What marketers should do during the summer months.
“The problem with summer and business is that nothing gets done. [..] When you need approval from finances, the go-to person is on vacation. And when they’re back, the IT guy decides to take his two weeks off…”
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Don’t think that this article was written strictly for “marketers”. It is for anyone that is responsible for marketing a business.
What should marketers do during the summer months? Besides taking a vacation… Marketers should really take advantage of the “downtime” during the summer months to get things in gear for the fall.
Of course for some businesses, summer is a peak season. This article lies on the assumption that it isn’t. However, the principles apply to any seasonal business. So, if you’re in landscaping, then you should take the winter months to do the same things.
Plan for the fall.
The problem with summer and business is that nothing gets done. This is especially true for large organizations. When you need approval from finances, the go-to person is on vacation. And when they’re back, the IT guy decides to take his two weeks off… That’s why summer is THE best time to plan marketing. So, take the time to figure out what needs to be done for the fall and plan accordingly. This way, the plan can be executed efficiently when everyone’s back from vacation.
The best way to drum up business during the off-season months is to advertise. Your objective may be to remind customers, or remain more top-of-mind than the competition.
Often, companies will offer promotional prices, or special rates, to incentivize purchases and reward proactive clients for purchasing products in their off-season or pre-ordering services. Think of how a snow removal company might offer discount prices for clients that sign up during the summer.
"Advertising during seemingly off-season months can be an effective way to increase business, or even double it."
In any case, vacation time shouldn’t just be for planning upcoming marketing campaigns. Coca-Cola managed to turn a refreshing summer soda into Santa Claus’ signature beverage too. Advertising during seemingly off-season months can be an effective way to increase business, or even double it.
Conduct market research.
Let’s face it, if you’re doing any online marketing these days, then you already have an abundance of market research information. But web analytics and social media insights are too broad and shouldn’t be the only research you rely on.
What price will optimize my revenue? How satisfactory is my service? How does the market perceive my brand? Sometimes a good old-fashioned survey and some basic statistical analysis is needed to answer specific marketing questions. Summer is a great time to collect additional market research information. So, it can be a good time to administer a questionnaire, organize a focus group, or meta-analyse research reports. These activities can uncover pivotal marketing information and inspire new marketing ideas.
Organize a rebrand.
A great time to launch a rebrand is at the beginning of the fall. Maybe because there is something about going back to school that people associate with a fresh new look. It turns out that the best time to plan a rebrand is during the summer months.
A rebrand is basically a new logo and that sounds like a relatively easy thing to pull off, right? Wrong. It starts with a new logo, but this design revision touches just about everything else. Business cards, website, social media, brochures, letterheads, uniforms, menus, product packaging, signage, advertising… EVERYTHING must also reflect this refresh. It is best practice to coordinate the launch of all of these brand elements. As such, a simple change in theory, is a rigorous exercise for any marketer in reality.
Take the time…
In your off season, just take the time. To what? You figure it out! Some need to take a break and go on a well-deserved vacation. Others might take a training course to fine tune their skill. Whatever the case may be, take the time to do what’s right for you.
From a business and marketing perspective, you could take the time to try new things. For example, experiment using a new system or try a new marketing platform. I guess this would follow some of the points I made earlier about planning and doing market research.
The last thing you want to do in marketing is fall behind. And this can happen quicker than you think at the rate that technology is moving. So, take the time to remain current and get familiar with the latest marketing innovations. I heard that virtual reality is awesome! Maybe you should learn about the marketing potential of that platform. Take the time.
Summer, or any seasonal slump, is the perfect time for marketers to regroup and reassess their efforts. There’s really no better time to conduct market research and plan for when business picks up again. At the same time, you should continue to market during the summer months to remain top-of-mind, or reduce the seasonality of sales demand. If you think it’s time to rebrand, then there’s no better time to organize its execution than in the summer months. Finally, take the time to do things that you normally wouldn’t do during the humdrum months, like learn a new marketing program, attend marketing seminars, or take a well-deserved break!
Meet the author.
Meet Fortified Marketing's founder and lead marketing consultant. Taro loves reading fascinating articles on various marketing-related subjects, just as much as he enjoys writing about them. When he isn’t savouring a latte while working on his newest blog post, he can be found at a coffee shop in Ottawa's Little Italy, or marathoning shows and documentaries on Netflix.
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