With spring almost beginning and summer just around the corner, it is time for marketers to start preparing their marketing strategies to ramp up sales for the season ahead.

Direct marketing campaigns lend themselves to seasonal shifts. The upcoming shopping season, with Black Friday in November and the Christmas holidays shortly thereafter, offers plenty of opportunities for savvy marketers.

Planning and crafting a relevant campaign ahead of time is crucial, as you want to offer the best deal available, at the best possible time.

Practical steps to success

To start with, research your market. What do people need, and what problems can you position yourself to solve? For example, predictions are that the fuel price is set to increase substantially. If you have a campaign that can soften the blow by offering consumers a chance to save some money when the petrol price bites, craft your messaging along those lines.

Marketing strategies prime focus should always be on how your marketing campaign benefits the end user. Taking into account pertinent circumstances demonstrates that you empathise with your customers and fosters a sense of connection between the company and the consumer.

Both-and rather than Either-or

Instead of limiting yourself to either an SMS campaign or an email one, use both channels in tandem. Mobile sites should be at the stage where companies offer users the ability to browse and buy easily. Then, they should be following up on sent emails with SMS, and any SMS should be followed up with email.

We also recommend using a direct marketing platform to save on costs, by ensuring that people who have already responded to email or SMS aren’t bombarded with more of it.

Another tip is to reflect the change of seasons in the design of any newsletters being sent out. For example, with spring traditionally being a time of renewal, and summer bringing with it the chance to enjoy the sunshine, newsletters sent out during these times should be vibrant and colourful.

Watch the weather

Hugh Ncube, Head of Business Development at market research company AskAfrica, confirms that there is a definite trend in the way people spend their money, and when they are more willing to do so, with weather playing a large determining factor.

“In winter, people want to stay at home, and they are often less happy with what is going on economically. Summer tends to see people taking part in events and functions, and more likely to indulge and spoil themselves with a large ticket purchase like a new car,” says Ncube.

This is valuable information for those updating their marketing strategies. The key, is not just to understand your demographic, but also to have a grasp of consumer behaviour and how consumers are affected by external factors, such as the weather. “The success of your strategy relies on how well you’ve embraced all factors that may affect your customer’s decision-making process”.

Initially posted in Biz Community – Spring Into Action