The month of August is almost upon us. That means one more month of lazy summer days, right? Well, not if you want to dominate with a killer marketing strategy in the pivotal months to come.
You’re more than halfway through the year, so now is the perfect time to start planning your marketing strategy for the quarter that includes the biggest spending days of the year, as well as your chance to put your business deep into the black—so you can close the calendar year with a BANG.
I know it’s hard to see August in this light. You’re not ready to think about Christmas sales. However, if you want to get a jump on the competition and firmly plant your brand in the minds of your ideal customers, now is the time.
Your New August Marketing Strategy
The last quarter of the year is approaching. October, November and December will prove, for many businesses, to be the months that make them profitable. There’s Back-To-School, Halloween, Thanksgiving (U.S.), Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve…and they’re just the big ones.
There are a number of things to do as you prepare your marketing strategy for this all-important quarter.
Here’s what we suggest:
- Reflect on the First Half of the Year. Did you implement any new campaigns or techniques into your marketing strategy this year? If so, what were their ROIs (Return On Investment)? Did you reach specific goals (more followers, sales, shares, etc.) with them? And with all that in mind, how can you extend those campaigns into the upcoming buying seasons? Or how can you correct the things that didn’t produce results?
- Use or Lose your Budget. How much money was budgeted for marketing at the beginning of this year? And how much remains? Marketing is often the thing that’s left by the wayside, simply because busy brand builders feel they don’t have time for it—particularly if they’ve already got a decent amount of business. For that reason, the majority of your marketing budget may still be unused. And if you don’t use it in the 4th quarter, it will become unavailable on 31st December at 12:01 a.m. And what’s worse is that your accountant will likely lower the budget for next year, severely limiting your marketing potential for years to come. So if you’ve got marketing money to use—use it!
- Plan the Timing of your Campaigns. Which products or services will be most important to your target market for each 4th-quarter event? And how long before each event will you market those products and/or services? Create a strategy for each individual timeline. Know when your ideal customer starts to think about (and shop for) each important date, and be there when they look. Work to stay top-of-mind, whilst hitting hardest at crucial points.
- Know what’s Important to your Audience. The 4th quarter of any given year brings with it feelings of nostalgia, joy…and for some people, grief and loneliness. Where is your ideal customer, emotionally, during each pivotal time during the 4th quarter? Are they looking for encouragement? Or support? Humour or joy? Knowing what your target audience is craving (along with your solution to their problem) is imperative as you plan the tone of your 4th-quarter campaigns.
- Start Social Media Engagement Now. It’s a bad idea to start conversations with your ideal customers a week before you want them to buy. Instead, start building relationships that you’ll need in the 4th quarter right now. Post things that are of great importance to your target market and ask for their feedback. Ask for opinions, respond to every comment and answer every question. This will not only keep your brand top-of-mind, you will be working to build that all-important trust and to raise perceptions of your expertise. Then, when it comes time to buy, your brand will be the first one that comes to mind.
- Think Outside the Marketing Box. With the holidays come unique marketing opportunities. Traditional marketing channels switch it up to accommodate a more active buying audience. An increase in print materials offers more visual advertising opportunities, and ramped-up web traffic means more eyes on PPC (Per Per Click) campaigns. The list goes on and on. Step outside your standard marketing routine to try something you know will appeal to your ideal customer. Record the results and use what you learn to create next year’s 4th-quarter campaigns.
- Realise the Rest of your Goals. What goals are so-far unreached this year? Well, the 4th quarter is your chance to make it happen. No matter if it’s profit, follows, impressions, conversions…buckle down using the extra attention from your audience to make it happen.
- Make sure your Website is Mobile-Friendly. There’s no getting around it: people have got to be able to research your brand and buy from you using their mobile devices. Check your website to make sure it’s got responsive design (design that adjusts to the screen it’s being viewed on), and if it doesn’t, make it your goal to have that done before the start of the 4th quarter.
- Think about Next Year, too. What exciting new things are you planning for next year? What goals are you setting for your business and what new territories will you be breaking into (literally and figuratively)? The 4th quarter of this year is the time to start warming up for these exciting changes. Create a strategy that prepares your target market for what’s to come.
Certainly, this is only the beginning of what you can plan for your business’s 4th quarter…in order to make it the most profitable quarter yet. I hope these points have inspired you to look at August in a new light, and think about all the possibilities that lie before you and your brand.
Have questions? Would you like to hear from business owners who have been leveraging the marketing strategy power of August for some time? And from those who are just getting started? Would you like to learn the finer points of marketing strategy from international marketing experts? We’ve got all that and much, much more in the Brand Builders Club. Click here to learn how you can get your own V.I.P. Backstage Pass to an upcoming members day (which also includes online materials and a custom 12-week strategy for your next quarter of growth).