Ahhh…summer vacation. Time to kick back and relax. Time to let everything go.
Not so fast.
All too often, we see companies take a vacation from their marketing—not just during the summer, but throughout the year. They stop for a variety of reasons, but the one that always shocks me is “because it’s working.”
Apparently, when advertising and online endeavors are producing results, those in charge of budgets think the job of marketing is done. In reality, that is the worst time to take a marketing vacation.
Don’t Stop and Start
If you’ve been consistent in your marketing throughout the year, you may be able to pull back a bit on your media spend or adjust your plan. However, you don’t want to lose all of your momentum by stopping your marketing because your staff is on vacation, it’s “working too well” or you’re distracted by other priorities. If you stop and have to start over later, it will cost extra to regain the momentum that can be lost in the blink of an eye.
Although continuing to market is important, your marketing mediums may change throughout the year, particularly during the summer months. A qualified professional can help you determine what media mix works best for your product or service and target audience.
One example is the fact that people aren’t inside watching TV as often during the summer (except perhaps, baseball games). However, there are other marketing tools that are very effective during the summer. Lest our TV reps be upset with us (wink!), we still love TV for certain clients, especially in the fall and winter months.
Make it Stick
Quick. Name the first local appliance store that comes to mind. My guess is that it’s Sherman’s or Benson’s. Why? Because of maintenance. Both companies have been advertising consistently for many decades, throughout two generations. And they are both still in business, in spite of the recession and competition from the big box stores with huge budgets. These guys haven’t taken a vacation.
Maintenance is something that eventually works somewhat on auto-pilot. However, marketing maintenance is best executed and evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure that it’s continuing to meet the needs of your target audience. What worked five years ago may not be effective any more, or might only be marginally effective by itself—but could be even more powerful when combined with newer technologies. For example, maybe it’s time to incorporate YouTube, Twitter or Facebook into your marketing mix.
Tell It Well
Not only is it important to be consistent, but you also need to have a message that your target audience remembers. Sometimes it’s clever. Other times it’s touching. But the most important thing is that your messaging is relatable to your target audience—not yourself.
Too often, businesses know themselves too thoroughly and create their marketing messages based on what they live and breathe every single day, forgetting the average consumer doesn’t think the same way they do. The key to effective marketing is to tell the story well—and to tell the story often.
Planning and Follow Through
In many cases, businesses stumble through by printing a brochure here, running an ad there, thinking that they’re being consistent. What really works is a strategic plan consisting of an initial launch with ongoing maintenance. This will enable your company to remain top of mind when consumers are making a purchase in your product or service category.
Let a professional work with you to plan your marketing—so you can spend your time planning and enjoying your vacation, knowing that your marketing is on auto-pilot to keep your business moving forward! iBi