For many reasons, summer is one of the most important seasons for building relationships with consumers and driving sales. Consumers are highly active in the summer. The events and activities they engage in give marketers a chance to connect in a meaningful way. Unlike the “holiday season,” summer isn’t about buying all kinds of things for people. To many of us, summer is about experience. It’s the season for relaxing travel and crossing boundaries, which is why it’s the best time to make an impression.
Stay Visible All Summer Long
Advertising in summer means months to stay in front of the target market and achieve the results you want. Spend all summer building brand awareness, recognition, or a desire for your products. You’ll have a better chance of impacting the target market in the summer than during a short holiday-season or Super-Bowl campaign because you can revisit them again and again at memorable moments throughout the season.
Reach Them as They Travel
Consumers travel a lot in the summer, especially for leisure. It’s a key opportunity to communicate with people who tend to have characteristics like:
- Disposable income
- Desire to explore and try new things (like your brand!)
- Youth, giving you a chance to maximize consumer lifetime value (source)
There are many different ways to reach travelers; billboards and digital “in-market” targeting are just a couple. Another is by way of event sponsorship or providing props, gifts, structures or other objects to event organizers. It’s up to you to determine the best way to reach your audience.
Double the Impact at Once-in-a-Lifetime Events
In a 2018 survey, the majority of respondents who had increased their event sponsorship activity in the past three years said they had achieved at least a 30% growth in revenue.
Why is Summer event promotion such a boon? Event activity increases in the summer. Many summer events are “niche.” Only a small segment of the population will attend a particular event, in many cases. The attendees at said event will have similar interests and will enjoy the event thoroughly. Think concerts, sporting events, and hometown festivals. Do you see an opportunity to reach out to receptive, like-minded people?
Let’s say you want to increase your market share in a particular region. Eastern Tennessee and Northern Georgia, for example. There’s a famous music festival right in between Nashville and Atlanta called Bonnaroo. It’s in July, which is a pretty good time for a summer promotional calendar to begin. After concert goers see your brand on a giant inflatable, or your branded floor mats in c-stores scattered throughout the area and beyond, they’ll remember you. You can then target Bonnaroo fans in the Eastern Tennessee region on Facebook, with digital ads. Or, you might sponsor smaller concert events in the region to build a stronger relationship with your audience. Later, offer a discount or advertise a product launch to really drive sales.
Bonnaroo is a big event that might be expensive to sponsor, but you could start smaller and be a little more targeted. Get creative! Depending on the size and format of the event, you might even be able to simply donate some branded pool floats or a branded foldable chair. Audiences will never forget some of the fun summer events they experience and they’re likely to form a lasting, positive association with the event sponsors as a result.
Enhance In-Store Displays and Get Sales
One last thought. What’s the easiest way to get a sale? It might be to target consumers at the point of purchase. Objects like pool floats and inflatable product replicas grab attention, lead shoppers in the right direction, and even persuade them to buy your product spontaneously.
Not Just for Summer Products
Summer promotions are especially effective for summer-related products. How strong is the association between summer and brands like Corona (beer), Ball Park (hot dogs), Havaianas (sandals), and Ray Ban (sunglasses)? It’s not the fact that these things don’t sell in the winter that make them strong candidates for summer promotions. Instead, it’s the fact that everybody wants to have them in the summer. They can buy them any time, but it’s hard to imagine a perfect summer day without some of them.Even if your product is used during other times of the year, it’s a good idea to start advertising in summer to take advantage of the high flow of traffic. Your biggest fan base could be those who find you during your off season. When should your campaign begin?