It's that time of year again. Backpacks are filled with supplies. Clothes are tried on for size. Pencils are sharpened. School is in session. And retailers have scrambled to get onto back-to-school shopping lists to claim their portion of the billions spent annually during this season.

Back-to-school shopping reached a whopping $72.5 billion in 2013, making it the second largest spending season of the year, surpassed only by the winter holidays.

Even though school just started, don't take down those back-to-school signs just yet! Today's youth, Generation Z, has defined new parameters for the back-to-school season, stretching it weeks past its traditional stopping point as they scope out top styles before making their purchases. So... there's still work to be done.

You have some extra time, but how do you take advantage of it? Here are five ways to secure your spot on Mom's back-to-school list.

1. Focus on the students

While parents hold the purse strings, and make the ultimate purchase decisions, the "Pester Power" of Gen Z cannot be ignored.

Persistence is the top tactic Gen Z uses when attempting to convince parents to buy them something, according to a recent survey we conducted of 1,000 parents of 8-14-year-olds. Over 60% of parents admitted that their children continued to ask for items well past the initial "no."

All of thiat begging works. In fact one-third of parents admit that their children "are extremely influential" on household purchases large and small. It is so influential that the persistence of Gen Z influences $150 billion in annual spending (POPAI: "Tweens 'R Shoppers: A Look at the Tween Market & Shopping Behavior.")

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Tim McMullen

Tim McMullen is founder and CEO of redpepper, an integrated ad agency that produces creative content and marketing promotions for brands.

Twitter: @timmcmullen

LinkedIn: Tim McMullen