Seasonal Advertising: Planning for the YearIf you operate a business that’s impacted by the seasons, you’ll want to take the seasonal calendar into account when planning your advertising. If you’ve never made a seasonal advertising calendar before, this exercise will give you some new insight into your business and identify the points where you will need make some critical decisions about advertising and promotions.

Seasonal advertising calendar is driven by your sales cycle

Sales drive any business, so a good place to start is by looking at your monthly sales revenues. Focus on the months where revenues are particularly high or particularly low. For the high-revenue months, what’s driving them? Is it a seasonal effect – that is, caused by a particular time of the year – or is it a one-time event? If it’s a regular occurrence, you’ll want to note that on your seasonal advertising calendar.

Look at the low-revenue months in the same way. If revenues dip regularly in a particular month or season, you’ll want to note that on the seasonal advertising calendar. One-time events may not be important, but by looking at your revenues like this, you’ll have the benefit of knowing ahead of time what happens to your income when a one-off event occurs.

Once you have your sales cycle high point and low points circled on your seasonal advertising calendar, you can look more closely at where the high-point and low-point sales come from. If you are a brick-and-mortar retailer and your high point comes from local shoppers during the Christmas season or the back-to-school season, you’ll want to rev up your local advertising in the weeks and months leading up to these events. Work with your suppliers to negotiate good pricing on high-demand items, so you can offer enticements for shoppers to enter your stores.

If, on the other hand, high-point sales are driven by online buyers, you will want to look closely at pay-per-click advertising, social media, email marketing and other types of advertising to help buyers remember you, find you and get ready to take advantage of your upcoming sales.

For low-revenue months, are your sales off because the demand for your products or services are low, or is it because the price of the goods you’re selling is too high during “off” seasons? If the price of your product is driven seasonally, you may be able to encourage customers to “stock up while prices are low” and increase sales in high-performing months to better cover the low performers. It’s also possible to “hedge” during low-income months by selling other products and/or services that are in higher demand. For service-oriented businesses, you can also offer “off-season” pricing and bundled services to help customers lock in the lower cost of retaining your services when seasonal demand for them is higher.

Developing new advertising campaigns can take weeks or months. While it’s tempting to use last year’s materials, you should know that they’re not as effective with consumers the second or third time around! Keeping material fresh is key to catching a customer’s attention.

If you would like more information about developing a seasonal advertising calendar, or new advertising campaigns tailored to meet the needs of your customers, contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.

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