It’s that time of year again. The McRib is back on the menu, and I’ve already had more pumpkin spice lattes than I can count. And I still want more! Restaurants and other businesses with products and services that vary depending on the time of year often use seasonal marketing tactics to drive sales and increase consumer interest -- mostly because it works. Consumers get excited about limited-time offers, and the approach doesn’t appear to lose its luster year after year.
If your company is looking to take advantage of seasonal marketing ideas, it's best to look at some of the biggest brands in your space to see what they do in order to drive sales and pique consumer interest in your own business. Companies of all sizes should take notice and follow suit when it comes to seasonal marketing tricks.
To increase your own sales using seasonal tactics, consider the following hacks for effectively capitalizing on timely marketing and promotional tie-ins:
1. Look for easy seasonal hype
One of the easiest ways to jump into seasonal sales around the holidays is to prepare for and participate in Black Friday sales and holiday shopping days such as Small Business Saturday, which encourages people to shop locally. These days are already ingrained into people’s minds as shopping events, so it’s an easy way to jump on the bandwagon.
If you are going to implement special pricing or offers for these types of calendared events, make sure you prepare in advance. Get the word out on social media about your promotions. Talk to your staff and customers to get them excited about the offers, and be sure to staff up for increased sales. If these things aren’t done in advance, you might not be as successful as you had hoped. So, take the necessary time to prepare.
2. Create an annual marketing plan
While preparing for seasonal marketing, it’s best to develop an annual marketing plan to identify timely opportunities that make sense for your business. The best-laid plans are ones that have focus and are well thought-out. There is a holiday for almost everything, so don’t miss the chance to increase sales by aligning with fun holidays such as National Dog Day or National Taco Day. It’s easy to Google upcoming holidays and find out what aligns with your business.
3. Go from seasonal to subscription
Is there a way to turn your seasonal idea into a subscription service? With January right around the corner, an annual subscription offer is a great way to build recurring revenues and create a “fan base” with offers, discounts and specials targeted exclusively to subscription members. Not to mention, finance departments love subscription businesses because the revenue is steady and helps make up for low-revenue months that can occur in businesses of all types.
4. Create your own seasonal sale
Don’t wait for Black Friday or other known sale days to offer discounts. Create your own day for promotions during other times of the year. For instance, Singles Day, Amazon Prime Day and other one-off discount days spur consumer interest. Take advantage of those if they are relevant, but don’t be afraid to create your own sale day and promote the hell out of it.
To avoid looking gimmicky, make sure it is a real offer and promoted well in advance. Once set, offer this on an annual or quarterly basis so customers know when it is coming. Creating your own day of celebration is a great way to boost sales outside of the established promotional driver days.
The holiday season is right around the corner, but holidays can be anywhere if you know where to look (or how to create them!). Let these four tips spark your creative side and help you increase sales, grow your brand awareness and connect with your customers in ways you weren’t before.