Summer is a notoriously slow time for business. Consumers are either saving up in expectation of having to spend more at the start of the new fiscal year, or just not around as they jet away to their vacation destinations.
The summer slump can severely impact a company’s profits if not adequately addressed by its marketing department. But how can a company get its customers’ attention during the dog days of summer? To help, 13 members of Forbes Agency Council discuss how a company can market itself most efficiently during the summer, for maximum exposure during this traditionally slow time.
1. Entice With Promos And Special Offers
Sales often tank due to the summer slowdown. While you don’t want to cheapen your brand, July and August are a good time to grab a hold of your customers’ attention with compelling offers (there’s likely a reason Amazon’s Prime Days are in late July!). Think timely, sales-driven marketing. Perhaps it’s moving an older product with a screaming deal, or holding an “anniversary event” with offers. – Carm Lyman, Lyman Agency
2. Fish Where The Fish Are
It’s true that during the summer, many people are on vacation. Agencies should recognize this and shift budget from traditional channels like Google search to social media campaigns. When people are on vacation, they are constantly posting on Facebook and Instagram. Give your content some engaging summer visuals and cast your line. Consumers are more apt to purchase when they are relaxed. – T. Maxwell, eMaximize
3. Develop A Summer Journey Campaign
Get consumers engaged before the summer. Depending on your product, develop a summer journey campaign, with the payoff in the fall. Create a “share your best summer experiences” contest and give them reasons to follow throughout the summer. Build your biggest sales in the off-season or start a new loyalty program for them to get excited about. Consumers still spend money in the summer. – Pat Fiore, FIORE
4. Make It Relevant To Them
The best way to look at this would be: How does your product or service benefit them during this time? Social media would be a great place to advertise, as, during leisure time, more people will be interacting with leisure apps (Facebook, Instagram, etc). But don’t be pushy. Remember, “the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing,” as Tom Fishburne said. – David Kley, Web Design and Company
5. Dominate The Drive
Drive time increases over the summer thanks to road trips and vacations, beach traffic and increased leisure time. Traditional and streaming radio, as well as podcast advertising, is a great tactic for high-frequency awareness campaigns. Capture the “theater of the mind” with memorable spots that entertain and delight the masses as their odometers increase over the summer. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing + Partnerships
6. Focus On Organic Digital Marketing Strategies
From a digital marketing standpoint, if my client is in a down season, I’m slowly switching my approach from paid and organic to solely organic. I’m trying to boost my SEO and my reach so when the season ends, I’m going to be getting more clicks, conversions, and traffic for cheaper. I will then switch back to both organic and paid after summer. – JC Hite, Hite Digital
7. Leverage Influencer Marketing
Summer is actually a great time to focus on influencer marketing. With more downtime, consumers may spend more time on social media and, in turn, more time engaging with influencers. Brands should adapt their content to what interests their audience at this time, namely summer, vacation and relaxation. Whether at the beach or in the backyard, wherever consumers go, social media follows. – Maria Sipka, Linqia
8. Alter The Channel Mix And Imagery
During summer vacation season it’s time to consider rebalancing your social channel distribution. Given the visual and more social nature of Facebook and Instagram, now is the time to experiment on these channels both in volume and visual style. Your audience is not leaving social media channels, but are likely to spend more time on casual ones. – A. Lee Judge, Content Monsta
9. Refocus On Field-Based Marketing
Summer is the perfect time to refocus on field-based marketing. Brands that integrate into the events and memories their consumers seek during the summer months not only make an effective use of marketing dollars, but also strengthen the elusive emotional connection they seek to develop with their target audiences. – Kimberly Tane Miller, Ink Link Marketing LLC
10. Use Mobile Advertising
While people may be taking a break from work and their desktops, they are not leaving their phones behind. Increased efforts around paid media support for mobile apps or even mobile website-based advertising should be a priority. – Michael Hubbard, Media Two Interactive
11. Build Stronger Relationships
Surprisingly, the summer months can be a good time to reach important prospects. Many people have more downtime during summer, and that means they may be more likely to pay attention to your campaigns. While I don’t recommend launching your biggest campaigns in the summer, unless you have a very good reason, it can also be a time to build new or stronger relationships with prospects. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.
12. Increase Your Social Media Focus
While everyone is on vacation, they all have access to their phones. Ramping up your social media is always a grand idea in the summer. Everyone is on social media to see what people are doing in the summer, so get their attention on these platforms with fresh creative twists. – Cagan Sean Yuksel, GRAFX CO.
13. Catch Up On Your To-Do List
I bet you have a folder somewhere of projects or improvements for the company that you’ve been meaning to get to. Why not now? If summer traffic is down, take advantage of the space. Update the website. Rework your sales funnels. Yeah, we’ve got to make money, but if the fish aren’t biting, then invest in processes or strategies that will make the busy season that much more effective. – Jessica Gonzalez, InCharged