Should Marketing Take a Summer Vacation?

Some marketers think that dollars budgeted for marketing programs during summer months are dollars better saved for the cool and cloudy days of another season. They reason that their customers and prospects are either 1) out on vacation; 2) cramming at work getting ready to go on vacation; or 3) buried because they’ve just come back from vacation. Therefore, their email goes unread, postal mail piles up, social networks are unvisited, and getting tossed into voice mail is automatic.

Despite these beliefs, summer is still an important time to continue executing and tracking your marketing plan. Here are three reasons why marketing is for all seasons:

  1. The Numbers Game. Let’s assume that every one of your customers and prospects takes a vacation in summer. There are nine weeks in the summer season of July and August. That would average out to 11% of your target audience being on vacation in any given week (if everyone takes a summer vacation, and not everyone does). So you might ask: Can you afford to spend on marketing when you might not reach 11% of your customers and prospects? A better question is this: Can you afford not to market when in fact 89% of your audience can be exposed to your message? By the way, if you don’t market, it’s guaranteed that 100% of your audience will not receive your message.
  2. Frequency, Frequency. Everyone knows that frequency is one of the keys to successful marketing. Because you’ve been regularly nurturing customers and prospects all winter and spring—building relationships, earning marketing leads, filling the sales pipeline—if you stop or slow down in the summer months, you’ll feel the negative impact later when the marketing funnel runs dry. Plus, believe it or not, your company may not be the first thing on your customers’ minds. If you don’t stay in touch, they can and will forget you, and perhaps remember one of your competitors instead, who decides that marketing in summer is a worthy endeavor. Better that you’re the company customers remember when a need arises.
  3. Mobile Makes it Easier than Ever to Connect. Smartphones and tablets have created  a convergence of business and personal personas. For better or worse, more and more people are staying connected to the office through mobile technologies during vacation time. Don’t you? People check voice mail, use social networks, read emails and texts. Smart marketers can use this reality to their advantage, distributing timely and relevant content in small, quickly consumable chunks over social networks, text messages, or email. This is your opportunity to put a different spin on “Summer Reading.”

And as a marketer, what if you’re the one taking a well-deserved vacation? You don’t have to carry a suitcase of work with you. Marketing automation solutions allow you to prepare and schedule social media posts or emails in advance, and respond to your audience’s actions and behavior using rules-based auto-responders that you set up as part of your campaigns. The result is that you can deliver a seamless experience for your customers and prospects, whether they are at the beach or in the boardroom, keeping your company and products top of mind in any season. Enjoy the summer—and keep marketing.

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Sharon Suchoval

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