Seasonal marketing is one of the most natural elements to leverage in a campaign. Summer serves as a perfect example, but as summer starts winding down and we’re entering fall, some businesses are slow to change gears.
You need to adopt a different mindset when transitioning your marketing between summer and fall. At the end of the summer, you should take stock of your goals and set new ones for your fall marketing, while making sure your approach reflects current realities and challenges.
Thirteen experts from Forbes Agency Council discuss how a business can transition between the summer and fall advertising periods, and offer tips on how to make that transition more seamless.
1. Don’t Be Tone-Deaf
When it comes to marketing, particularly during our current global pandemic, one mistake a lot of companies make is they don’t pay attention to or address what people are dealing with. Instead, they simply push their marketing agenda, which is not a good look. – Drew Gerber, Wasabi Publicity, Inc.
2. Build Brand Awareness Early
Start building brand awareness earlier than you think. Brands look to quickly scale revenue in the fall. Strong response rates driven by enticing offers mean that brands can acquire more customers efficiently. It’s imperative that brands have large brand-aware audiences to enable success and drive the scale they’re looking for. – Samir Balwani, Methods & Metrics
3. Plan In Increments
Be agile. When it comes to your fall marketing efforts, plan in short increments of time so you can be nimble, allowing quick adaptation and optimization. We are hardly out of the woods with the pandemic, so having a contingency plan should we go back to lockdown is critical. – Laura Cole, Vivial
4. Leave Room For Ad-Hoc Messaging
Always leave room for ad-hoc moments and messaging. Today’s world is ever-changing, and you want to stay relevant at all times. Create values and a purpose that is long term/evergreen, play with seasonality, but also leave that wiggle room to tap into current conversations and culture. The social media landscape is perfect for that. – Maddie Raedts, IMA – Influencer Marketing Agency
5. Make Sure You Have The Bandwidth
Bandwidth, bandwidth, bandwidth! Customer experience is always important but with likely significant increases in online activity, be sure that your website can handle increased traffic and purchases, beef up customer service including plans to support customers from home (do your employees have access to the tech and high-speed internet?), and — as always — have your marketing plan laid out in advance. – Chris Graham, Graham Advisory Network Inc.
6. Approach Each Campaign Individually
Make sure to approach each campaign as its own entity, regardless of its seasonality. The time of year isn’t the only thing that changes from campaign to campaign, especially in the times that we are currently living through. Every changing circumstance needs to be in consideration during the preparation stage. – Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO
7. Plan Media In Advance
This fall will bring many changes such as a crowded political media marketplace and consumers who are navigating a nontraditional back-to-school season. Planning media in advance will be more important than ever to ensure you stay present in the consumer’s mind. As the marketing landscape continues to shift, businesses need to be agile to quickly adjust to a changing landscape and consumer needs. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC
8. Adapt Your Purchasing Infrastructure
With COVID-19, consumer buying behaviors have changed dramatically. The mistake businesses may make is thinking that their customers will be purchasing from them in the same way and for the same reasons as before. One remedy is to adapt your purchasing infrastructure to be digitally focused based on specific customer behavioral patterns. – Roger Hurni, Off Madison Ave
9. Make Sure The Content Is Posted Early
If you plan to add seasonal content to your website, make sure it’s in place and indexable (meaning it can be found by Google) before starting your promotion. Manual indexing can take up to four weeks, and while it is possible to speed up the process by requesting indexing directly from Google, it still doesn’t guarantee new pages will show up immediately. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions
10. Keep Up With Current Trends
Be cognizant of the trends that are currently happening in these unprecedented times and be prepared to pivot your fall campaigns a few times. What you may think will work one week could potentially change based on what is happening in the world. The “new normal” is changing and marketing needs to change with that. – Warren Jolly, AdQuadrant
11. Be Clear On Past Successes And Failures
Be clear on the successes and failures of the year before and revisit the audience they are targeting to measure changes in attitudes and behaviors, new technologies and competitive values. Things change and agencies need to be on top of and ahead of those changes so they can help their clients be ahead and in sync with the shifts so they will be relevant to their target audience. – Pat Fiore, FIORE
12. Remember Not All Audiences Are The Same
It’s important to remember that not all your audiences are the same. There are some people that don’t know much about your business and others that adore your brand. Create marketing that captures interest from new prospects and also campaigns that provide rewards for your most loyal customers. – Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint
13. Reconsider Your Back-To-School Campaign
Think carefully before running the traditional back-to-school-themed campaign creative which may no longer resonate with your customers. School will not look the same for anyone this year, and many parents are keeping their kids at home for virtual learning or homeschooling. Some brands have already embraced this shift with “back to learning” messaging instead of “back to school.” – Keri Witman, Clever Lucy