Marketing Primer for the Fall Spending Season
The Fall Season, including Back-to-School and Labor Day, is second only to Christmas when it comes to consumer spending, and yet this year things seem off to a slow start. The cause is up for debate, but whether it’s the slumping housing market, high gas prices, or stock market woes, one thing is certain, companies who have mastered their marketing know how to grow in ANY market, but what tactics will help you stay fresh in your customers’ minds?
Think of Back-to-School as simply the first marketing opportunity in a “seasonal marathon” ending with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, “the Super Bowl of consumer spending.”1 Which means, on the cusp of Labor Day and into the beginning of the fall season, now is the time to start marketing in full force, keeping your name and your services top-of-mind before the sea of Thanksgiving and Christmas offers begin pouring out. So what’s the best approach?
Repeat, repeat, repeat. Imagine if Pepsi had sent just one ad out in one magazine or done one commercial. Part of the foundation of good marketing is repetition. That includes getting your brand in front of prospective customers as many times as possible. One email, handout or mailer just isn’t going to accomplish your revenue goals. To truly build a relationship with customers, you’ll need to do some serious brand pushing so that you’ll stay visible to your market. Here’s a list of ways you can successfully market this season and keep it going strong over the next 4 months:
1. Re-Introduce Yourself
Although you may be thinking about your business 24-7, your customers aren’t. Try sending a greeting card or personalized 5×7 card letting your customers and prospects know that you’re ready to meet their needs in the coming months and that you appreciate their business. You’ll look like a company that cares and is responsive. And, as always, it never hurts to say Thank You.
2. Launch Something New
If you have new products or services, now is the time to launch them with a brochure, email campaign or flyer! Invite your existing customers to come try it out and offer them an incentive like 10% off their purchase. Although you’re offering a discount, they may end up buying more!
3. Change Your Positioning
Don’t have anything new? Try repositioning your current services and pricing like a local retail outlet did. They sent out a flyer that read “350 items, $19.99 or less – your holiday weekend just got better.” Although prices were actually no different than usual, this repositioning was enough to capture the attention of new and existing customers and turned into a very successful “sale.”
4. Send out a Time-Delayed Offer
Instead of trying to get customers into the store right now, why not send a special invitation to a one-day event in a month from now. It could be offering a discount on in-store or online-purchases, a fall preview of new products, or a free consultation. By delaying your event, customers will be more likely to keep the card and think of your services all month long, but make sure to follow-up a week before to remind them of the event.
5. Give out a VIP card
Encourage your customers to become VIP customers. Send out a business card or bookmark you can punch or stamp every time a customer places an order or uses your services. These can be handed out or mailed and redeemed later in the fall or holiday season for a free item or discount once the card has enough stamps or punches. This is a very common way that fast food chains and retail outlets get customers coming back again and again. And it works!
What’s the bottom line?
Be proactive, in all things, including marketing. Keep track of what your competitors are doing. If they’re marketing now, you need to be marketing now. And if they’re not, then now is the perfect time to start a campaign. With a little imagination, your product or service could be your ticket to more revenue than you thought possible, but remember customers will only come to you if they know you’re out there.