If you’re like many retailers, the thought of summer conjures visions of an empty store and a slump in sales. But the change in season—be it spring, summer, winter, or fall—should instead be viewed as new opportunities for your business to thrive.
Sure, each season brings with it a change in consumer behavior that presents new challenges for your marketing efforts. And depending on your industry, some season’s may not be the most beneficial for your business. But if you’re creative, you can make every season profitable, even if you only bring in a small amount of cash.
The key is to research the numerous holidays, events, and activities in each season to determine the ones that will align best with your business, products and/or services.
Let’s take a look at some helpful tips that can heat up your summer marketing strategies:
Hot Summer Marketing Strategies
As the weather warms up, people spend more and more time outside. Parks, beaches, and outdoor events become popular destinations after people have been stuck indoors all winter long. Unfortunately, that can translate to fewer consumers shopping in your store, depending on your business type.
But as Kraus Marketing says, “Businesses should not be put-off by this potential lower revenue in sales. Instead, they should use the slower pace to create new, unique marketing tactics to adapt to the season change.”
For example, if your store tends to lose traffic during the warmer months, you could use the summer weather to your advantage by hosting a “beat the heat” event. Serve popsicles or snow cones, or hand out ice cold water bottles embellished with your business logo. Not only will people appreciate your efforts to make them more comfortable, but you might even gain a few more customers in the process.
Don’t forget to use your storefront to expand your summer marketing opportunities. Business.com suggests advertising sales with fun chalk designs on the sidewalk or setting up a tent outside to display your products and/or services to those walking by.
Additionally, take advantage of lesser-known national holidays, such as National S’mores Day and Shark Awareness Day. “No matter what kind of products or services your brand offers, there is a way to make them relevant to Shark Week,” says Business.com. “Whether you incorporate the ocean, a fin, or the whole shark, a little creativity will help you turn the day into a profitable sales event.”
Other summer marketing strategies include carrying limited edition products for the summer (like Starbucks did with Lilly Pulitzer water bottles), partnering with other businesses to host combined sales or events, and holding raffles or contests.
Whether you sell products that make summer happier or better in some way for customers, or you invest in marketing that will help you reconnect with your audience, the prospects for keeping your POS humming during the summer are better than you think.
Use the Right Channels For Summer Marketing
With thoughts of blue skies, sunny days and warmer weather influencing consumer buying behavior as summer approaches, it’s time to use this seasonal shift as an incentive to connect with new audiences and/or reconnect with consumers who have been in hibernation mode, suggests Event Marketing Strategies.
When planning your company’s summer marketing strategies, you’ll need to consider what mobile marketing campaigns, social media contests, or other engagement tactics should coincide with the warm weather, and how to maximize the impact of these methods.
“Face-to-face marketing and consumer engagement will soar as fairs, festivals, sporting events and concerts dominate the outdoor scene. This landscape provides companies with a myriad of options of how to ultimately reach their end users, and through what medium.”
Source: Event Marketing Strategies
By using seasonally relevant marketing channels you’ll be able to reach audiences in a way that traditional marketing (print, television, etc.) simply can’t. Take the example of a collaboration between Corona Light and a Columbus-based bar that attracts hundreds of consumers to its outdoor patio.
Corona Light was sponsoring a Cancun Spring Break Giveaway, while also trying to increase beverage sales in the local market. With the help of Event Marketing Strategies, the company generated a social media strategy that encouraged contest followers to post their favorite vacation spot photos online using the branded hashtag #cancunwithcoronalight. Targeted event nights—such as “College Night Wednesdays”—were also held at the bar to leverage the promotion and generate excitement.
By connecting the warm weather beverage and destination bar, as well as promoting a Spring Break contest relevant to this partnership, an effective integrated marketing campaign was created that capitalized on the summer season, cleverly connecting a product to new and loyal consumers alike.
“No matter where your audience goes during the summer, they will probably still be on social media,” says Kraus Marketing. “They will still be taking photos, uploading videos, sharing links, and displaying their summer adventures.”
“When developing a content strategy for the summer months, you should utilize social media sites that put great emphasis on visual and video content; for instance, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Since your audience is out and about, they are less likely to read content such as a blog post. Instead, they are more likely to watch a video or look at a picture since it requires less effort.”
Source: Kraus Marketing
Along those lines, it’s important to make sure your website is built on a mobile responsive platform. That way, viewers will be able to easily access and properly review content on all your marketing channels while they’re relaxing at the park, playing at the beach, or attending outdoor events.
If you’re one of the many industries that experience seasonality in their business, you know that the summer slump can present some unique challenges.
Whether consumers and prospects are on vacation and aren’t focusing on purchasing new products, or your business budget is getting reshuffled, you might feel that your sales are behind schedule at this point in the year.
But as HubSpot points out, “Just because slumps are frustrating doesn’t mean they’ll be fatal to your numbers. There are many ways you can overcome straggling activity.”
With a little creativity, you can come up with endless seasonal marketing strategy ideas, like the ones listed above, to beat the summer slump, stay motivated, and keep money coming through your doors.
Also published on Medium.