With summer on its way, everyone's attention is turning the prospect of some downtime. For B2C marketers, it makes sense to take advantage of this preoccupation with a seasonal campaign. Here's what you should know about marketing with a summer focus.
What does summer mean to consumers?
Making the most of summer means more than just putting a picture of an ice cream on your mailer.
Nearly half of us associate summer with relaxation, according to a Facebook survey on what summer meant to people from 21 countries. However, the data shows that during the summer months our Facebook conversations are more about our activities (such as swimming, eating or hiking) than relaxing. Brands need to strike a balance with marketing that acknowledges both these approaches to summer.
Another aspect of summer is the lead-in to the following school year, which for many businesses is a huge sales period. Vyoma Kapur of Marketo points out that back-to-school shopping can start a couple of months before classes begin, so it's worth considering as a part of your summer promotions.
Three tips for a summer campaign
To really make the most of summer-based marketing you'll need to do more than just put a picture of an ice cream on your mailer, or describe your sale as 'scorching'. Small business specialist Marcia Layton Turner offers the following suggestions for how you can create a summer campaign that really engages its audience:
- Share and share alike. Ask customers to share photos of themselves enjoying your products, or offer a special promotion to people who use your hashtag as they document their summer fun. This builds engagement with your brand, and gets your customers to do some of the marketing work for you.
- Offer a limited edition product for the summer. This won't be appropriate for every business, but if you make something that has a particular use or appeal over the warmer months, make the most of that with a special version that's only available briefly.
- Get outside. Summer is the season of outdoor concerts, festivals, and markets. Many of these offer retailers the chance to set up a stall and sell to the audience directly, but they're also a good opportunity for you to get your promotional materials in front of a larger audience. Distribute flyers or coupons to encourage later sales and link your brand with a fun experience for the customer.
Summer doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. For some demographics it's parties and barbecues, for others it's getting the kids ready for the coming school year. Knowing your target demographic is key to any successful campaign, even when your focus is on a season or event. As you plan your summer marketing, talk to us here at The Prospect Shop about how our targeted mailing lists can help you reach the right audience.