Summer in Maine means tourists and for many businesses an almost automatic boost in sales. It may be tempting for some to feel like they can let their marketing slide and simply take advantage of warmer weather and naturally higher foot traffic. Keep in mind, this often effortless influx only lasts for 3 to 4 months, but successful marketing is a year round activity. Too many businesses only promote themselves during the slower months and then they find it difficult to gain the momentum needed to carry them beyond.
The reality for small and medium businesses is that the warm, busy summer months are the perfect time to plan marketing campaigns for the fall. End of summer sales, back to school specials, inventory close-outs, fall household projects, and the list goes on. If these events are not on your radar in July, your register will not be ringing come September.
Why Plan Now?
It is inevitable that summer will come to an end. The change happens fast, and it seems to happen when you are not looking. You are enjoying the busy summer season and then wham! The foot traffic is gone and you are left wondering what to do next.
We all know that planning ahead ensures success later. The number one reason to plan ahead is to save you time, money, and stress. The number one benefit is that you are in front of customers now, planting seeds for when they are ready to start buying.
Practices for fall sports and often schools themselves begin in August. Busy parents and bargain hunters start to think about fall shopping in late July and even consumers who are not directly planning for school start to think ahead to fall projects and cooler weather. If you want to reach this market you must advertise in late July and early August which means you should start planning and reserving space now!
- Select the items you wish to promote and spend some time thinking about how best to promote them.
- Consider dates for any special events happening in late summer and fall.
- Meet with your staff to brainstorm creative designs for your marketing and decorating ideas for your storefront.
- Determine your budget
- Review the mix of marketing channels that will make up your fall campaigns. Direct Mail, Newspaper, TV? Don’t forget to include email and social media.
- Contact your TMM sales representative early in the process to schedule dates and discuss ideas for direct mail advertising, email marketing, social media, and more.
- Make note of advertising dates and deadlines on your calendar or planner.
Set Yourself Up for Success
As you begin to set your plans for fall marketing, there are things you can do right now to help ensure success. For example, if your plan calls for an email to your customer list (to announce a sale or share a newsletter) be sure that list is up to date. Add new names to the list by collecting addresses at the register. Add a custom tab to your Facebook page for collecting new email addresses. Include email collection on your website (Don’t’ have an email collection program? Need help with collecting addresses on Facebook or your website? Let us help you!)
Be sure to consider any additional staffing needs or changes in your hours of operation for the season. Check your planner daily and execute the necessary steps to ensure a successful fall season with less stress and more sales. Keep an eye on your deadlines for ordering supplies and placing advertisements, don’t let them sneak up on you.
No matter how busy you get this summer, your marketing and promotion must keep chugging along to keep your competitive edge.
The key to an effective marketing strategy is consistency and patience. If you are tempted to slash your marketing budget once the summer season ends, be sure to think twice before doing so. Maintain your advertising strategy and you will increase your visibility. Consistent and effective marketing is the key to maintaining top-of-mind awareness with your target audience all year long.
Ready to get started? Contact us today and let one of our knowledgeable sales reps guide and assist you with a successful fall marketing campaign.
The TMM blog is a collection of articles, stories and just for fun tidbits gathered and shared to help you with successful marketing for your business. To have the most current posts and other TMM news & information sent directly to your inbox subscribe today.