Summer is a strange time for marketers. Depending on your industry, consumer demand might be low as people go on vacation and avert their eyes from typical channels.
That doesn't mean there is no opportunity, however. Whether it's recalibrating, bidding for low-cost media buys, or ramping up investments in some channels while tapering down others, marketers have significant options available to them.
Andrei Utkin, chief marketing officer for small business insurance company Insureon, spoke with Business News Daily about how marketers can leverage the summer lulls to best adapt their marketing strategies.
Business News Daily: What are the general marketing trends through the summer season?
Andrei Utkin: One thing that's very important for marketers to do in their career at a given company is to understand seasonality and how their audience's demand fluctuates. For retail, summer might be a quiet time of year … but in my experience, in the financial services industry, summer is a time of high demand. Just because you see people taking time off and going on vacation doesn't mean you have no opportunity to sell to them.
BND: What about the supply side? What should marketers be doing internally?
Utkin: There's an opportunity because prices could be lower … and summer is a time to negotiate better prices. Bidding is often lowered on paid media or paid search .... especially compared to the late fall market. That's when media channels tend to get saturated with Christmas shopping and all that stuff. So, I definitely see summer as an opportunity as opposed to a slow season.
BND: How else should entrepreneurs respond during the summer months?
Utkin: My first suggestion is to know your seasonality and your audience's shopping behavior. The second thing is, in terms of getting ready, planning in advance. Take advantage of the relatively lower cost of media; try to go directly to major publishers and negotiate direct deals that could be beneficial. Drive a bigger discount than normal.
Even if you are in an industry where the shopping season is low, think creatively about which channels you can leverage. People are consuming less media because they are traveling, but it's a good time to leverage social. People are reading less news … but they're traveling, so they tend to use Facebook and Instagram. Shift your strategy to channels that continue to be vibrant during relatively slower months.
Finally, if you are in retail or an industry which tends to heat up in winter, then summer can be used as time to plan out the second half of the year. You'll have a bit more time on your hands, things are less hectic … therefore, it's a great time to plan while it's still four or five months out from the busiest season.
BND: How can you tie your post-summer strategies in with these moves?
Utkin: If you commit to a given channel, I don't recommend going abruptly in and out. You might go slower when demand is lower, but I recommend continuing to run campaigns and gradually ramping back up as your audience is coming back from vacation.
If you run a campaign always intended to optimize ROIs … and you have a consistent objective function, run your campaigns accordingly. Especially in search engine marketing and social, seasonality is one of several factors that come into play on an everyday basis. Good marketers are adjusting on a daily basis; look at yesterday's performance, see what's gone up and down, and adjust accordingly.