Summer, summer, summertime!
While different businesses experience different things during the summer, one thing that’s certain for every business is summer marketing and customer buying patterns are going to be different than they are the rest of the year.
Sales might escalate.
They might decline.
But they will alter.
And both changes, whether an increase or decrease in sales, affect your organization and the communications around it.
Which means as communications pros, we need to lead the ship when it comes to summer marketing, customer acquisition, conversion, and customer service for our clients and/or organization.
Here are a few ways to do just that.
Summer Time Means Mobile Time
Awareness around how your customers use mobile is crucial for any communications plan in today’s world.
But summer puts your mobile strategy to the test.
Customers rely on mobile during this season more than ever.
They’ll be out and about, on vacation, at the beach, and entertaining school-free children.
This means often the only way you’ll be able to reach, communicate, or sell to them is through mobile.
Search, Social, Email
There are three main ways customers use mobile to make purchase decisions:
Use all three of these in an integrated manner to anticipate customer’s needs and make it easy for them to search, find, and buy what they need.
Statistica smartphone app usage statistics show:
- Youtube as the most used app with 81.9%
- Facebook with 75.7%
- Google search with 68.9%
- Google maps at 63.6%
- Facebook messenger at 61.5%
- Gmail with 57%
Notice how two companies own the top six apps.
I’m guessing Instagram and Instagram Stories (another Facebook company), will be in there soon, as well.
Use all three areas to stay in front of customers during your summer marketing.
- Search: 75% of smartphone owners turn to search first to address their immediate needs. Which means you need to build and optimize the content which does just that. Check out The Communicator’s Playbook to see how.
- Social: Use social, specifically those channels used frequently on mobile Instagram and Instagram stories.
- YouTube was America’s’ favorite mobile app in 2018, so now’s the time to build videos that answer questions, provide tutorials, and respond to potential problems, if you haven’t already. (Upload one version to YouTube and one natively to Facebook or Instagram.)
- Email: We read about half our emails on mobile. Use it to provide easy, digestible content and sales.
Life’s a Beach When You Use Data
In addition to industry data and trends, look at your own data.
Dig into your analytics to determine how things change for your business and customer behavior over the summer months.
If you are just starting out, use this year’s summer marketing strategy as a very well documented experiment you can learn from for next year.
Consider Tourists and Vacationers
My home state, Maine, is a good example of how businesses change everything from hours to product lines during the summer.
Maine is a BIG time summer tourist destination.
Which causes businesses to adapt pretty significantly from May through November.
All the stores (especially those near cruise ships ports) stock themselves with lobster-themed items.
There are lobster dog collars, lobster shot glasses, even expensive lobster jewelry.
Haddock hot dogs and lobster rolls abound.
Stores have special hours and everyone hires heavy and staffs broadly.
Most businesses know they have these months to make the majority of their revenue and they milk it for all it’s worth.
Consider your location and your product and/or service when deciding how (or if) you want to target vacationers or tourists.
This includes their pre-, intra-, and post-vacation spending.
Likewise, your digital strategy needs to consider vacations and tourists.
According to Adweek, 85% of travelers use mobile devices to book travel activities.
This means if you want any part of the tourism market share, you need to be mobile ready for these buyers.
Deck The Halls with Summer Holidays
Holidays abound in the summer.
When we think about holiday marketing, we often focus only on the winter.
But summer holidays can actually offer more opportunities for smart brands, especially if they leverage creative, strategic, and summer-focused approaches to get in front of consumers.
Here in the States, we have Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, graduation, weddings, Father’s Day, and Back-to-School.
This means marketers have a number of great opportunities to stay in front of busy, summer-focused consumers.
The great thing about summer holidays is they are ambiguous and neutral enough that any brand, no matter if they are B2B, B2C, product, or consumer-focused, can find a clever and creative way to leverage it.
And not in an internet marketing “it’s my birthday and that means savings for you” roll your eyes type of way.
In clever and strategic ways that make sense to your brand and your customers.
According to the National Retail Foundation, here are some fun facts around spending for each of these summer holidays:
- Father’s Day: $16 billion expected in 2019
- Graduation: $5.5 billion spent last year
- Independence Day: $75.35 per person was spent on food alone in 2018
- Back-to-School: $82.8 billion forecasted for spending on grades K-12 and college in 2018
All the holidays linked above connect to comprehensive breakdowns on NRF’s site.
You’ll find a lot of super useful insights around consumer spending for all of these holidays, which can help you formulate your own unique plan.
Summer Marketing for DIY Projects
Summer is the time where everyone starts (and sometimes finishes) those projects they’ve been putting off all year.
Whether it’s home repair, self-repair (aka professional development), or more creative projects, there might be an opportunity for your brand to grab the attention of a summer DIY-er.
Be a Good Neighbor
People are out and about more and involved in the community.
This means you have some great opportunities to do the same:
- Sponsor a Little League team
- Donate some samples to the neighborhood picnic
- Attend parades and events
Be in and with your community.
Your Summer Marketing Successes
And now it’s your turn!
What have you done during the summer months to keep your organization’s or client’s revenue sizzling?