The tourists and seasonal residents have packed up and left Southwest Florida for the summer.
That means for the next few months, we can enjoy smooth commutes, close-up parking spaces and short wait times at restaurants.
For businesses, though, the summer slowdown often means fewer customers through the front door, fewer products flying off the shelves and fewer dollar bills finding their way into the cash register. As a result, many business owners curtail their marketing and advertising budgets as a means of keeping expenses in check, when in fact, they should consider the opposite.
Seasonal marketing and advertising results in seasonal business. Year-round marketing and advertising generate year-round business.
Here are four reasons why June, July, August and September are ideal months to refocus your overall marketing strategy:
- We’re still here: Southwest Florida doesn’t turn into a ghost town once Easter has passed and high season is over. According to University of Florida estimates, the five-county region’s annual population is 1.3 million. By comparison, that’s in the same ballpark as Dallas, which the U.S. Census shows with 1.34 million people living within city limits.
- Repeat customers: Businesses happily welcome tourists and their money, but they’re only here for a short period and might make just one purchase before heading back home. Permanent residents are here year round, and connecting with locals gives you an opportunity to earn repeat visits from loyal customers. It’s also worth noting that locals serve as tour guides whenever family and friends visit during the winter and spring, so you’ll want to remain connected with these ambassadors of your brand.
- Stand out: Local newspapers and magazines are jammed with advertisements in season, when editions are at their thickest. Fewer companies advertise in the summer, and that means your ad will be more likely to get noticed, and it’s also a period when many publications offer advertising discounts. Radio and TV stations also have more available inventory in the summer, which allows you to stretch your marketing budget while having your commercial air at ideal time slots.
- Digital advertising: Seasonal residents and visitors who are up North or in the Midwest for the summer won’t read your print advertising, see your television commercials and hear your radio ads, but they still can see your digital advertising as they stay connected to local news online and follow social media.
It’s important to view summer as a period to change things around a bit. Approach your advertising and marketing in a different way and you just might reach a new audience.
Here are four strategies to consider this summer:
- Try something new: If you’ve focused your attention on print advertising, try adding another layer onto your marketing plan with digital marketing. Search engines and social media can help drive traffic from potential customers who live nearby. A mobile geo-fencing campaign targeting your closest competitors can also increase revenue.
- Summer sales: When cash flow is down, it might seem counterproductive to drop prices. However, the purpose behind BOGO deals and steep discounts is to bring customers through the front door. Increased foot traffic usually translates into increased sales! It’s also a great time for a gift card promotion that can bring in immediate cash flow.
- Holidays: Beyond Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, summer also brings Father’s Day and tax-free weeks for hurricane supplies and back-to-school shopping. Be creative with sales opportunities to take advantage of summer shopping events.
- Get social: It’s always a challenge to bring a customer into the store, so bring the store to the customer. Showcase your latest products and merchandise on social media, and create an e-newsletter that keeps current and potential customers in the loop about new products, sales and company happenings.
Southwest Florida is a year-round destination, and the audience continually changes. From November to February, we see seasonal residents and short-term visitors. In March and April, college spring breakers and families come to town. But who visits in the summer? Families. Lee County Sports Development reports July as its busiest month in terms of sports tourism, both in numbers of sports-related visitors and direct spending. How are you marketing to them?
The skilled team at Priority Marketing knows how to reach your target audience. Do you want to turn on your brand with summertime marketing and advertising? Then call us at 239-267-2638 or send an email to info@PriorityMarketing.com.