Seasonal businesses are presented with a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing their products and services. But, not to worry! Just keep the following five concepts in mind and you should come out ahead of your competition—that is, if Springtime ever returns to Buffalo.
1). Stay Top-of-Mind
The best way to stay top-of-mind with your existing and potential customers is to advertise all year long. Remember: advertising has a cumulative effect on your audience—it may take several “touches” for your business’s name, message, and/or jingle to work its way into the collective unconscious. If year-round advertising isn’t in your budget, try to get your message out just before the start of your prime season. Think about this the next time you see a McDonald’s TV commercial at 10PM. McDonald’s knows that most people have already had dinner, but they want everybody to have a hankering for their McGriddle sandwich when they wake up the next morning.
2). Look Better Than Your Competition
Price is always an important consideration during the buying process, but not everyone buys based on price alone. Some people will pay more for things like convenience, accuracy, reputation, and bragging rights. This is where your company’s public image comes into play. Superior branding increases consumer confidence and lets people know that you stand behind your products and services. It lets buyers know that you’ll be there for them in the future if things go wrong. Appearing more established, more professional, and more committed than your competition will tip the scales in your favor.
3). Follow Up on Old Leads
Remember that late-night fast food commercial that caused you to wake up with a hankering for a McGriddle? The lesson we learned was that just because people weren’t ready to buy then doesn’t mean they’re not ready to buy now or in the near future. And, since most people recently filed their income taxes, there are tons of potential buyers out there pondering how and with whom to spend their income tax returns. Now is the time to pick up the phone, address a promotional postcard, or punch up an email blast and connect with these buyers!
4). Have a Strong Web Presence
Nowadays, before hiring a company, you probably go online to do a bit of research. Right? You compare products and services, prices, and company profiles. You may also read reviews and testimonials to learn about other people’s experiences dealing with a particular company. But what happens when you Google the name of a potential vendor only to find they have no web presence? Are they some fly-by-night business that will just take your deposit and run? Will they go bankrupt before work is complete? Have they run roughshod over Western New York—leaving a trail of disgruntled customers in their wake? Having a strong web presence helps to put such fears to rest and lets people feel good about buying from you.
5). Get the Word Out!
There are lots of ways to get the word out about your seasonal business and the specific method(s) you choose will depend heavily on such things as the size/nature of your business, the size of your budget, and the size/scope of your service area. For instance, if you own a small landscaping company in Buffalo, you probably won’t want to drive way out to Syracuse to mow somebody’s lawn. So, instead of buying TV or radio advertising, you might consider implementing a small postcard campaign targeting every home within a 10 mile radius of your location. On the other hand, if you sell and install swimming pools, most of us should have already seen one of your TV commercials during the colder months—inspiring a deep yearning for warmer days and pool-related fun.