“Help! My click-thru’s took a nose-dive.”
“Out of nowhere, my opt-in rate crashed.”
“My sales dropped off the cliff this week.”
Marketers say this time and again, throughout the course of the year. Many are truly perplexed as to why a perfectly strong campaign suddenly changes course. Is it ad or list fatigue? Tech stack issues? Misfiring pixels? Maybe. But more like, the culprit is seasonality.
Our consumers, customers and prospects are all just people. They live whole lives that include activities that have absolutely nothing to do with our brands. Most of the time, life’s distractions take precedent over discovering, trying, or buying our product or service (!!!).
I’ve recently been inundated with these comments. Immediately, my inner monologue says, “Yeah. It’s back-to-school time.” This is a busy and tumultuous time for moms and dads, teens and tweens, and college-aged kids. It’s a time of transition, with new schedules, practices, carpools, paperwork and tons of other logistics to work through. So your target audience may not have as much time to be thinking about your new widget because they’re busy using Google Maps to find the location of tonight’s soccer practice. They are however, making plans for holiday travel, cooler weather, football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Even B2B’s feel the impact of seasonality. Inside the business, it commonly affects responses due to quarter-ends and year-ends. Typically there’s a seasonal time for planning and budgeting, trade shows and conventions, new product/vendor reviews, etc. Outside the business, those same B2B buyers be impacted by the “life calendar”. Free or downtime at work, may be redirected from random Facebook browsing to working through ever-changing daily family logistics and holiday planning.
Natural disasters also impact responses. Hurricane Harvey and Irma devastated Houston and Florida, and yet many marketers weren’t tuned into how that could impact their immediate campaigns. Houston is the #8 DMA and Florida is the 4th most populous state in the union. That’s a big number of people who may be underwater, out of power, and/or are distracted by major events disrupting their personal and professional life.
I realized that the impact can be easily overlooked when a colleague of mine got several “oh yeah I didn’t think of that” reactions from her remote team when she pointed out that this wasn’t the best time to push her prospects in Florida to sign up for the latest webinar.
Aside from these major, life-altering natural disasters that are impacting huge areas, smaller regional events like snowstorms, wildfires, and tornadoes will also dampen on marketing responses (unless you provide products and services suited for those events).
How do you adjust?
Pay attention. To both the life calendar and unexpected events that can impact the attention of your target audience.
Adjust expectations. Consider how the “life calendar” affects your prospects, and adjust expectations accordingly. A look at historical data can point out trends that you can use to better project your results.
Embrace the change. Readjust your marketing to acknowledge your prospects’ outside life. Tweak the creative. Find a way to add your own pumpkin spice.
Build a seasonal offer to get a boost. Overlay an incentive campaign that taps into the prospect’s current mindset. Tie it to a key benefit of your product or service. And watch your results rise again.
Need a little help?
If you don’t already keep one handy, download our Seasonal Mindset Calendar one-sheet featuring major events to consider when tracking your campaigns.
Are you interested in some quick ways to make an impact this quarter by connecting your product or service to your prospect’s current mindset? Reach out to us at www.xpromos.com.