Unless your target audience lives somewhere lucky enough to experience hot weather year-round, your customers’ behavior is bound to change as the temperature rises and vacation auto-responders go up this summer.
Whether you’re a swimsuit brand gearing up for your busiest buying season or a ski brand making it through a slow buying season, seasonal buying can have a huge impact on revenue.
But many business owners may not realize the impact the summer months will have on their customer behavior: from increased vacation time to summer hours to more time on mobile than at their desks. And as your buyers’ behaviors change, your marketing must as well.
So how do you shift your marketing to effectively reach your customers during the summer months? Your marketing team has the answer at their fingertips.
Historical customer behavior helps you understand how this season typically shifts your business and come up with interactions to create an ideal customer experience. It takes a little forethought, sure, but it’s not too late to adjust your marketing strategy to reach your buyers effectively as the temperatures rise.
Analyze last summer’s buying habits
The key to great marketing is simple: know your buyers. The more you know about how your buyers behave, the better you can tailor your marketing to their preferences and habits. This applies to all of your marketing activities, but can be especially powerful during seasonal ebbs and flows in your business.
For example, if you look at your customer data from last summer in detail, you may notice that your most popular line of products slightly underperformed, while another line did fantastically well in comparison. You may also notice that your share of site traffic from mobile jumped 15 percent overall and your best channel for promotion was Instagram.
These examples are all speculation, but by digging deep into your own customer data, you can find out what holds true for your business. With that data in hand, you can adjust your overall marketing strategy to take advantage of your buyers’ behavior and reach them where they are this summer.
Adjust your promotion mix
The same promotions that you use throughout the year may not resonate as well for buyers during the summer. Many of your buyers are likely on their mobile devices more frequently in the summer because they’re outside — whether by the pool or on the beach. If your customer data tells you this is true for your audience, it’s a huge opportunity to increase your investment in social ads and pull back on other channels.
In the summer, your brand should likely:
- decrease investment in search ads;
- increase investment in social ads,
- and explore traditional ads like magazines or billboards in areas with summer tourism.
These are just a few examples, but you should run a number of A/B tests to assess whether changing up your promotions during the summer results in better conversion rates for your ads. Again, your business is unique and so are your buyers — so test everything!
Promote summer-friendly products
Going back to your customer data, you can see what products and brands perform the best during the summer months. Depending on your business and what you sell, the products that perform best may be obvious, or completely surprising.
For example, it only makes sense that if your business sells ski equipment, the summer may be a bit slow no matter what line of products you promote, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. For example, a ski brand could have a mega-hyped summer sale to clear out excess inventory and drive revenue during slower months. But brands shouldn’t just send the same sale message to everyone — send personalized product recommendation campaigns to your buyers to drive higher conversion rates on the sale.
In comparison, a swimsuit brand should significantly increase its paid marketing spend for its busiest season. Using segment sync and lookalike campaigns across Facebook and Instagram, the team could identify similar buyers to their most loyal customers and make the most of their campaign spend during the most profitable season.
Either way your business shifts, you should use customer data to power your summer marketing campaigns and make sure your business adjusts to the season. Don’t get stuck with underperforming marketing campaigns this summer — be proactive and drive real revenue for your brand.
Kyle Flaherty is chief marketing officer at Zaius.