It’s the first day of Winter in Australia today, and many businesses find that can signal a slowdown in customer activity. While people are busy, sociable, and in a spending mood in the summertime and the seasons either side, in winter they tend to stay home more, where it’s nice and warm, and save their hard-earned cash.
Consumers are less likely to make as many major purchasing decisions, and that could mean less money coming in to your business.
For many businesses, winter brings a reduction in the amount of marketing they engage in too. It’s better to think of wintertime as an opportunity to get seen and heard when there is less noise to compete with, and when a clever marketing campaign can get some real “cut-through”.
To make a success of your Winter campaigns, or make changes to your offering to gain an advantage over the competitors, some real creativity doesn’t go astray. You should be trying extra hard to make the passive consumer get active. Whatever you do, have your key target markets’ specific needs in mind when you’re making decisions.
Here are a few ideas for a successful Winter marketing that might inspire you to think outside the box. Some of these ideas might be hard to implement this very season, but now could be a good time to experiment and plan for next Winter.
New Product Lines
If you have products that sell well in the Summer, like icecream or swimwear for example, how can you make sure you minimise the seasonal effect on overall sales? One way is by introducing another product range that peaks in the colder months.
Can your icecream factory start producing hot puddings that are easy to zap in the microwave? Some surf stores manage seasonality by also stocking ski gear in winter. Are there ways you can offer something new to your customer base, especially something that your competitors don’t?
Many people complain that there’s nothing happening mid-year so holding an enticing event during winter can really get people excited. And there’s less likelihood that you’ll be competing with other events like you would in the lead-up to Christmas or in the hullabaloo of Adelaide’s Mad March or an interstate equivalent.
One fun option is to hold a Summer event in the Winter, under cover of course. This can help people forget the weather outside, put them in a buying mood, and encourage a bit of love for your brand. If the atmosphere at your event is warm enough, literally and figuratively, they might just forget it’s winter, and love you for that!
A good way to keep consumers engaged with your brand when their attention is waning is through a well-targeted giveaway. There are a range of promotional products which everyone needs once the wet and cold sets in, which can be branded to keep your business top of mind.
Products like umbrellas, warm beanies and those insulated travel mugs always come in handy. When you create a bit of comfort, it’s sure to be remembered.
Online Shopping Season
Your customers probably aren’t getting out quite so much and you’re likely to see a downturn in foot traffic if you have a bricks-and-mortar store. If you don’t already sell online, maybe it’s time to bring the shop to them.
Adding e-commerce to your website might not be as hard as you think, especially of you’re on WordPress, when it’s relatively simple to get WooCommerce up and running (we can help of course!). Rather than try to offer all your products or services online, you could just focus on one or two that are particularly appropriate at this time of year.
If you already have an online store, make sure the right products are front-and-centre each season.
If you have products whose sales peak in the Aussie summer, you might consider finally getting an export programme started and target customers in the northern hemisphere where everything is back-to-front seasonally. And with the Aussie dollar still low there never been a better time.
This might not be something you can put in place overnight, but you could make the downtime you have now more productive and plan what you should do to make a difference next Winter.
Winter is a great time to hold a sale to move some of your stock that’s been hanging around from the warmer months. If you have seasonal Winter products on offer, there’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the season and having stock you can’t move. So don’t leave it too late!
A promotion that tends to get attention now is one that offers a prize that helps the winner escape an Aussie Winter down south and gets them up to the north of Australia or perhaps to tropical Asia where the weather’s warmer. Be inventive in how you link the prize with your target audience and the products and services you offer.
Special Social Media Campaigns
In Winter, you need to be a bit more inventive with social media campaigns to get attention and interaction from your audience. The worst Winter weather, or those little periods of sunshine amongst all the cloudy days, are things that people love to talk about on social media. In Summer you might have a campaign that asks people to show off a “usage occasion” of your product in the great outdoors. In Winter they’re more likely to do that in the comfort of their own home.
We hope the ideas above give you some food for thought. If you want help with more specific marketing strategies for your business or assistance with tactical implementation, give Baker Marketing a call.
In the meantime, stay dry and warm!
Photo by Dickson Phua on Flickr.