Let’s say that you’re the owner of a noodle/soup eatery in the southeast.
Considering that the average daytime temperature in July and August for Atlanta hovers around 90 degrees, is your business doomed in the dog days of summer?
Should you focus all your marketing and promotions efforts in the cold-weather months and just ride out the summer doldrums?
Sales on Seasonal Items
One of the many summertime marketing ideas you can employ can include offering discounts on seasonal items that your customers and potential customers might not be familiar with.
Sales of cold soup might be virtually nil in winter.
However, in summer, a nice gazpacho can quench both appetite and thirst.
You can offer a promotion on seasonal products across various channels.
Using the gazpacho as an example, you can send an email blast to your existing customers, offering, say, a BOGO (buy one get one free) deal.
In addition, you can push a similar offer through social media. You can target your own customers through Facebook (if you have their email; if not read this), or a look-alike audience.
For the latter, you can micro target to a demographic based on other factors besides location.
For example, you can target users who on their profile show a particular interest or belong to a group (gourmet, soup, cooking, etc.)
Does it make sense to offer discounts on hot soups just to get people in the door?
Not if, historically, your data suggests that summertime sales drop precipitously with certain items.
Say you own a coffee shop.
When the mercury is triple digits, sales of hot coffee and tea might very well decline. Does that mean you should offer a discount on hot drinks?
Experiment. One week offer a promo for hot drinks. Another week, offer a sale on iced coffee or other cold drinks.
See which performs better.
Let’s say the promo on hot drinks in summertime doesn’t do anything to drive sales.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage seasonal items.
In fact, you can use flat-selling items to your advantage.
Showcase Flat-Selling, Seasonal Items on Social Media
For example, let’s say that the next several days calls for hot, sticky weather. You’re pretty sure that sales of hot drinks (or soup) are going to be very poor.
What you can do is offer free coffee or soup in exchange for a customer taking a photo with your hot product and posting it on their Instagram with your business hashtag.
You can place a sandwich board outside your storefront announcing the promo:
Free Cups of Coffee to First 50 People!
Include the “fine print” of the promo below the headline. (Just post a pic with the coffee on your Insta.)
Host Community Events
When the weather is hot and sticky, many people prefer to summer hibernate, seeking the comfort of cranked-up air conditioning at home.
However, plenty of other consumers will seek out summer fun regardless of the heat index.
But there’s got to be a strong reason to get them outside of their homes, or movie theater or pool.
Host a weekly music or comedy series. If budget is limited, there are plenty of up and coming talented musicians who will gladly play for free coffee (or soup, if they are indeed a starving artist), in exchange for increased visibility.
Are any of your customers talented photographers? Did one of them recently get back from a trekking vacation in the Himalayas? Invite the customer to exhibit their photos.
The return on investment for promotional merchandise is sometimes difficult to measure.
However, for branding purposes, it can be a smart summertime marketing idea.
For example, you can offer lip balm or small bottles of sunscreen with your business logo. If you can afford it, tie in the merchandise with a promotion.
Let’s dust off that A-frame sandwich board again. “Free sunscreen for first 50 customers with purchase. Today only.”
Ask Your Customers What They Want
Finally, either through an email campaign or face-to-face contact, ask your customers what they’d like to see your business offer in the summer. You might be surprised at the creativity your customers will come up with….
Contact us today to get your questions answered about point-of-sale or for a demonstration.