Hello and welcome aboard this week’s blog, it is going to be somewhat of a whistlestop tour on seasonal marketing so I will keep my points brief and to the…eh, well, point. So without further ado, if you are sitting comfortably, I shall begin.Every business, no matter what you do or sell, is going to have a particularly busy time of year so the first thing to do is to establish the ‘seasons’ applicable to you. Of course the calendar states there are four seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter, but is your
business/industry dictated to by these or can you break it down further to maximise performance? E.g. The health industry is a 365 one with peaks in gym memberships likely round about summertime and pre and post Christmas. But what about national ‘No Smoking Day’, surely this is a prime opportunity to grab some new gym bunnies?
If you are lucky enough to have an annual business, like a flower shop, that can and will be used for so many different occasions then you need to think about changing your message to coincide with events like Mother’s Day and graduation to keep your marketing as fresh as a daisy.
This takes me on to your product, is it seasonal or all year round? Does it change season to season and if so how can you maximise your opportunity to sell? E.g. I know that living in
the U.K. we get more than our fair share of rain so no hardened Brit should be without a pair of wellies. But try and find these in most shops other than at autumn time and you could be setting yourself up for a challenge. Put a different spin on it and think out of the box, are these not the ideal footwear for festivals or weeding your salad bed down the allotment? I think so. N.B. By not even making a mere mention of autumn in these two examples and showing customers how the product can adapt you have immediately doubled the seasonality of the product.
Besides seasons and annual events, there are a lot of things that a business will need to take into account when planning marketing activity, here are just a few things to watch out for:
Stock availability – this will involve advance planning
New customers – do you have the means to cope with an influx and future marketing to them?
Public/bank holidays for deliveries and response to campaigns. You can do a test to see whether these occasions are ideal or not for special promotions.
Weather for delivery – Add a proviso to your website to appease your customers
Local events for stock, new customers, staff levels – are these going to bring a deluge of customers?
Don’t sell what you want to and because you think it’s the right time to do so…what do your customers want?
To do these you will of course need to know your customers and area, this is very important! Get a big, imposing calendar and mark on it all events etc. that are happening in your customer base area; that should keep you right.
It is worth checking previous years’ activity, performance and reviews to see what worked well and then you have a good starting point to replicate or amend your new planned activity.
Also you should stagger your marketing activity in order to stagger the rate of response to give yourself the best chance to fulfil your customers’ expectations and give the best service possible. This will also help you achieve weekly budget targets as well as overall targets and give you a better idea of the right ‘time’ to do things.
What do your competitors do? How seasonal are they? How can you be more season specific and gain an advantage over your competitors? Try responding more to specific sub seasons, for example, the start of summer vs the end of summer.
And finally, use the seasons to your advantage to give your creative and message a refresh. Change the tone of your communication and images according to different seasons as believe it or not, peoples’ moods change when the sun comes out or the nights get longer. This will automatically give you the perfect opportunities to “spring clean” and change direction without seemingly doing so unnaturally.
These points may seem like I am stating the obvious, but in this day and age, you can’t afford to miss a trick…or treat when it comes your way. Well, after that information overload I feel it’s only fair that next week I focus on one thing and that thing will be copy and how you can adapt it to get the best results.