Year-Round Marketing Will Pay Off in 2018

What slow season? Say no to shutting down your marketing efforts this winter.
Year-Round Marketing Will Pay Off in 2018

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Why should you be thinking about the slow season now when you’re being bombarded with work? You have profit in hand, so forget the winter and strike while the iron is hot. Not to mention, it’s hard to look two months into the future when you barely have time to think about the present. That said, if you don’t plan your winter marketing now, it’ll be too late by the time the busy season slows down enough to refocus. 

Don’t overspend on marketing efforts during the busy season. When you have extra funds from success in the busy season, it may be all too tempting to spend, spend, spend on marketing efforts. When you’re raking in capital, spending more money on local and online marketing isn’t incredibly daunting. Don’t do it. Be conscious of your company’s long-term marketing needs and stay disciplined. Don't spend more just because you have it. If at all possible, defer spending and try to save any increase of funds. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you have a little wiggle room while all of your competitors are struggling over the winter? I’m not saying stop your marketing programs over the spring, summer, and fall, but think about spreading out the message year-round. Why spend more money marketing when you’re already slammed?

Make time now to plan winter marketing efforts. Planning is probably the hardest part of the process. You have to close out the current year, prep for next season, and now we’re adding marketing to the mix. If you’re stressed for time, try not to overbook meetings, make too many extraneous deadlines, or take on optional projects. If at all possible, try to schedule some of these activities during the winter to save you some trouble. If you’re able to shave a few hours out of your current work schedule, you can devote the time to marketing and planning.

Look back on your marketing “wins.” Think about what you had to do in order to make your efforts successful so far this year. Evaluating data trends will help you make smart marketing decisions for the future. What did your customers respond to on social media — what got likes, shares and comments? Did your ad in the local paper lead to phone calls? Did a website visitor email you their contact info or ask for a quote? Cater your winter marketing to those channels that produce the highest ROI.

Stay active, and get creative. Keep posting on social media, writing blogs about your work or the industry in general, showing off photos from customers you provided services for earlier in the year, and so on. And it’s important to get creative. Do you offer long-term maintenance contracts to your customers? Incentives to accept long-term contracts (such as lower winter pricing) could keep your customers coming back even in the slow season. Maybe try sending out email newsletters that survey your customers. Find out their specific wintertime needs. Then, you can offer those participants discounts or rewards for their time and effort. The goal is to think outside the box and keep up communication with your loyal followers.

Consider what the competition is doing. According to Stephen Sheinbaum, founder of Merchant Cash and Capital, you should take advantage of the period when your competitors have low activity. Your customers — and your competition’s customers — may be just as interested in purchasing before the busy season is at its peak if you offer a promotion before your competitors do. In simple terms, if you run a promotional advertisement (online or in print) now, then prospective customers will be more likely to give you their business during your slow season. If this promotion gives you a leg up on the competition, that’s even better. You’re just giving yourself a chance to boost your winter business. It comes down to a simple question: “Have I given my customers a chance to stick around over the winter season, or do I just expect them to work on my schedule?” You have to build an expectation for your customers. Using your slow season to advertise your special rates, hours or services will let clients know that you’re ready for their business any time of year. If the industry standard is to just “deal with the slow season and rest,” you’ll really stand out by broadcasting your message during this time frame.

A Final Word
Now that the bulk of the year is behind us, you may think it’s too late to start, but it’s not. The slow season can be the best time to deal with marketing tasks. This is also a great time to increase employee cooperation and brainstorming sessions. Get your team involved with some high-level planning. Strengthen your client relations by taking the time to meet with them and gather feedback. You’ll develop new ideas and keep your clients happy. If you don’t succeed in picking up an abundance of new contracts, you’ve still made several accomplishments:

  • Set the tone for 2018.
  • Built stronger customer perception of your brand.
  • Gathered valuable feedback.

When the worst-case scenario is still a win, you’re doing it right.

About the Author
Joseph Hummel is the marketing manager for PolyPortables.



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