Learning remotely without structure or socialization can be challenging, especially for young children, and especially after a quarantined summer. And balancing work, health, kids, and life responsibilities all within the same house can be extremely stressful.

So it’s not surprising that recent research revealed that 86% of parents are more stressed about their child’s education than they are about their family’s health, economic situation, or mental wellbeing. Depending on the circumstances (age, learning style and needs, home factors), learning remotely could set some students significantly behind in school.

And to top it all off, parents are having to make spur-of-the-moment decisions between unclear options. Does sending children to school mean potentially endangering them and their teachers? Or does keeping children home from school deprive them of their education and social life? Do parents’ work schedules mean that they are neglecting their children in a time of need? Parents are unsure how to move forward, how to plan for their children, and what the future looks like this fall. A mother on Reddit posted, “I am anxiously awaiting protocols for when a child is sick. Am I taking 2 weeks off every time my 4-year-old has a runny nose?” Another mom answered, saying “There’s a lot of unknowns for sure it’s so hard to know what the ‘right’ answer is.”

Families are facing a new normal right now, where the whole family is trying to work and learn from home — and it’s difficult to balance.

Read next: Silver Linings Playbook: Determining Your Pandemic Marketing Strategy

Brands can help restore balance and relieve stress

This is no ordinary fall — so your typical fall marketing strategies simply won’t resonate like they have in the past. 

But just because things are different doesn’t mean that this fall’s a bust. To the contrary, research has shown that families are actually spending more on school supplies this year than they have in previous years (naturally, with spending on tech a bit up, and spending on clothes a bit down). It’s crucial that brands adapt their marketing strategies to the new normal in order to speak directly to the current consumer experience.

Your brand has an opportunity right now to connect with families exactly where they are. In a LinkedIn survey, over 68% of men and women indicated that they’ve found it challenging to keep their children occupied while at home, and 59% of women and 47% of men indicated that they’ve found it difficult to focus on work with their kids at home. You can use this current moment to address parents’ specific pain points and make family life better this fall.

We’ve identified the major pain points parents are experiencing right now:

  1. They’re balancing a lot at once in a small space
  2. They’re fatigued from a quarantined summer entertaining their family
  3. They’re struggling to provide their children with a remote education amidst uncertainty

So how can your brand resolve those pain points, relieve parents’ stress, and secure brand loyalty?

Read next: What These 3 Gen Z Consumer Habits During the Pandemic Mean For Your Brand

Refuel can help brands connect directly with parents

With all the uncertainty about school reopenings, we’ve seen success in pivoting marketing campaigns from within school walls to direct 1:1 parents of students targeting via their inbox and social media feeds. We’re able to directly reach 29 million parents of K-12 students with precision data lead marketing.

Refuel’s “Making Family Life Better” program is designed to include the opportunity for your brand to deliver family fun activities, recipes, games, workshop ideas, coupons, and tips directly to parents. We host branded microsites that parents can access to download branded activity sheets and promotional materials. Right now, they’re hungry for content and activities to give their family an enjoyable night off from the stress everyone is under day-to-day.

At Refuel, we’re able to directly reach 29 million parents of K-12 students with a targeted omnichannel marketing strategy. This precision parent targeting lands your fall campaigns directly in front of parents through integrated email with social extension. 

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your brand make an impact this fall.