Wow – we’ve made it – summer’s here! Long gone are the days of wind, rain, sleet and other nasties winter threw at us. We’re clear now and heading for long, relaxing days in the sun (hopefully, I live in Ireland).
Now, whilst we all have an extra big smile on our face, when it comes to marketing, many think this time of year is slow. With people heading off on holiday, seeing family/friends, or just taking time out from work, SME’s can hold off developing marketing because everyone is down the beach.
Well think again.
Yes, summer can be a slump for many businesses. But if you think smart, and use the sunny months to your advantage, you can gain extra customer interaction and see sales increase too.
To help you make the most of summer marketing for your business, I’ve prepared six tips which you can action straight away:
1. Compete with a competition: Summer has lots of themes which you can turn into memorable marketing campaigns with clever thinking and great design. There’s the beach, sun, meeting friends/family, BBQs, festivals, holidays, relaxing, the list goes on. So use one of these angles and run a competition through social media and web.
Perhaps you could ask customers for their favourite BBQ food, best holiday location or most memorable family moment. Get them to upload content to social media to win a prize. Interact with everyone, encourage engagement and you’ll have a campaign that’s cost-effective, and create lots of positive vibes.
And make sure your design stands out. Use online tools like Canva to give your imagery a professional and eye-catching look.
2. Window to the world: Do you have a High Street shop? If so, summer is an opportunity not to be missed when it comes to dressing your window. This is the first impression customers have, and also, passing traffic will notice you, so start getting summer themed!
Just stripping back your entire window and hanging beach balls, perhaps coloured in your brand, would look simple and eye-catching.
Or what about this if you’re feeling brave and have a clothing store. Hire models (yes, real people!) to stand in the window, dressed in your summer outfits. The engagement not just from customers would be incredible, and put your business ahead of competitors.
3. Everyone likes a freebie: Whether it’s a discount, free voucher, or gift – everyone likes getting something unexpected and free. So why not try running a summer campaign to highlight specific products with a 20 per cent discount? Or if you’re a pharmacy, you could include a free beach towel with sun cream purchases. Maybe you’re a hotel and could invent a summer cocktail free with every meal.
There are lots of ideas which you can develop. Just keep in mind what best reflects your business, make it fun, tangible and you’ll encourage interaction.
4. Get out there and join them: Summer is the perfect opportunity to leave behind your office or shop, and mix with your customers. So research suitable events, festivals or concerts aligned with your brand and take a stand. You’ll meet customers face to face, and have a valuable opportunity to talk about your brand to a new audience.
5. Get a partner: Teaming up with a company that marries well with yours can be a great way to combine marketing efforts, and really get your summer going.
Here’s an example. Take a motor garage that’s selling a new line in convertible cars. Why not partner with a top-end hotel and offer a chance to win a two-night stay, when someone test drives a car? The two companies are not competitors, but reflect quality and aspiration. You’ll then have two businesses driving the marketing (nasty joke, sorry) and get to engage with a different audience.
6. Summer’s for you, too: Whilst you’re busy thinking of ideas to attract customers, don’t forget that summer is a great time to reconnect with employees. You could throw a BBQ, meet down the beach, or yoga in the park. There are plenty of ways to say “thank you” to the team and boost morale. And what better than sitting in the sun, chatting with a beer in your hand?
Summer is one of the most exciting times of the year. So make the most of the positivity out there, the vibrant themes that summer brings, to create a marketing campaign that can boost your sales in a slow time of year.
You can also try new marketing tactics too, and if they work, use later on in your marketing plan.
Last of all, enjoy it, have fun – and you’ll reap the rewards – and don’t burn the sausages!