The first day of spring (the crowd roars) is Monday, March 20. While there will be chores on the home front such as planting the garden, the obligatory spring closet cleaning, and maybe a well-deserved vacation, business owners and managers can benefit from conducting various spring marketing tasks now that could bolster business in the coming months.
Whether your business is located in an area where the snow is still piled high or where your customers are already showing up at your restaurant or retail store in flip-flops, setting time aside to analyze the first quarter and think creatively about the approaching warmer weather — and the opportunities that may bring — will help your business get noticed and subsequently stay on track to reach its annual revenue goals.
Seasonal events present different opportunities for different business types. There are many special events and celebrations that take place over the next few months, such as St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and more.
The Hubspot blog “How to Plan a Seasonal marketing Campaign: A 5-Step Guide” provides five tips to help guide you through this process. So put your feet up, maybe if you are lucky while sitting on the back deck enjoying the sun after a long winter, and let’s get started with these five marketing strategy examples.
#1: Choose a seasonal business opportunity
It’s important to be strategic. Be thoughtful with the objective of engaging your audience. During this step, audit existing seasonal marketing campaigns. Is the spring clearance sale you have every year a big money maker, or barely worth the effort? This type of analysis will make it easier for you to uncover ideas for the event and the campaign. If you are considering a new event or sale at your place of business, ask for outside opinions from customers and from people in your community. During this process, you could consider partner vendors or local sponsorships. Once you have selected one or several activities, some research may be in order to fully capitalize on that.
#2: Nail down the messaging
Now that your spring seasonal opportunity has been selected, the vitally important marketing campaign and messaging will be established. During this process, consider the customer journey and the story you want to tell, the emotions you want to evoke in your audience, and a call-to-action or the desired next steps you want to encourage. This is the time to get down to the nitty-gritty details. Consult a trusted source such as an advertising agency, local media company or other expert if needed.
#3: Establish a schedule
Timing is everything. (And beautiful weather on the Saturday of your parking lot sale doesn’t hurt, either!) This process entails scheduling out all the details of your event or activity as well as preparing and planning for each stage of the marketing and advertising campaign. How much staff will you need? What vendors will be involved? Also, when considering the campaign, think again about your audience. When is the best time to reach them? How will they engage?
#4: Organize your assets
This is when you will consider all marketing platforms and what services you are currently using. Be sure to analyze what is working well, what isn’t, and how you can improve. Don’t be surprised if the list is large! This can include: social media, email newsletters or blasts, print and online advertising, local television and radio advertising, press releases, blogging, refreshing your website and more. Have you considering trying a new platform? Analyze the possibilities and determine the best fit for your business within your budget.
#5: Report and remain agile
You’re off to the races. Understanding your special event may be a few days away or that weeklong spring sale has officially started, make a commitment to pay attention to the marketing campaigns you’ve put so much work into. Is the foot traffic in your store or the activity on your website or social media page what you expected? Make alterations to the original plan if needed to see the results you desire.
With solid preplanning, creative thinking and an optimistic attitude, planning a seasonal event or overall marketing strategy can provide business owners like you the chance to connect with loyal customers, open the door to new customers, boost awareness and visibility of your business in the community and increase sales. Once you’ve successfully completed the spring effort, consider conducting a seasonal review each quarter for optimal success.